As this is an unofficial site, all mistakes,foul ups and glaring errors are all mine! - BritAngie 
Tom Burke
Visitors since 06/07/14

“We all eat healthily but nobody has come up to me and said, “Tom,

 do you really need that potato?"”  Tom talks spuds. :D

Tom Burke at London Film and Comic Con 2015

If you’ve seen the news page you will know that Tom was a guest at the 2015 Summer London Film and Comic con. A group of us were lucky enough to go along and the below is a report of that day.   Angie’s London Film & Comic con report (or “Sleep is for wimps :D ” or “Lots more Burketeers go mad once again in London” ) Right then the sort of rambly half coherant rubbish report of the day. I'm so sorry it's so vague in places- I was very vague myself during the day due to lack of sleep, an early start, being overwhelmed by the wonderful Burketeers and being poleaxed by Tom within the first ten minutes of getting there. It's a small wonder I wasn't a gibbering wreck by the end of the day (as opposed to the gibbering and blithering idiot I was instead during the day. ) So here it is.. sorry!  (Oh and apologies for not mentioning everyone I met by name- I'm currently having problems remembering my own still! ) So where do I start....  Okay so I get up at the ridiculously early time of 2am as I have to catch the 4.52am train  (the first of the day!) to get to London for 6.50 am. There is a good reason for doing this but after an hour and halfs sleep it escapes me what exactly it is! As it's so early my Dad has elected to come with me as he hates the idea of me travelling up to London alone at that time in the morning. It's so early the station isn't actually open, the station pigeons are still asleep and we have to go in via the football gate. The train mercifully arrives on time and we're off. So to explain the reason for such an insanely early start, we all have to get into the queue for London Film and comic con before 8am or it will be so long we'll have to join it in Edinburgh or something.(Turns out this was not far wrong!)! It doesn't help that some of the tube network is also closed so what would normally be a quick trip takes a lot longer. Anyhow once again I've arranged to meet up with Cheryl at her hotel in Kensington. We finally arrive to find Caryn and Cheryl having breakfast and wait for our final member of our sleep deprived party, Anne, to turn up.  She safely arrives and we leave my dad to enjoy the hotels facilities (meaning kip and chill out in Cheryl's room!) for the rest of the day. We meanwhile grab a taxi and look in horror at the length of the queue outside Olympia when we get there at 7.30 ish. It's massive and the sun is out in force so we are going to bake too! Great stuff! We spend the next hour and a half waiting for the doors to open and pass the time by chatting, trying to find other Burketeers lost on the queue ("we're by the pizza sign! "No not that one, the other pizza sign", "we're stood by the white power ranger", "um look for the person waving a pink fan " lol  ) and watching all the weird and wonderful folk in costumes. I can't help thinking they are going to cook though in those costumes but I do feel underdressed! Eventually we get inside and first thing we do is head for the photo session we all have booked with Tom at 9.30. Unsurprisingly we spot and hug familiar Burketeer faces in the photo queue and meet new ones. Everyone is very very nervous and the nerves ramp up when Tom arrives. He looks very relaxed unlike the rest of us! So I had decided to be cheeky and ask Tom for a hug in my photo- but this depended on if he was doing this for other people ahead of me (he is) and if I had the nerve. I get inside the photo area and my nerve totally crumbles and elect to just stand next to him when it gets to my turn. I somehow find I've been pushed to the front of our group and eventually Tom looks up and spots me. He smiles and points and I rather stupidly wave back like an complete idiot.  So I continue to wait till it's my turn thinking what am I going to say? (This is where my memory completely fails me so I will try and describe what happened. Also I will explain for those who don't know I'm very very shy and am easily intimidated just to explain my social skills totally crumbling. ) So I think he shook my hand and he pulled me in for a hug for the photo. At some point during this he tells me he has a present for me. I think I probably looked like a rabbit not so much caught it the headlights but being interrogated under a single naked bulb in a police cell....   he repeats this again as we pose for a photo and he says he hasn't got it with him but it's still in the Czech republic and then adds he's giving me his hat from series 1.  I think I say thank you.. I'm pretty sure I do (oh gosh I hope I did! ) I'm so stunned at this point that as he's saying he will sort out getting it to me I rather stupidly don't really get to respond further. I suddenly find a con staff member trying to lead me away and I suddenly realise at some point whilst saying thank you have taken hold of his hand and have a grip on his fingers still... (at least I think I did...I get a flashback of this later on much to my horror!) I get guided over to where the photos come out and watch Cheryl have her photo taken with Tom then we both retreat from the area and I walk out in an utter state of shock... So that's me pretty much finished mentally for the rest of the day. lol We then wait for all the other very dazed Burketeers to come out and we elect to head upstairs to the third and top floor and find where the autograph area is. The event is huge and spread over 6 areas and 4 floors. Whomever designed the convention layout clearly has a evil sense of humour placing the photos and the autos the furthest distance apart possible. I've seen figures of 17,000 people crammed in there for the day. It feels like it! We brave the "staircase of Doom (tm)" Nikki joins the time honoured Burketeers slippy step club. (Sioux had joined it the day before!  ) and with casualties we finally head to the first floor then manage to find the lifts.(AKA mobile ovens!) Eventually after a fraught journey which involves the lift going down then up again(why didn't we just get on at the bottom?!? ) we arrive at floor three. It's mercifully cooler   and not so busy as the other floors (due to there being no where else to go but down once you got there whereas the other areas had lots of hapless souls trying to get from one impossible place to another.) We find the signing area and lots more familiar faces as more Burketeers are already camped out. Many more hugs and hellos ensue and then we all grab our VQ tickets for Tom (Virtual Queue - think Supermarked deli counter but with less deli)  As we all have numbers in the low hundreds we chat some more then decide to get our autos from Maimie. Cheryl goes up in front of me and we discover that Alison - one of our own is Maimie's assistant for the day. Between Alison and Cheryl they explain about the Burketeers and fundraising which Maimie already knows about and says is just so sweet. Cheryl says Maimie is a honourary Burketeer to which she responds "no I AM a Burketeer!".  I then go up and say hello to her and have a quick chat (I can't remember - sorry I'm the worst on the spot reporter ever.. " so um something happened then um something else then people said stuff oh and did stuff..." ) But I'm left with the impression that Maimie is absolutely adorable and very lovely. Then Tom arrived so we mill around a bit at the back of the room as we can't queue up yet. Some folk nab some photos from the side and we stand and chat some more. Eventually we are allowed to queue and when we all get near to the front Tom looks at Cheryl and me and exclaims "oh ere they are!" with the biggest cheekiest grin on his face.   Cheryl and I both pay for our own autographs and also a few others for gifts so we can go up together. Cheryl has covered what he says in her own report but we have bought Tom and his parents some white wine and some Haribo sweets as a thank you and apology about the hamper delivery mix up. He seems momentarily confused and said no it's fine he asked for it to be delivered to his parents and he knew he had a hamper.(We also gave him a card sending best wishes from everyone who couldn't go to the event.) I have my own mission for the event - an autograph to obtain for a little girl called Emma who lives in the USA but is a huge fan of Tom's. Before he does the photo I explain to him I have a very special gift for him from Emma. I also give Tom photos of Emma and her late Dad and explain that Tom looks and sounds remarkably like her dad and that is one reason why she is such a fan. Toms very touched and asks me how he can get in touch with her and signs an autographed photo for her. I suddenly remember I need one so get my own autograph signed and we then pose for another photo. Tom repeats that he needs to sort getting the hat to me then Cheryl and I beat a hasty retreat as we've taken enough of his time already. We then all loiture and wait for everyone in our group to get their autographs before we decide what to do next. Some of us go to the side to nab photos of Tom posing with other members of our group and Lesley ends up becoming our official press photographer. Tom jokes with us all about it all through the day and is such a good sport. He's probably blind by the end of the day from flashes! (Sorry Tom!) Eventually with everyone sorted we decide that we cannot stand the heat, crush or claustrophobia(the room has no windows!) any more and someone suggests we go to the Crown and sceptre pub nearby for a drink and some air. We fight our way downstairs and after half an hour we actually get outside. We rescue another Burketeer from the queue to get in (Anne gets inside only for us to take her straight outside again! lol) and we discover the person who knows where the pub is has vanished. Okay plan B! We head towards the Hand and Flower pub across the road and head upstairs but there are not enough tables. The barman takes pity on us and guides us to the side and opens two doors and lets us into a large conference style wood panelled room with upholstered padded chairs and we thank him profusely and call to order the first inaugaral Burketeer meeting.....(read order a round of drinks!)  I send up a emergency tweet to let everyone know about the change of meeting plans and as lunchtime goes on more of our group find us and join the conference. After much chat,laughter, imbibement and sustinence we decide to head back as some need to get autographs and also photos from the afternoon sessions. We once again fight our way back upstairs and those who need autographs line up. I decide to leave Luke's autograph as I don't have enough money left (I hope he'll do another event at some point) I feel it would be terribly rude to go up to him just for a chat and photo and not buy something.(And did I mention I was shy? :D ) We then snag a few photos of more Burketeers getting to meet Tom. I try to take one of Rachael and Tom vowing to get her one, at last, in focus.. (I didn't.. I had dropped my camera at lunchtime and I suspect I may have damaged it.. )  At some point someone asks if we should do a group photo. I'm far too chicken to ask myself (I used up all my uncharacteristic bravery asking for one at the carols) and Caryn says she doesn't mind asking. So she asks Luke who is totally up for it and says don't worry I'll make it happen. She then asks Maimie who also says of course then finally Tom. Some of us decide to wait out in reception until it's a bit quieter as they are still all very busy. Time ticks on and some say they have to go downstairs to get ready for his photo op. Caryn then goes up to see when the best time is for us to gather up. Tom's assistant says it probably won't be till the end of the con as it’s still busy but we think Tom heard this and got up and gathered everyone together. Next thing I know we're being told to come back to the table as they are doing the photo now. We realise at this point we still have lots of our number missing in action but it's now or never. Caryn says to Tom shall we call this a ‘Luketeer, Maimieateer, Burketeer’ photo but he says no it's a Burketeer photo! As everyone attempts to get into some semblence of an order I loiture at the back out of everyones way and I hear people ask where I am and find myself put next to Tom with Luke and Maimie behind me. Tom very kindly arranges for showmaster crew folk to take the photos on our cameras so all those Burketeers there are all in the photo(rather than taking them )and we pose. I say thank you again to Tom and we all retreat to the reception area as Tom and others have photo ops to do. We start chatting about all meeting up in the late afternoon for a meal and drinks after the con but I'm struggling to stay awake at this point, very broke and have to catch a train home so Cheryl , Anne and myself head back to the hotel, collect my dad and we sit down for a much needed cup of tea and attempt to gather our senses! Then it's time to head to the station- I say and hug my goodbyes and we go grab a cab as I can't face the thought of a half hour multi tube journey back to Waterloo. When we get to the station there is a train waiting and we get straight on! Couple of hours later I'm home and still completely dazed! What an amazing day. Random things- there were a few moments when some of us were in tears or came close to due to kind words and the lovely lovely ladies the Burketeers are. I can't begin to list all the amazing, intelligent and gorgeous (both physically and spiritually) ladies who gathered in London that day. You are all such smashing people and we all got on like a house on fire. It was just such a magical experience because you were all there. Also I'm so sorry I missed some of you. The event was crammed to the gills as I said before and it was like swimming in fast setting concrete getting anywhere and at lunchtime the crush was so bad they actually shut the staircases so no one could move at all. Also I'm stunned and have huge admiration for those of us who travelled incredible distances to come along. We had people from all over the globe. Also big hugs to those who came up to us as strangers and hopefully left as friends. It must have taken a huge amount of courage to come up to a bunch of strangers and say hello. I'm so so glad you did.  Also a huge thank you to Maimie and Luke for being so lovely and accomodating to a group of total strangers. They are lovely people and it was wonderful to meet them. Last but not least a mahoooosive and huuumungous thank you to Tom. I'd imagine he was a trillion times more nervous than all of us put together and he must have been exhausted by the end of the day but he was nothing but kind, warm and generous with his time and was so lovely and good to us as a group considering we are all strangers to him. I hope he can forgive us for all the photos and can forgive me for being an utterly incoherant idiot! Thank you once again for making a great day just fabulous and very special. Lessons learned from this year... 1.) Bring more money. 2.) Get satellite tracking for all Burketeers. (Perhaps we should issue out Tom Tom’s to everyone? :D) 3.) Bring camp chairs, a picnic, and an urn of tea. 4.) First aid kit (for slippy stairs, blistered feet etc)  5.) Bring flash cards with intelligent conversation when verbal communication failure occurs. 6.) Hire official photo stunt double to ensure your official photograph looks half decent. 7.) Purchase drop resistant camera or request the venue is carpeted in bubble wrap. (This would also help with the Burketeer falling overness too!) 8.) Stay over the night before. As much as the Sunrise was pretty on the train I’d rather have had some sleep. :D 9.) Sort out some sort of signaling arrangement for finding each other in queues,throngs and other gatherings- the fans worked quite well so maybe go with that? (Ooh Fans for fans! :D Get it? No? I’ll get me coat... :D) 10.) Bring even more money!! Once again a huge huge thank you to everyone for a special day. I will leave you with random words to remind you of the day which are.. 'Lifts', 'Heat' , 'wibble!', 'sore feet', 'backache' , 'eeep',  'Queue', ‘Stairs’ and 'Tom!' (Big thank you to to all the lovely Burketeers who turned up and who generously donated their photos. Huge thanks to Kate from Operation Smile and last but by no means least, a massive thank you to Tom for being so patient and good to us. :) )
St Botolph without Bishopsgate - Venue for Operation Smile's Carols by Candlelight Tom after the Carol service (Photo courtesy of Drifty) Tom after the carols Tom outside the church Tom after the carols (Photo courtesy of Nicola B) Tom outside the church Tom outside the church (photo courtesy of Lesley Danks) Tom inside the church (Photo Courtesy of Lesley Danks) Tom with Tea! (Photo courtesy of Nicola B) Tom with tea! (Photo Courtesy of Hannah H) Tom after the carols (Photo courtesy of Hannah H) Tom inside the church (Photo Courtesy of Lesley Danks) Tom with his Burketeers outside the Church Tom with Tea! (Photo courtesy of Nicola B) Tom inside the church (Photo Courtesy of Lesley Danks) Tom after the carols (photo courtesy of Drifty ) Tom inside the church (Photo courtesy of Nicola B) Tom inside the church (Photo courtesy of Nicola B) Tom outside the Church (Photo courtesy of AnnieA) Tom inside the church (Photo Courtesy of Lesley Danks) Tom inside the church Tom inside the church during the mingling. (Photo courtesy of Lesley Danks) Tom inside the church (Photo courtesy of Nicola B) Tom with Tea! (Photo courtesy of Nicola B) Tom inside the church (Photo Courtesy of Lesley Danks) Tom after the carols (photo courtesy of Drifty ) Tom inside the church (Photo courtesy of Nicola B) Tom inside the church (Photo courtesy of Nicola B) Tom outside the Church (Photo courtesy of AnnieA) Tom inside the church (Photo Courtesy of Lesley Danks) Tom inside the church Tom inside the church during the mingling. (Photo courtesy of Lesley Danks) Tom inside the church (Photo courtesy of Nicola B)