Any rich relatives out there?

REGULAR Star readers will have noticed I made a visit to the Ipswich record office last week to trace my family tree.

“Not only have I had to have two sequinned waistcoats sewn together, I am also due to wear a pair of white trousers so large they have had to be imported from the Isle of Wight>

REGULAR Star readers will have noticed I made a visit to the Ipswich record office last week to trace my family tree.

In the style of the BBc's Who do you think you are? series, I found out I have relations called Bailey and Hammond - both Suffolk families that could be traced back nearly 200 years. My sister Claire - who works in recruitment and enjoys murder mysteries - was fascinated to hear about the revelations I discovered.

“Who do you think you are? More like who does he think he is!” she snorted, as we supped a sundowner and enjoyed a pre-dinner canapé at my parents place in the west of the county.

Anyway, I was wondering if you know whether any relations are still around?

Perhaps I have a slightly confused, very rich, doddery old aunt with no children, a string of racehorses and a ancient Daimler who has yet to make a will and might be open to friendship?

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If any long lost family member would like to come forward and promise me a lifetime's supply of gin martinis, and/or a house/yacht/motorcar please do get in touch.

I can offer a nice mention in my forthcoming celebrity autobiography - “This is my life and no one else's - the story of James, the best journalist this side of the East Anglian ridge” in return.

And if I ever do write the story of my glamorous exciting and fascinating life, this week's exciting events will, I'm sure, be a chapter in it.

Just like Nelson Mandela and HRH the Prince of Wales I have been photographed with Ginger Spice-well sort of. The cheeky singer - aka my glamorous-and-voluptuous-international-flight-attendant-friend-Jane was caught on camera with Ipswich's most famous desperate-to-be-celebrity-aka me.

As part of my latest appearance with the Ipswich awfully Operatic and frightfully Dramatic Society (the show is due to take place in a couple of weeks) Jane was getting friendly in a Union Jack frock she had made while on her travels.

It's one of her costumes for the show, you see.

My costumes are proving a little more tricky. Not only have I had to have two sequinned waistcoats sewn together by costumes ladies Pam and Margaret I am also due to wear a pair of white trousers so large they have had to be imported from the Isle of Wight.

Despite these travails, we have been rehearsing hard, and on Sunday we ran through the show during rehearsal.

All terribly exciting as you can imagine.

My plain-speaking-photographer-friend-Lucy has got much to sing, and my not-to-be-crossed-diva-friend-Stephanie takes to the stage with aplomb.

Naturally, except for the moment when I dance the “sand dance” next to one of the show's more unusual characters Cleo the clairvoyant, I am at the chubby lad at the back trying to keep up with everyone else.

But for the publicity photo shoot I managed to push myself forward.

As you can see, Jane didn't seem to mind.

Though I was a bit shocked at her friendliness, I don't think it showed.

ON average I've been to two or three a year for the last ten years.

That means I've been to at least 20 weddings - can you imagine? That's at 20 slices of wedding cake, 20 line ups, 20 best man speeches, and 20 helpings of quiche from the evening buffet.

Last weekend I turned fellow Evening Star reporter Kate Boxell's - now Gooding - nuptials into a celebrity jamboree.

I'm not sure she would agree, but I think my presence at the stunning event added a little panache and a certain cachet I am sure she'll never forget. Well I won't.

Halfway through that time between the end of the meal and the evening bit, someone rushed up to me and said “Quick James. It's the first dance.”

“Quick,” I replied, “It's the second gin and tonic,” not wanting to leave my seat and proximity to an ashtray.

Eager to be noticed however, I watched the ceremony of the “first dance”, a now common phenomenon at weddings.

I usually tend to avoid the moment, by means of a cigarette on the terrace, in case I die of embarrassment for the couple who have to slow dance and step-together-step surrounded by a large gawping crowd.

Ten years ago when I first started going to weddings regularly, I'm sure the first dance wasn't the event it has become.

Now people chose a song, prepare a few moves and make people take pictures.

Kate, who I know for a fact has had ballroom dancing lessons, drew a big crowd.

It's a very strange tradition though isn't it? Don't you think?