My Week: Ross McDonald, Marketing manager for London Arena's Brit Awards Show

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The Independent Culture

Dreaded Valentine's Day. I go to the gym to try to avoid the whole issue. Today we are finalising the press office and laying out the tables. The final technical preparation is being done; there are several artists in the building today, including Robbie Williams. Preparations started last week. The laying of the carpets took two days; 3,690 chairs had to be brought in, and we needed parking for 200 limousines. There are 150 security staff and 300 waiting and catering staff and we have ordered 5,000 bottles of champagne.


I am running around chasing pictures for our corporate brochure all morning and then have a meeting with a promoter from Disney on Ice.

I organise some radio interviews to talk about hosting the Brit awards. Today I'm really starting to feel the buzz. There is live music banging out everywhere - with less than 24 hours to go the pressure is really on.

I leave work at seven, go home to watch EastEnders and relax.


This is the big day. I go to the gym and arrive in work at nine. The place is absolutely manic, lorries everywhere, and I can't get a parking space. The technical preparation has been going on since seven and we are now virtually ready to go. The full dress rehearsals start at one. Whitney Houston, The Corrs, Cleopatra, Steps and Billy are all here.

In the afternoon I run through procedures for the customer services desk and check the limo and taxi drivers' parking arrangements are set. Crowds start to arrive at about two. Last year there were protesters, but not this year luckily.

At five I get changed into my black suit and put on my make-up. The doors open at six for the dinner guests. This is when the real buzz kicks in. I spend the first hour down in the main foyer dealing with inquiries about seating. I am surprised by the number of people who have forgotten their tickets. At about eight, there is a tannoy announcement to round up the press and the photographers. I go up to our VIP box to greet our clients. I spend most of the night flitting backwards and forwards. Everyone seems to be having a really good time.

When the Eurythmics play, everyone is bopping around. Whitney Houston is great and it's really moving when Bono and Muhammad Ali launch Jubilee 2000. It sends shivers up my spine.

The show finishes at eleven and I stay for the big after-show party. There are about 4,000 people and it's fairly wild. I have a couple of glasses of wine and manage to get home around five after losing my keys.


In work by about ten feeling as if I'm in The Twilight Zone. I go to our designers in Covent Garden to finalise the corporate brochure. It's pretty fraught because we are working to a really tight deadline. Everyone is calling me every five minutes to ask how the Brit Awards went. I leave at about seven and go for a drink and a bite to eat.


I'm in the office for about nine. It's all pretty manic. There are loads of technical guys loading up equipment. I have to call in a photographer to take pictures of the front of the arena for our brochure. There is loads of cleaning and tidying up to be done after the Brits. I need to make arrangements for The Corrs who are playing on Saturday. I leave work early today but my phone continues to ring with work calls all afternoon.


I check that all the Brit awards posters are down and The Corrs ones are now up. The buzz for The Corrs has started but I am hoping today will be a quiet day. It's the first time I've looked out and not seen lots of people everywhere. It's a bit of an anti-climax now all the carpets and banners have gone and all the hype has finished.