Stephanie Laing

This website might just change your life…

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Image: Alexis Dubus

Stephanie Laing would like to introduce you to a website that might just change your life – welcome to… 

Gary Busey is on offer this week at  I know that’s a lot to take in.  I love him too, and I totally didn’t just have to Google him to double check I remembered who he was.

He is “a blond-haired, fair-complexioned actor with a toothy grin, and capable of an unsettling glint in his eyes.”  Thanks IMDB. is a website where you can pay celebrities to make personalised videos for you.  You pay anywhere between £10 (BBC Breakfast Sports Presenter Mike Bushell) and £200 (Busey), and they send you something based on your request email.

Some people use it to propose, apparently.  Some use it to help with charity campaigns.

They’ve got Pat Sharp, East 17, Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee (£25!), Nikki “who IS she?!?” Grahame from Big Brother.   All the greats.  Holy Christ, Adam Rickitt’s on it!  Though I don’t think the picture can be up to date, he must be getting on a bit now.

But some of the celebrities on offer are absolutely bloody incredible.  Chesney Hawkes, for example.

I love Chesney Hawkes more than I’ve ever loved anyone in my life, even my mum, so I was more than happy to pay a stonking £20 for a video message from him.

Chesney (as if you need reminding) sang “The One and Only”, released in 1991. Hush yo’ mouth if the words “one hit wonder” come into your head.  He did a lovely B-side called “Secrets of the Heart”, and he’s just released a new album which is very good, so there.

I was a huge fan when I was a lonely, weird-looking child, and still am as a lonely, slightly less weird-looking adult.  I was told there could be a 2 week wait, and was clenched to spend that time checking my emails every few minutes to see if the floppy haired love-god had done it yet.

God love the little wart-face (that’s what my Dad used to call him – it’s a beauty spot, so shut up), he sent it to me within 2 days.

I was expecting it to be a fairly impersonal “Hello, thanks, this is me, bye” type affair, but he seemed genuinely interested in my show, and he said my name, and he said “keep in touch”, which he may yet regret.

I watched it about 30 times back to back, and couldn’t sleep with excitement.  6 year-old me was pooping her pants.  30 year-old me was ready to make the flipping dream happen.

I mentioned in the email that I was talking about him in my Edinburgh show “Nincompoop”, and he asked to see a video of the performance.

All I’ve been able to think about since then is how I can use this year’s fringe to make sure that I meet Chesney and become his friend.  I’m going to video-record a show early on in the Festival and send it to him.

If all goes to plan he will be blown away by my amazing comedy skillz, and he’ll come to my show before the end of the fringe.  He’ll then presumably want to release a single with/about me, which will catapult us both to stardom.

He can sing and play guitar and I’ll play the recorder and do a little dance in the background.

It’s not even a sex thing.  Chesney honestly played a big part in making me feel happier about myself when I was child.  I just want to give him a hug.

I figure if my show gets enough publicity he’ll have to come and see me.  He’s touring in the UK during August (not that I’ve stalked him or anything) so it would be easy enough for him to pop up to Edinburgh.

So if y’all could come to my show, and tell everyone about it, and maybe tweet him and tell him you love me and he really should come and say “hello”, that would be great.

The show’s about a whole lot of things I’m ashamed of or embarrassed by, plus some pictures of ducks and a song about a newt.

I’m 30, guys.  It’s been 24 years since he convinced me I was the one and only, I’d really like to thank him.


Stephanie Laing: Nincompoop, Cowgatehead (venue 32), 8 – 29 August (not 11, 18, 25),