Alexandra Burke joins Matt Baker and Angellica Bell on the sofa to talk about her return to the West End stage and new album. They also catch up with Alex in the Lake District.
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Hello and welcome to
The One Show with Matt Baker.
And Angellica Bell.
It's day two of the Mother
of All Challenges.
we saw Alex and her team of mums
bravely take to the freezing
cold water of Loch Ness for an open
water swim to raise money
for Sport Relief and awareness
of maternal health.
And well, it's all been
uphill since then.
They are in the Lake District now.
Join us later to find out what
happened when the final verse set
out to climb Helvellyn as part of
our Mother of all Challenges. It's
And with cycling through the Lake
District still to look forward to,
tonight we'll also be meeting
the man who designed this
bike, the Raleigh Chopper.
This is not the man who designed it.
He is an expert who will be teaching
us how to knee a how to knee a
As for our guest, well, she's
another Alex who doesn't like to shy
away from a challenge.
From taking on the X Factor
judges to owning that
via the West End stage,
she's even found time
to write a new album -
It's Alexandra Burke!
Thanks for having me.
Are you up for
a wheelie later's eye am so up for
My heels will be coming off, but
I am up for the challenge. I think
are going to fall down and it will
congratulations. You got engaged!
Thank you! I definitely didn't
expect it and I am still in shock
now. But it was an amazing moment
for Josh and I, so I am very happy.
This was how you announced the news
to the world.
a story I have not told anyone. My
family didn't know, so I had to tell
them personally face-to-face before
I told everyone else. But I wanted
to keep that moment with the family
and his family and celebrate with
everyone in a peaceful way and then
announce it, because I think people
had guessed. My hand was hiding all
You were also hiding the
man. Tell us about him.
Such a great
guy. I met him on The Bodyguard.
Believe it or not, he wouldn't talk
to me for months. He's a very shy
person. It took months to get to
know him and he is such a great
person. I am very pleased that God
introduced me to someone so
So it's like a musical in
real life. You are going to be
talking about your album later and
your return to the West End stage.
Now, going to the theatre, gig or
concert should be a great night out
for everyone, so why is it that one
section of society often have to pay
more to book their tickets?
Brown has been to shine a spotlight
on the problem.
It's midweek in the West End of
London and the bright lights and
billboards are drawing in audiences
to the hit shows. These days, there
is nothing to stop wheelchair users
seeing shows like these like anybody
else. I know I love it. But there is
one small problem, and that is the
way you buy your tickets. Last
November, Fiona Jordan from Teesside
decided to get tickets for her and
her husband Donovan to see Peter Kay
at Newcastle's Metro radio Arena.
you get older, you dip your biscuit
in it, you don't know when it's
going to fall.
And you panic. I
can't book online because I need a
wheelchair space. And Jonathan needs
a carer ticket to come with me.
those are not available online.
Normally, Fiona books at the box
office in person, but she says the
Peter Kay tickets were released on
Sunday, when it was closed, she
dialled the arena's accessibility
After an hour, the telephone
line went dead, so I had to queue
again for an hour, and again.
Frustrating and expensive. That is
because the Arena's accessibility
line was a business rate number,
which meant calls to cost up to 7p a
minute. That was on top of the
company's access charge, which for
Fiona was 11p a minute.
bill was about £20. It then went up
to £48 after the next few days.
After four days, Fiona managed to
get tickets, but then Peter Kay
cancelled his entire UK tour for
I was hoping that
when the concert was cancelled, the
call charges would also be refunded
along with the ticket charges, but
that is not happening. I find it
unfair that I had to pay these core
According to research by
the fair telecoms campaign, more
than 15 venues and ticket agents
across the country used business
rate lines to sell accessible
tickets, and many more don't offer
online booking. So how can things be
improved? Here at London's
roundhouse, they are making sure
people with disabilities are not
disadvantaged. The venue has been
working with a charity called
attitude is everything. Their chief
executive tells me about the
challenges that some disabled people
It could be that people can't
get through on the booking lines and
they are spending a lot of money.
They want to book online but that is
not on offer.
So what do you want?
We want the venues, ticket sellers
and artists to get together and
understand that there needs to be
flexibility of choice online, in
person and phoning up. If people
still prefer to phone up, then there
must not be these business rate
So how does it work at
the Roundhouse? Claire Griffin chose
me their online ticketing system.
You can see these little icons for
the wheelchair. Then you can click
on that. You are selecting one
ticket, but it gives you two so you
can bring somebody with you.
process I go through would be no
different from anybody else. Looks
simple enough, so why aren't all
venues providing this option? It's a
question I want to put it ( from the
Society of ticket agents and
We are seeing an increase
in online booking. And we leave the
phone lines as well as over the
venue can retain that conversation
with the customer. Collectively, the
industry is focused on how to make
improvements. It is coming soon.
what about the venue where Fiona
tried to buy her Peter Kay tickets?
We contacted the Metro radio Arena
and their ticketing partner event
they told us that she had a man to
see the comedian meant all methods
of buying tickets were busy even
though their access line was
stuffed. They have since introduced
a cheaper number as well as an
e-mail address to book access
tickets, and in the future they aim
to provide online booking for
disabled customers and their
companions. Speaking to people
today, I realised that there is no
real reason why you should have to
phone business rate lines to be
booking accessible tickets. You
could even do it online. Surely it's
just about choice.
So the Roundhouse are leading by
example. Let's hope there is
progress from other venues soon.
Alexandra, you have appeared in the
West End before, but you are going
Yes, I am going to be doing
Chess! I can't wait. I do miss The
Bodyguard and I missed Sister act as
well, because I did those
back-to-back. It was tough, but I
can't wait to start Chess, with
Michael Ball. I am playing his wife.
I saw him the other day and went,
hey, future husband. Then I said, we
do have a child together? He said
yeah, and I said, I want the right
baby to come on board to look like
it is actually our child, and he
couldn't stop laughing. I look
forward to doing something
different. There is no acting in
this, it's just a score, a beautiful
score to sing. And it's so different
for me. Any West End show that
people expect me to do, they don't
expect me to do this. I didn't. Said
to be asked to do an iconic show,
I'm like, let's give it a go.
are all about music at the moment.
You have an album out called The
Truth Is. And it has taken quite a
while to come to fruition. Why?
started writing this album in 2013,
and then some of the songs got
scrapped because they are not how I
am feeling now. I called it The
Truth Is because it has been nearly
ten years since I won the X Factor
and it was amazing, but so much has
changed in my life and along that
journey of writing, I felt like I
was getting caught into that trap.
Somebody asks you how you are and
you go, I'm fine, everything's
great, and that is not reality. I
don't want to show those who have
supported me the side to me but is
no longer there are trying to keep
up. I wanted to keep it real and be
honest about what I'm going through
in terms of my family and my life.
So much has changed but hopefully,
it will inspire people so that if
they are ever going through
something, be open. Talk about it.
You just want to be honest.
to talk about what I have been
through in the last few years and
hopefully inspire others to do the
same and not shy away from your
Has this been your way of
coping with what has happened to
It has now that I am releasing
it. At the moment, the way I'm
coping with everything is through
work. I throw myself into work and
some people say that is not healthy,
but that is my coping mechanism. But
being on stage, seeing my fans and
going on tour, that is what makes me
happy. I want to perform. My mum
always told me to keep going, so I
am trying my best.
your mum and the title track from
The Truth Is is a tribute to your
Yes, it's a song that I
wrote whilst she was unwell. And it
was tough to do that, but thankfully
I have great people around me to get
those feelings out, pen to paper,
and be as honest as possible.
Everyone goes through heartbreak.
Everyone goes through things that
change your life, maybe not for the
better. But I am hoping I can find
my night at the end of the tunnel.
For now, I'm doing what she asked of
me, keep going.
How did you get it?
I am still going through it, if I'm
honest. But I'm trying to do it in
her honour and for my family.
do your family make of that song?
Only my brother has heard it,
because I play him everything. But
now some of my family have heard it.
They wanted to hear it with the rest
of the world when it was released,
which is nice. It's a very deep
album. I don't want it to sound
depressing. There are heartbreak
songs, but there are happy songs as
well and it's a mixture of
everything I'm going through and
putting it out there for the world
to hear, which is causing anxiety.
It's a different sound.
I am happy
to put out an album. It has been so
long. I am in a good place to go for
Come Friday, it's out there. And
Chess previews from the 26th of
April and it will be on the London
Coliseum. Of luck.
Now, it's not
just Alexandra's mum who is an
inspiration. All our mums taking
part in the Mother of all Challenges
for Sport Relief have overcome some
massive hurdles in their lives.
Every day, they are taking on a
different challenge and each day, it
is getting harder. Here is how they
got on with Dave two in the Lake
District, scaling the heights of
The mums I am doing this challenge
with have all been through their own
personal difficulties, pre-and
post-childbirth, and felt in need of
I realised I wasn't happy
to stop but I didn't realise I had
I just didn't
have that connection you feel you
should have as a mother.
devastated. I couldn't stop crying.
So many mums are struggling.
second day of the Mother of all
Challenges, we are very much a
supportive unit, and we need to be
because quite literally, we have a
mountain to climb. Helvellyn is 950
metres above sea level. The good
news is that the mountains are
shrouded in cloud.
They will be
climbing over 650 metres, so it's
very steep. You have to appreciate
where we are and the dangers. The
environment makes a difference. In
the summer, Helvellyn is a wonderful
climb. In winter, it makes it much
And as we feared,
the weather begins to take a turn
for the worse. Debbie, who is 51 and
our oldest mum, is already finding
the steepness an issue.
They did say
the first mile was hard, but it is.
They weren't joking.
What is your
There are so many
Give it your best shot.
I am proud of you, mum.
to let myself down or my group.
I can't even
crossed my fingers! As we go higher,
conditions underfoot become tricky.
And our visibility is minimal.
We are just concentrating on looking
down, making sure your feet are on
the right path. The back of my
thighs are burning.
How soon did you
girls go back to exercising after
I went out running
really soon after my C-section,
which is highly advised. It only
served to shock me more and show me
that I was still understandably
miles from the person I was before I
got pregnant. My body just didn't
work like it used to.
The blue thirds started and it got
colder and colder. Three quarters of
the way up, we went silent, the talk
finished. The weather gets so bad,
we were forced to change route.
There is a steep drop of on both
sides. Unfortunately, we are going
up, we will make the summit, appear
It is a huge blow. There
is no time for slacking because we
still have a long way to go.
have got snow, you are disappearing
into holes, it is not what I
expected. I thought we would get
rocks and things.
Climbing, you put
one foot in front of the other and
whatever you are going and do not
OK, sweetheart? As we near the
top, Debbie starts to struggle, but
this is a team effort.
Go at your
pace, do not rush.
Take your time.
After four hours of climbing, Debbie
finally leads us to the summit.
we go! Yes!
You are at the summit.
You are at the summit. Almost 2500
feet above sea-level. They have done
One, two, three...
Tomorrow is another day.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE. Get in. Well
done, Debbie. Berlin to getting them
up there. That was fantastic. Lovely
to see their families there.
have been inspired, Alex has the
numbers you need to make a donation.
We have made it to the summit after
are second challenge, so if there is
anyone out there who would like to
support The Mother Of All
Challenges, you can donate £5.
Challenges, you can donate £5. You
can donate £5, £10 or £20.
you. Beautiful views up there.
Text will cost your
tradition and your standard message
charge and all the donations will go
to Sport Relief. Please ask the
permission of the bill player.
can also go to the website to
donate. All of this is to raise
money for a vital Sport Relief
projects, web are challenge focusing
on maternal health. One of our mums,
Leigh has been to Carlisle to see
how your donations can offer help
and support to mothers struggling to
cope. Everyone knows how physically
tough giving birth is, but a lot
less said about the fake -- the
effect can have mentally.
Experiencing mental health issues
and doubting your own instincts is
difficult for a mother, that added
to the fact that you have a baby to
look after, it can be devastating.
The majority of women experience
these problems downplay the
severity, which is why just
attending a place like Happy Mums
We offer a peer support,
being surrounded by other women who
are going through something similar,
but is really powerful in given new
hope. Maybe for the first time
realising that you will get better
and it is possible to recover.
support do you get?
We could not
have run the number of groups or
have the creche if we did not get
funding from Sport Relief. More
women can access our services.
Having a baby should be a joyous
moment for any mum but for the
70,000 women who experience
postnatal depression every year, it
can be a time of anxiety. Something
Mary experienced after giving birth
to her daughter.
The first step down
was the sleep deprivation, it could
have been that I would just pop back
up, but I did not. It was like
Jekyll and Hyde. You become this
angry monster. And my daughter was
there and she needs care and love
and patience. My good friend asked
if I had heard of Happy Mums
Foundation, because I needed
support. Going to the group, one
person in particular help me, she
had a similar experience. And the
way she spoke about it, I felt so
relieved. We only met once.
her husband Ross were ecstatic when
they fell pregnant with their son
William but after a traumatic birth,
coming home was not how she
I was trying to
breast-feed but did not realise he
was not getting anything from me and
I could not figure out why he was
hungry and there was a commentary
going on in my head telling me I was
a failure, I could not even feed my
own baby. I started to hear stronger
voices and hallucinations that they
were telling me that I had to
restore order. I used to take
everything out of the cupboards and
line it up on the kitchen floor, all
the crockery, cups, glasses, plates,
knives and forks. I remember phoning
my friend and saying, I don't think
I am very well. I just could not
cope any more.
Amy was diagnosed
with postpartum psychosis, a serious
illness which can make some women
feel suicidal. A B received urgent
medical care and was persuaded to
attend Happy Mums Foundation by her
She was really quite
insistent that I should give it a
go. I reluctantly went to the first
support group and the work they have
done with me is fantastic. I cannot
put it into words. Amazing.
the best medication I could have
had. As mums, it is our instinct to
help others but sometimes it is so
difficult to ask for help for
ourselves. £20 could experience for
four mothers to attend a support
session. Please donate what you can.
Well, that is just one of the many
good reasons that you can donate if
possible. Tomorrow they will be
cycling through the lake District
but not on one of these. This was
the 1 million as Raleigh Chopper to
come off the production line since
its launch 50 years ago.
beautiful! Gold as well. Michael has
been to meet the man who designed
Marble run designer Tom Caron
has had a lifelong passion for
inventing. 50 years ago he played a
part in the creation of another
British design classic. A child's
bike so revolutionary that if
anything it is just as cold today as
it was back then. The Raleigh
Chopper. -- cool.
I was desperate to own one, my
neighbour had a red one and I was so
jealous because the Chopper was the
perfect bike to perform a trick that
if you were a kid of the 70s was a
vital to. In the 1960s as more and
more families were able to afford
cars, adult bicycle sales at rally
were plummeting, so the company said
its sights on the lucrative
children's market and looked to the
Californian coastline for
inspiration. Movies like easy Rider,
the dragsters and 70s Formula 1
cars, not to mention the glorious
sunshine of West Coast America all
influenced the design of the
Chopper. It featured a log sprung
back seat, pretend disc brakes, high
rise handlebars and chunky
mismatched tyres. Even had a gear
stick like one of those big American
muscle cars, all of the flamboyant
parts were designed to appeal to
kids like me who dreams one day of
owning a motorbike and cruising down
the Californian highway. Who was
credited with this design has been a
contentious issue for more than 50
years. Alan Oakley, design director
at Raleigh was originally set to be
its creator. On a fact-finding
mission to the US, he found
inspiration in a bike called the
stingray, but although the Chopper
was influenced by this bike, Raleigh
acknowledges the part of Tom Curran
in its design. It took me a while
before I realise that they launched
without me and they gave us no
credit, but also the lady that was
in marketing at the time, and she
phoned me one day and said, we
concocted the story of Allan.
she said, I warn you, he has
repeated it so often, he probably
believes it to be true.
sketches would eventually become the
Chopper we all know and love.
very keen on the big wheel at the
back, nice straight tubes, this
seat, which was like that. And the
handlebars and the disc brake. That
is what made the Chopper.
original designs are now in the
archives of the Victoria and Albert
Museum. Raleigh went of to sell a
million Chopper is in the 1970s but
production stopped in 1979.
Affordable tees, the infatuation
lives on. Father and son have been
collecting the bikes for 17 years
and today they have more than 50 and
they regularly use their customised
models for the daily commute.
think every little bit on the bike
was so different from what ever else
had been out there in the past. It
was a way forward, it was space age.
When you ride one of these around
town, do people stop but?
time, when you are riding along, all
you can hear is people talking about
it. If we have time, we talked to
everyone and anyone, because you
never know what stories people will
What is the holy Grail?
have a ten speed model here. That is
about £2000 and it came from a swamp
Why are people so
fanatical about it?
It put you back
40 years ago, in the days when life
was just a wheelie.
For a big kids
like me, even in 50 years' time, the
Chopper will always be what Tom
Curran intended, super fun to write.
Lovely. Jake and make are here all
with some Chopper fans.
Look at the
patio. It looks amazing. You may
have heard Michael saying that the
ultimate dream was to wheelie one of
these. Aaron here set the world
record for the longest wheelie, it
was on a mountain bike, in one hour.
How far did you manage to do it in
one hour? 8.17 miles. Eight miles!
That sounds crazy. What is the
secret to a good long wheelie?
secret is loads of practice. Keep
calm, as you pedal, keep your hands
straight. If you keep the bike
parallel with your shoulders, it
will stop been to one side and keep
a smooth pedal on. If it feels like
you will drop over the back...
you show us? There we are.
you show us? There we are. Wheelie
Wheelie awesome. This is how
you do it.
you do it.
It is almost time for us
to go but thank you to Alexandra
Burke, her album is out on Friday.
am touring and the details are on my
Tomorrow we will be talking
to Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Wait for a! I was going to!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE. Well done!
Alex, looking forward to see how you
Here we go.
practising. Watch out!
Alexandra Burke joins Matt Baker and Angellica Bell on the green sofas to talk about her return to the West End stage and new album. They also catch up with Alex and the marvellous mums as they complete day two of their Mother of All Challenges in the Lake District.