Twelve years passed, but you are still the only one I adore... The way I feel for you never changes just one bit.
Lee, I once promised to myself I would love you forever.. Just want you to know that promise has been kept until now.. I'm so glad and proud to be your fan. Since the first day I saw you, you have always been the same guy, sweet.. naughty(?).. positive.. and lively as ever! You never let me down. (Before you started dating with Lindsay, I had even thought that I wanted you to be with her !! )
Without you, I cannot come this far, sweetie. You are always my inspiration. Just because the first time I met you in 1999 I couldn't catch what you said to me... (how stupid I was back then!!!) , I decided to dedicate my life for English language...So that I can communicate with you... After that I got into the best university in my country, studying in English mojor... I got B.Ed in English teaching, followed by MA.. And now I'm going to do a PhD in English teaching!!!
Now my English is good enough.. but it's too late for me. I feel like I've lost you... Probably, we will never meet again.
Lee, you may think I'm just one of your fans.. I understand that. But for me, you are more than a celeb... Something that words can't explain.. Hopefully, one day you will realise my existence.
Lee, I've been saying and shouting this to you... yet you never hear it...
and now... I want to say it again
I love you, Lee, my sweetheart! I really mean it!!!
Lindsay Armaou marries Lee Brennan
The B*Witched beauty marries her boyband hunk in a romantic fairy-tale ceremony in Ireland
There are many good things to come out of the Emerald Isle - as well as the stunning scenery and Guinness breweries, there are a whole host of musical talents, including former girlband B*Witched. And so, when gorgeous band member Lindsay Armaou tied the knot with her equally musical beau Lee Brennan of pop trio 911, it was certainly a day to remember.
In their pop heyday, Lindsay and Lee were forever gracing various magazine covers and Saturday morning shows, but along with their endless chart-topping hits, perhaps the best thing to come out of their pop stardom was finding soulmates in each other. After meeting while they were both touring back in 1998, it was love at first sight, and it wasn't long before they moved in together and became inseparable. Seven years later, Lee got down on one knee to ask Lindsay for her hand in marriage. And on September 14, the pair enjoyed a lavish, fairy-tale day.
The romantic ceremony took place in St. Mary's Parish Church, deep in the heart of Enniskerry, a sleepy village in the heart of Ireland's County Wicklow. At 3:15pm prompt, a beaming Lee arrived at the church looking dashing in an ivory suit by Marc Wallace, alongside his best man Richard Murray. When asked how he was feeling, Lee was surprisingly calm: "I'm not nervous at all. It's been a mad morning but I've got my hip flask full of port so I'm fine! I've just got my speech to worry about."
And so, after half an hour of anticipation, the last of the 150 guests took their seats as the string quartet bellowed around the church. Then, at 3:45pm, excitement mounted as the sound of horses and a carriage were heard pulling up outside. As Wagner's Bridal Chorus began, there was a hushed silence as Lindsay's six bridesmaids and flower girl - all dressed in stunning mint green creations by Jessica McClintock - came into view. Behind them was Lindsay, gliding down the aisle with her proud father, Yannis. As gasps of admiration erupted within the congregation, the biggest grin came from her husband-to-be, who couldn't resist a peek at his bride as she joined him at the altar. Lindsay's beautiful dress, created by Atelier Aimee, was ivory with stunning pink roses scattered on the skirt and was complemented by a pair of Gina shoes. Her hair was worn loose and, to incorporate her Greek roots, she wore a stunning headpiece which looked like a silver olive branch.
To begin proceedings, the couple lit two candles representing their attendance, and Lindsay lit an additional one in remembrance of her late mother, Helen. As Father Joe McGrath read out the opening prayers, the first reading came from Lee's sister Julie Park. As the ceremony got under way, guests were treated to a rendition of You Raise Me Up, by Lee's good friend, Matt Scales. As the marriage vows were read, neither Lee nor Lindsay could hold back their tears as they declared to take each other as husband and wife. Before the blessing of the rings, a single candle was lit to symbolise their unity in marriage, before B*Witched's chart-topper To You I Belong was sung by Lindsay's bandmates, Keavy, Edele and Sinead. The newlyweds then kissed for the first time as a married couple to seal their union.
Outside the church, guests hurried to congratulate the couple, before the serious celebrations got under way. Lindsay's bandmate Edele said of the ceremony: "It was just amazing. It brings back memories of my big day four weeks ago. Lindsay looks just beautiful."
Guests were then escorted to Powerscourt House to enjoy Moët & Chandon champagne and a delicious selection of canapés while enjoying the estate's beautiful landscape gardens. The wedding party were then called to the lavish ballroom for the sumptuous wedding breakfast, where tables were all beautifully decorated and named after significant musicians. At each place was a 'favour'. Lindsay said of these: "The favours are seeds for our family and friends to plant in memory of someone they've loved - this is in memory of my mum."
The four-course dinner was an exquisite spread and included a starter of cream of vegetable soup followed by lime sorbet. The main course was chicken with leeks and Parma ham filling, sugersnap peas and roast potatoes. The dessert was a mouth-watering crème brûlée.
The first of the speeches was given by Lindsay's father, who spoke about his beautiful daughter before telling some hilarious tales about Lee. The best man spoke next of his "true friend" of 20 years and what an honour it was to be his best man. "Lee is marrying the best girl in the world," he said. He then told various amusing stories including one particular night out in Carlisle ending in a hospital visit for Lee and some emergency dentistry treatment!
In his speech, Lee thanked all the guests for coming to his "big fat Greek wedding"! He added: "I watched Lindsay walk down the aisle and she just looked like the beautiful princess she wanted to be on her wedding day. I could write a book 100 miles long about Lindsay's amazing qualities," before turning to her to say: "I love you with all my heart, Lindsay, and I can't wait to have kids with you - four little sweetie pies!" He then toasted his wife who is "as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside." It was then time for Lindsay herself to thank her Greek relatives for travelling so far, and pay tribute to her late mother before describing her dad as a "rock who I love so much." She then joked: "Lee's laid-back attitude meant that it took seven months for him to tell me he loved me and seven years for him to propose!" Lindsay's good friend Keavy then stood to say a few kind words and make a toast to the new Mr. and Mrs. Brennan.
The dining area was then transformed into a disco as the happy couple cut into their fabulous cake. This was cleverly designed in the shape of three ancient Greek ruins, with each white chocolate pillar honouring Lindsay's native Greece. As the real party got under way, the newlyweds took to the dancefloor for the first time as husband and wife to the rhythmic sounds of Jack Johnson's Better Together. Lee's 911 bandmate Spike Dawbarn, Hollyoaks beauty Roxanne McKee and Honeyz singer Célena Cherry all took to the dancefloor and guests kept up their stamina with hot and cold finger food including chicken wings and mini fish and chips. As the bouquet was thrown and the final few songs were played, it may have signalled the end of a perfect day, but it was only the beginning for this adorable pair.
We caught up with the happy couple after the lavish celebration to talk about their perfect day and how deceptive first dates can really be...
How was your big day?
Lindsay: The ceremony was so moving and the weather was beautiful, which is so rare in Ireland so we were blessed. It was absolutely amazing, just like a fairy tale - especially with my horses and carriage, which I've always dreamed of.
Tell us how you met...
Lindsay: It was seven years ago at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party and Lee was too cool for school back then, so I didn't think he was interested! He finally asked me out on a date and I knew we had something special.
Lee: I was in my own little world back then and was caught up in the whole fame thing. I loved that Lindsay was totally unaffected by that. She had - and still has - a heart of gold.
How was the first date?
Lee: It was a bit of a disaster because I took her for a drive in my BMW Z3 and got pulled over by the police after running a red light trying to be cool. I don't think it impressed her much!
Tell us about the proposal...
Lindsay: I'd been hinting for ages!
Lee: It was the end of last year. We were walking in the park and I said to her: "Come over here a minute." I wanted to ask her on this bridge over a stream because it was really romantic, then I got down on one knee and asked her.
Were you expecting it, Lindsay?
Lindsay: No, not then! He did it in broad daylight in a park with my dad and Edele and Sinead and it was totally out of the blue. I always thought it'd be at a night over dinner!
Lee: I wanted to ask her in Greek so her dad had to teach me how to say it the night before! I was trying to get her to the bridge, get the ring out and remember the correct words. I was sweating by the end of it!
Did he get the wording right?
Lindsay: He did and I just burst out crying!
Lee: But she didn't say yes or no so I had to ask her again!
Was it stressful leading up to the big day?
Lindsay: It was fine up until a few days before, when it got so stressful that we didn't even have time to eat. We had to plan it all from England so we had to cram the organising into five visits.
Lee: I completely stressed myself out on the morning of my wedding because I was still going through my speech in my head. I didn't have time to write it because I kept getting disturbed!
Lindsay, what was your old, new, borrowed and blue?
Lindsay: The new was my dress, the borrowed and blue was my garter, and my old was a lucky old English sixpence which I traditionally stuck in my shoe, so I had to walk around on a coin all day!
Was there anyone who couldn't make it on the day who you wish could have?
Lindsay: Because my mother has passed away I tried to make the day exactly how she would have wanted it. I chose her favourite white roses as the main theme and she would have loved the mint green bridesmaids' dresses. Also, during the ceremony the string quartet played her favourite piece of music, Cavalleria Rusticana. She was always in the back of my mind.
You were half an hour late to church Lindsay, was that for tradition?
Lindsay: Was I? Oh no, I thought I was only 15 minutes late! I didn't want to be late at all but I didn't realise how much preparation there'd be.
Lee: I didn't have a watch so I didn't even realise! I was just taking in the moment hoping she'd turn up! When Lindsay arrived at the church, she apparently asked the priest if I was there - where else would I be?!
Would you have changed anything?
Lee: It was so amazing that there is nothing we could have done better - apart from more time, which you can never have enough of!
What has marriage changed about you?
Lee: I've called her 'wifey' a few times and she keeps telling me off so she's definitely the boss of me now!
Finally, what are you most looking forward to about being married?
Lindsay: Planning the future because when you're just living together you can never really set things in stone. Being married is just such a different feeling, it's so exciting!
Lee: I can't wait to start a family. We'd like a boy and a girl, but if we end up having two boys or two girls, I don't mind having an extra one!
Lindsay: Me neither!
Thank you to OK magazine for the interview.
Lee and Lindsay Armaou-Brennan
It's been six months now since Lee Brennan and his sweetheart Lindsay Armaou said 'I do' but they are still very much in their honeymoon stage. Speaking from their plush new Richmond townhouse, a gushing Lee, formerly of boy band 911, tells us: 'It's just so exciting planning our future now, and we're such a team.'
And it doesn't look like it'll be long until the pop couple expand the Brennan empire. 'Three babies would be nice,' ex-B*Witched singer Lindsay confides in OK!. 'We want to start a family sooner rather than later because we're both so broody!'
Here, the sweethearts chat about their first few months of marriage, making babies and running off to Vegas...
How's married life treating you both?
Lindsay: It's great, we weren't sure whether we'd feel different because we've been together for eight years, but we just feel more complete.
Do you often look back on your big day?
Lee: It's six months today! For Valentine's Day we went back to the same hotel for the first time.
Lindsay: We relived the day - without the stress!
Do you have anything planned for your first anniversary?
Lee: Yes, we're going to Las Vegas.
Lindsay: We could renew our vows in one of those chapels!
Tell us about your new home...
Lee: It's perfect because there are some lovely parks and pubs along the river.
Lindsay: We'll stay here until the babies start coming and we need more space.
Are you thinking of having babies soon?
Lee: Definitely - I'm getting old!
Lindsay: I'm so chuffed because my ex-bandmate Edele Lynch is having a baby - it'd be great to have babies together so they can be friends.
Were there any teething problems when you first moved in together?
Lee: Yes, because we were still learning about each other - but once we compromised then it was easy. It's also all about respecting one another and realising each other's pet hates.
Lindsay: We like to discuss things rather than argue.
Lindsay, what romantic gestures has Lee done for you?
Lee: I buy her flowers for no reason!
Lindsay: Going back to Ireland was romantic - but that was my idea!
Lee: I make breakfast every morning - we have cereal and tea, toast and tea or crumpets and tea!
Now you're enjoying marital bliss, do you miss the celebrity circuit?
Lee: Not really, we only go to a party every few months now because I've grown out of it all - I'm more into my football now.
Lee, there are loads of bands reforming right now - will 911 get back together?
Lee: Take That have made an unbelievable comeback so I'd love to. I'm in touch with the band and we do gigs occasionally, so I'd be up for doing another single or touring with them.
What about B*Witched getting back together, Lindsay?
Lindsay: Not right now, but I'd never say never. We're all working on individual stuff - I'm excited about my solo album.
What do you think about Keavy and Edele reforming?
Lindsay: It's brilliant because they're so strong as a duo. I don't feel left out as they're doing completely different material from B*Witched.
Are the two of you tempted to do a Newlyweds-style reality show?
Lee: We were asked by MTV a few months ago and had a meeting but we haven't heard anything back.
Lindsay: It's hard to imagine cameras being around the whole time, and whether we'd be ourselves. We'd have to have a private room for naughty business!
Lindsay, Louis Walsh managed you and now he's been axed from The X Factor. What do you think about that?
Lindsay: Louis is a lovely man and if Simon Cowell really did just dump him without any notice then that's really bad. But Simon is a businessman and obviously thought it was best for the show.
Who do you think should replace him?
Lindsay: There are rumours about Jessica Simpson, but people would only tune in to see the silly things she comes out with.
Lee: Michael Jackson would be good but they'd have to break the bank - so maybe David Gest!
911: Can Carlisle lad Lee Brennan's pop band recapture their former glory?
Last updated at 18:22, Monday, 23 March 2009
Lee Brennan couldn’t think for the screaming. It poured into his ears, filling him up with shrill, shrieking noise.
Teenage girls as far as he could see. Thousands of them. Filling the road, blocking the way, wanting him to stop, wanting him to speak... just wanting him.
Bundled out of the hotel into a blacked-out van, he and Spike and Jimmy made slow, ear-splitting progress to the venue. They looked at each other, shaking their heads, disbelieving, living the dream but struggling to understand it.
And now. Back in Glasgow city centre. Back at the same hotel. Our boy band emerges into the light.
No one notices.
The first scene is a flashback to the mid-1990s and the height of 911’s fame. The second was filmed for a makeover show, to be screened on Living TV tonight.
Pop Goes The Band tries to restore pop stars of the past to their former glory, in terms of how they look if not how they are seen.
No makeover can turn today’s 20-something women back into the screaming teens who worshipped 911 a decade ago.
Lee has had plenty of time to accept this. The band’s singer, who grew up in Harraby and Currock, is now a 35-year-old married man. His wife, Lindsay Armaou, formerly of girl band B*Witched, faces the same question of what to do next.
Take That are the only boy band to have been reborn. For 911 and the rest, it’s a world of diminishing returns, peddling their energetic pop and frantic dance routines to smaller audiences; from stadiums to Butlins.
How different it used to be. Eight top five singles in the UK, including a number one. Dream-come-true success around the world: 70,000 at a stadium in Singapore, broadcast live to millions across Asia.
“It’s just a whirlwind,” says Lee. “You wake up in a different hotel every morning with a little bit of paper under your door: ‘Fly here. TV there.’ There’s no other job in the world that can give you that.
“A lot of it feels like a blur. When you’ve got an 18-hours-a-day schedule for three or four months, because you’re so busy you don’t get a chance to appreciate it. It’s only now I think ‘That was amazing – why didn’t I see it was amazing at the time?’ But it’s like anything. It becomes a job.”
Intense schedules and living at close quarters for weeks at a time helped wear away the magic, creating tensions which occasionally erupted.
“We would disagree over things like how we should perform on stage. Jimmy [Constable] tended to have his way of thinking and me and Spike [Dawbarn] would have ours. We’d wind each other up and take the mickey. Sometimes Jimmy would let everything build up inside and then it would come out.
“It was usually verbal, apart from one time when we’d just done an interview at a radio station in America. Jimmy pushed my head into a glass door. I can’t remember what it was about. I probably went on a bit too much and Jimmy just flipped.”
At the end of 1999 the band completed a successful stadium tour, released a greatest hits album, and decided to split up.
“Jimmy probably thinks me and Spike split the band up. We were just aware that it was the right time. We had a meeting and all said our bit. Me and Spike said ‘We’ve had our four or five years’ shelf life. We’re going to be dropped by Virgin. Let’s just get out now.’ Jimmy thought we could get another record deal. It was two against one. We did a four-week tour of Asia. And that was it.
“When it stops, it’s a massive relief. You can relax and see friends. But after about six months I really missed the buzz. How do you recapture that? You’ve got to try and find a balance. A bit of that and a bit of a normal life.”
Which brings us to here and now. 911 split up in 2000 but Lee, Spike and Jimmy started playing together again a couple of years later, on a smaller scale.
And that’s where Pop Goes The Band finds them. Along with the likes of Bucks Fizz and Dollar, 911 were chosen as ideal candidates for reinvention, although the band’s idea of a makeover was less extreme than the producers’.
“They mentioned plastic surgery,” says Lee, grimacing. “We weren’t too keen on that so we asked if we could focus more on fitness. I wasn’t bothered about facially, I thought all I needed to do was get fit and tone up.
“Our image was probably more important back in the day, when we were on TV and making videos. But it’s important for any performer to keep up with the times.
“I did have some treatment, mainly on my teeth. They gave me about £6,000 worth of dental work, so that was great. They put in four replacement teeth, two crowns, and whitened all of them.
“They did kind of a sand-blasting treatment on my face to clear away the top layer of skin. Then I had my face painted orange with some kind of fruit extract. I had to leave it on for six hours – I looked a right idiot. They filmed me walking around London to get people’s reaction but no one bothers in London. If it had been in Carlisle they’d have been going ‘What the bloody hell does he look like?’”
For seven weeks Lee, Spike and Jimmy each had a personal trainer and a diet plan. Lee lived largely on wholemeal bread, fish and chicken, while cutting out tea, coffee, sugar and alcohol.
He and his bandmates’ exercise routines were supervised by celebrity trainer Mark Anthony, whose regime included a memorable day in a forest.
“He had us running up and down this hill. That was a real killer. My legs were ready to fall off. Over the seven weeks I didn’t lose much weight but I managed to turn fat into muscle. I felt the best I’d felt for years.”
The programme was geared towards a performance by the new-look 911 in front of an invited audience of family, friends and fans. But preparations were disrupted by arguments which threatened the whole venture.
“We disagreed about what song we wanted to do at the end. Me and Spike wanted to do Bodyshakin’, which is the big fans’ favourite. Jimmy wanted to do an old man’s ballad, sitting on stools. He’s 37 and he doesn’t really want to be jumping about on stage.
“Then we had a choreographer who re-did the Bodyshakin’ routine and gave us an updated dance style. We worked on it for two hours then Jimmy decided he didn’t want to do it. We ended up doing the old routine.
“The choreographer had worked her backside off. There were about 10 people there, camera crew, and we’d wasted all their time. It got a bit heated. We probably said things we now regret.”
Despite this echo of past tensions, the grown-up version of 911 tends to be more harmonious than the one which sang and sometimes squabbled its way around the world.
“We take it with a pinch of salt now. There’s no pressure. We turn up a few hours before the gig, go for dinner, have a few drinks and end up reminiscing. Most of the audience are half-drunk, up for a laugh. We’re not trying to sell anything. We don’t have TV shows to appear on next morning or flights to catch. We can just enjoy it and have a laugh.”
Lee and Lindsay live in London, running franchises of Pop Stars Academy, which organises dance classes for children too young to remember 911. The boy band star has grown up. “I eat different foods, I go to restaurants instead of clubs, and I try to live in a positive way. Lindsay has helped me to do that.
“I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing that we’re still doing 911. I don’t miss the fame so much as the buzz.
“It’s still there before we go on stage but you’re always going to struggle to replicate the way it used to be. Not many people get to experience what we did.”
Pop Goes The Band is on Living TV at 10pm tonight.
For more information about Pop Stars Academy visit www.popstarsacademy.com
First published at 11:34, Monday, 23 March 2009
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk