Our man at Oscars sees bigger picture

You can take the boy out of Blackpool'¦but you can't take Blackpool out of the boy.

Tuesday, 1st March 2016, 2:00 pm
Former Gazette reporter Sandro Monetti in LA
Former Gazette reporter Sandro Monetti in LA

Sandro Monetti, former Gazette reporter, reckons his love of showbusiness, forged on resort favourites such as Cannon and Ball, came to his aid in his adopted home town Los Angeles, where Sandro edits LA Business Journal, and works as a director, TV host and author.

He explains: “The Oscars are all my birthdays, carnivals and cup finals rolled into one and I experienced every last bit of excitement as a mover and shaker in Tinseltown.”

He mingled with A -listers at Eddie Redmayne’s exclusive Oscar party, where fellow guests included James Cordon and Gordon Ramsay. He saw Elton John and Lady Gaga perform together at a special pre Oscars concert and was part of the BBC team covering the ceremony, interviewing nominees and offering analysis live on the radio for 5 Live.

Former Gazette reporter Sandro Monetti with Oscar winner Leonardo Di Caprio

Sandro admits: “I cheered when Leonardo Di Caprio won best actor – I’ve met him several times and always been impressed with his class, intelligence, social conscience and acting talent – and was so upset when Sylvester Stallone lost best supporting actor for Creed…a project he first revealed when I interviewed him on stage 18 months ago in front of 5,000 Sly fans at Manchester Arena .”

Sandro chairs BAFTA LA’s Newcomers Programme to identify the best new British talents and also writes and directs parodies of box office hits - including best picture winner Spotlight.

He regularly returns from Beverly Hills to Blackpool to visit mum Virgina, who lives near Stanley Park, or to work on entertainment projects.

“My next trip back to Britain comes this summer when I direct a stage play I’ve written that opens in London’s West End in August (at the Jermyn Street Theatre) after a run at the Edinburgh Festival.

Former Gazette reporter Sandro Monetti with Oscar winner Leonardo Di Caprio

“It’s called Marilyn and Sinatra and features the little known brief romance I discovered shared by these showbiz icons.

“In my teens and 20s I’d take day trips from Blackpool to London to catch matinees of the best shows and dream I would stage a play in the West End.

“It’s taken until my 40s - but dreams come true.”