Shelly Wozencroft, 50, from Southville, Bristol explains how her star-studded night was an award-winning prank!
Touching down on the tarmac, I couldn’t help but smile.
My partner Pete, 55, and I were on the holiday of a lifetime. We were in America to celebrate my 50th birthday and our 12-year anniversary.
After a day in New York City, I was in love with the place. I felt like a movie star, posing for photos in Times Square.
Three days on, we travelled to Las Vegas, then headed off to Los Angeles. It was perfect.
But then, in our LA motel, things started going wrong. Our room was more gritty than it was glitzy! And…
‘You’re over 30 miles away from the city,’ the receptionist said to us.
‘Never mind, we have tour-bus tickets!’ Pete said cheerfully.
Except, after walking miles to the subway, we found our train had broken down.
‘Typical,’ I tutted.
Eventually, we made it to the big city. Hollywood Boulevard was lively, bustling.
Finding the tour bus, my mood lifted.
‘How’re you folks doing today?’ a company rep called out to us.
‘We’re having a bad day,’ Pete huffed.
‘Sir, it’s about to get worse,’ she replied. ‘There are no tours today.’
What? No tours?!
‘I don’t believe you!’ Pete said, exasperated. ‘Why?
The tour guide started riffling through papers.
‘Oh, wait – there’s one at 4.30!’ she said. ‘But tickets are first-come, first-served.’
It was 3 o’clock, so we went off to have some food.
Back at the tour-bus stand, determined, we got a seat and I posted to Facebook.
Off to see the Oscars! I typed.
‘Sorry ma’am, but you need to give me your phone,’ the tour guide said. ‘Samsung is sponsoring this tour, so it’s giving out new mobiles.’
A free phone? Great!
‘There’s no catch, we just need your phones, and you can keep this one, too!’ she added. ‘You just have to take as many pictures as you can.’
The phones were set up so Samsung could instantly share our pics via AirDrop.
‘No problem,’ I beamed happily.
Soon, we were at the foot of the Hollywood Hills.
It was breathtaking, and I took hundreds of photos.
This was the life!
After a few hours, we were back on Hollywood Boulevard at the Dolby Theatre.
‘There’s just one more stop now,’ the guide said to us. ‘We’re taking you backstage to the home of the Oscars.’
I was so excited to see the glamorous dresses of the stars – and behind the scenes, too!
First, we had to go through security, similar to an airport.
‘It’s like we’re famous, too,’ Pete laughed, striding along the red carpet.
We were led along corridors hung with photos of famous faces.
‘Look – Nicole Kidman!’ I said, pointing at a signed photo.
Then we stopped at a big, black door.
‘Just wait five minutes for the group before you to finish,’ the guide said. ‘You might even get to touch an Oscar,’ she winked.
Suddenly, the guide threw open the doors and ushered us in. Blinded by camera flashes, I could’ve sworn I’d just seen the real Nicole Kidman.
It couldn’t be… It was her!
Then people started clapping and screaming.
We were actually at the Oscars ceremony!
I spotted Ryan Gosling, Jennifer Aniston, Meryl Streep… But, despite all the A-listers, we were the stars!
Turns out US talk-show host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel had arranged the whole thing. Everyone except us had known about the prank.
They’d live-streamed our tour on YouTube – and even the tour guide was acting!
Pete shook everyone’s hand – including a security guard’s by mistake!
‘Can we get a selfie?’ he bravely asked Nicole Kidman, never thinking for a moment she’d say yes – but she did!
Samsung beamed that photo halfway across the world.
I was on cloud nine!
Afterwards, the production crew even drove us back to our motel – but not before they’d returned our own mobile phones to us.
I had hundreds of messages from people who thought I’d known all along, because of my earlier Facebook post.
Everyone was so jealous when we told them all about it.
Back at work, my colleagues had even left a fake Oscar statuette on my desk.
I still can’t believe Pete and I were set up to gatecrash the Oscars, live on TV!
That surreal stunt was the best experience of my life.