Everyone has celebrity crushes when they are younger but mine is so special that he even helped me find love. Here is my story on how I found love thanks to my first and longest crush, Phillip Schofield.
When I was 8 years old I would come home from school and the first thing I would do is turn the television on and watch CBBC. Not because I particularly liked all the programs but because of the presenter in the broom cupboard with the cute gopher puppet. I soon found out his name, Phillip Schofield. At 8 years old my thoughts towards Phillip was of course very innocent but I can remember thinking he was the most perfect boy ever and one day I even told my mum that I was going to marry him and hold his hand. As I started to grow up I did get teased a little bit about liking Phillip from some adults in my life but that didn't stop me from liking him and wishing I could be his girlfriend. I remember I used to sleep on the bottom bunk bed and on the wall I had stuck up a picture of Phillip with blu-tack. I would look at that picture every single night before I fell asleep.
|Phillip in the CBBC Broom cupboard..|
When I was around the age of 12 we went to see Phillip in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Bristol Hippodrome. I thought this was going to be my chance to finally meet Phillip. I watched the show and thought he was amazing and was so pleased to be in the same room as him. When my mum told me afterwards that we had to go straight home I was really upset. I didn't let on to anyone but I did cry that night because I really wanted to meet him. In a way I am quite glad I didn't get to meet Phillip then because I know there would have been so many people there I would have been just one of many fans. My mum has said she has been to many theatre shows but never has she seen an audience clap and cheer as much as they did for Phillip in Joseph, his performance was amazing.
|Phillip as Joseph|
I followed Phillip's career all through my life and then one day in my mid 20s I decided to email This Morning telling them about how much I liked Phillip. I have to admit here I think I was slightly drunk when I wrote and sent the email. I didn't think anything about it afterwards but then a few days later someone from This Morning rang me and asked for my address as Phillip wanted to send me an autograph. I was really pleased and eagerly awaited it's arrival. When it arrived it was a picture of Phillip and on the back he had written "To Ellen - thanks so much for your lovely e-mail, you are certainly a loyal fan & it's much appreciated. Lots of love Phillip Schofield."
After receiving the email it got me thinking that there wasn't really any good websites about Phillip online so I decided to make a website dedicated to him called Schofield Fans (originally Phillip Schofield Online). At the time forums were really in so I set up a forum on the site and soon other fans started to join. I thought maybe one day Phillip might come on the forum but how would we know it was really him and not someone pretending to be him. So I decided to set up a special account on there for him and I sent him the details. Not long after and thanks to a couple of other fans who saw him at the National TV Awards he signed on to the forum and left us a message. It was so exciting. I couldn't believe that Phillip Schofield had taken the time to login and talk to us. I thought it was so lovely because not many celebrities would bother but soon I came to realise just how lovely and genuine Phillip is.
So roll on a few more months a small group of us fans decided to go and meet Phillip outside the ITV studios. I managed to organise a date to meet him and say hello outside the studio when he came out after work and before he went home. To say I was nervous was an understatement. I suffer from bad anxiety anyway (see my depression post) so I knew I was going to be nervous but I never thought I would be as nervous as I was. In fact if it wasn't for a couple of the girls from the group helping me out I wouldn't have got there. I wasn't just nervous because I was meeting the man who I thought was so perfect and amazing but also because a part of me was worried that he might not live up to the expectations I had of him over the last 20 years. I know that sounds crazy but not long before meeting Phillip I got in touch with the boy I first liked in my teens and he was vile and rude to me and it kind of ruined my memories of him. I didn't need to worry though because Phillip was so lovely and even better in real life. He came out with a smile on his face and asked which one of the group was Ellen. I was pushed forward towards him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Everyone else followed after me. We had a lovely time chatting to him for over an hour. I will never forget the first time I met Phillip. I went to London about eight times after that with the Schofield Fans to see Phillip and every time was amazing. I even told Phillip about my anxiety problems and that is why I had never been to see any of his shows being filmed and he was really kind and understanding about it. Phillip also gave me his personal email address so that it was easier to keep in contact. Here are some pictures from the meet ups with Phillip.
One day I got an email from a guy from ITV saying that Phillip had joined twitter. I didn't have a clue what twitter was at the time but I signed up less than 24 hours after Phillip and started following him. I remember his first tweet to me was a funny tweet about it not taking me long to find him. I was the ninth person that Phillip followed on twitter and I am quite proud of that. In a way twitter was the beginning of the end for the Schofield Fans site because it wasn't needed as much because it was easier to keep in contact with him on twitter and find out what he was up to. Also he had a brand new amazing official website. So it wasn't too long that Schofield Fans ended but before it did and when I first joined twitter I started following some of the people Phillip was following to try and get more people on to our site. Phillip randomly selected people to follow in the beginning and one of those people was Neil. I started chatting to some of the fans on twitter and for some reason I felt really drawn to Neil. We started chatting a lot in direct messages.
Not long after we started chatting Neil went on holiday for three weeks and during that time I felt like I missed him which was a really weird feeling because we had never met or even spoken on the phone. In fact at the time I didn't even know his real name, just his twitter name which was originally @wakeupscared. All through my life from the age of 18 onwards I had relationships with guys, some lasted a couple of months, some a couple of years but I always seemed to get bored of them. It was almost like I would be dating someone and then get bored and start looking for the next boyfriend but around my mid twenties I decided enough was enough and I stopped dating. I had male friends but it was just friendship. So by the time I had started talking to Neil I had been single for about five years.
When Neil returned from his holiday I decided to tell him how I felt, that I had missed talking to him. He had missed talking to me too. We decided to have a chat on the phone and after a few weeks of chatting we decided we should meet up. I was so nervous that day he came down to Bath to see me. He arrived in the evening by train. I waited for him on the bridge over the railway line. I saw the train coming in and kept looking down because I was scared of what he would think of me. He came straight up to me on the bridge and passionately kissed me. I was blown away. We walked back to my house. He was a little shorter than I thought he would be but he was perfect for me. I fell in love with him instantly. When we got back to my house we turned the television on and Phillip was on presenting The Cube. We watched and chatted about how we wouldn't have met if I hadn't followed Phillip on to twitter. Even in that first weekend with Neil I knew things were going to be different. I knew I was totally in love with him. In the past I felt I was in love but now I realise I wasn't, not properly, I was always still looking for the one and then I met him, Neil. He made me feel good about myself. He made me feel complete. He made me laugh and feel totally loved.
|Me with the love of my life Neil.|
Two years after we met we decided to get engaged. To be honest it wasn't the most romantic proposal we just sort of decided together that the time was right. After telling our family members we decided to tell the world on twitter and thank Phillip. Not long after Phillip retweeted our tweet and tweeted us back with "Many Congratulations @Webkin1979 @NON53N53 and I'm chuffed I played cupid :)" the very next day we had The Sun on the doorstep wanting our story and magazines emailing etc which we found a bit odd because we didn't think anyone would really be interested in our story.
We are coming up to being together for five years now. We still haven't got married yet but I am sure we will get around to it some day. People often ask if I would invite Phillip to my wedding. I would love to but I know he is a very busy person and realistically probably wouldn't be able to make it.
|Neil makes me so happy|
|My engagement ring.|
Neil makes me feel so happy. He makes me feel complete. Neil is my happily ever after. I am still a huge fan of Phillip and will always admire him as he is an incredibly talented lovely man. To Phillip I may be just one of his many fans but to me he will always be my first and longest crush who helped me find the love of my life.
Update: In September 2014 we went to London to see Phillip and thank him personally. You can read about our visit here.