IT begins with the phone call, offering a chat with Beyonce to plug her Arena tour which drops in to Nottingham this June.
A face-to-face would be, ahem, preferable but 20 minutes on the phone with the original booty girl will do. Sure.
“Ten minutes,” I’m told.
OK, we’ll have to talk fast.
“And it’s a conference call so there will be three of you?”
Eh? Never done that before. So it’s effectively three minutes and 20 seconds each. Now that’ll be the shortest interview since we asked Marc Almond if that urban myth was true.
So three minutes and 20 seconds, that’s possibly four questions depending on how chatty she is. I’ll have to choose wisely. Maybe: 1. Jay-Z wedding plans, 2. What she knows if anything about us here in Nottingham..
“It’s one question each.”
One question each in ten minutes? Unless she’s on gasbag form we’ll be done in plenty of time. Can we carry on and fill the ten minutes?
“See how it goes.”
So, one question at least. And maybe that’ll be it. That’s bloody ridiculous. Still, we’ll take the morsel she’s offering us, it may be better than nothing.
Now what would you lot want to know?
Most topical is the film of course, Dreamgirls, which opened today. It’s loosely based on the rise of The Supremes and she plays Deena, said to be a thinly-disguised Diana Ross — who ain’t happy about the way she’s been portrayed. So that’d be a good one.
Or maybe not. She’s been batting that one away, telling one journo at the premier in London: “I’ve met Diana Ross and she is one of the nicest women in the world. She came up to me and said if I ever needed anything, just to let her know.”
Ah, of course, her and Jay-Z and the marriage question.
Nah, she’s tackled that of late as well.
“I would like to be married before I had kids, but I’m not in a rush to get married.”
Quizzing the 25-year-old about the working relationship between the pair has produced a similarly guarded “talk plenty, say nowt” response.
“Working with Jay is just like working with any other talented person. In my opinion, he’s one of the best, if not the best, hip-hop rapper we have. I respect him, as a musician, so I let him do his thing and he lets me do my thing. It’s no different from if I was working with anyone else that I’ve worked with.”
Why does she keep posing for the cameras with her hands behind her head? That’s a good one. Look at my smashing pits. That’s not a typo.
Hey B, EG here in Nottingham — what are you wearing, duck. That’ll get us blacklisted.
Let’s be grown-up about this. What about the music? The girl’s done good, post-Destiny’s Child. The latest album B’Day shot into both the UK and US album charts at No.1. Nah, boring.
“Didn’t you realise there was a bum-washing connotation in the album’s title?”
Blacklist again. Scratch that.
What does she know about Nottingham? As she hasn’t been here, it’s unlikely that’ll prompt much of a ramble. If anything it’ll be “I’m really looking forward to ... blah, blah blah...”
It’s a short UK tour, just six dates and we’re one of them — why choose us? Idiotic. She doesn’t arrange tours herself.
Dreamgirls has been taken seriously by critics, leading the pack for the Oscars with eight nominations, including one for co-star Jennifer Hudson who has already walked away with a Golden Globe. Oooh, that’s got to sting. That Hudson girl’s lifetime achievement up until then was as an American Idol runner-up.
Ms Knowles is hardly going to acknowledge a feud though and call Hudson “that bitch”, as headline-grabbing as it may be.
The fact that she shifted more than a stone for the role on a diet of a maple syrup and lemon juice drink and nothing else we all know. And that she’s packed that stone back on.
“I was way smaller than I thought was attractive for my body. I personally like my natural weight,” Beyonce has said, adding: “I ate everything when it was over.”
Controversy is where it’s it at and there’s a two-pronged attack here. Firstly, the rumour that her and Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria were set to star in Tipping The Velvet as lesbian lovers, billed as “a female Brokeback Mountain”. Which is funny but unfounded.
“It’s completely and absolutely not true,” Longoria said when the story first appeared last September and nothing more concrete has emerged since.
There was the verbal assualt by Pink on Beyonce for wearing fur, being quoted in the News Of The World as saying: “I only hope she gets bit on the a**e by whatever animal she wears.”
Ditto, the Hudson feud.
Ey up, we’re on.
On hold that is. Three of us awaiting Queen B to come to the phone.
For ten minutes.
Then another two.
We can hear her doing links for radio. “I’m gonna take you back to a couple of years ago, I love this record... this is Choice FM.”
It could have been Chorley.
Now she’s going on about Prince.
And we wait.
“Michael Jackson is the best,” she gushes. Another revelation on Choice FM.
At least they’re getting more than a question’s worth.
So what happens when we’ve done one each?
“That it’s,” we’re told.
“I’m going to ask a really general question,” says Paul from Manchester, just as Beyonce finally graces us with her attention.
He plumps for a “tell me all about the show” question and it doesn’t work. She responds with a bland “big production” blah.
Lisa from Birmingham goes for “what’s the difference between Destiny’s on tour and solo?”
“They’re my best friends... I love performing with them...”
Then I’m on.
And forgive me, having travelled this far that I don’t do a better job but I opt for the most general I can think of.
Take me through your typical day when you’re not working.
“It’s really hard because I’m always working,” she says.
“I’m an all-or-nothing type of person. I’m working really hard 12 hours a day, sometimes 15 hours a day, or I’m doing absolutely nothing. I’m watching TV and eating, I’m on a beach or on a boat. I’m spending time with my family, with my nephew or painting and eating and eating and eating...
You obviously eat a lot, I add, venturing a rule-breaking second question — though it’s technically a statement. And it didn’t mean to imply she’s some sort of singing heffer. Fortunately she doesn’t interpret it that way and laughs.
“I love to eat.”
And that’s it. 46 seconds.
Wish I’d gone for the B’Day/bidet one now....