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Folk at The Royal Albert Hall

I'm still undecided whether my night out with the good and the great of the folk music glitterati would have been better as a guest rather than one of the two official photographers. My photo-mate Phil Carter was the other, both of us booked by Smooth Operations who produce shows for the BBC. On the one hand it was great to meet up with many of the stars I'd photographed at other events, but the BBC contract was a tricky one. There was no fee, no accreditation and all copyright lodged with the BBC. So why did we do it? We got front row seats, backstage access, entry to the after-show party and a free hotel room for the night.

I had a long chat with comedy actor Stephen Mangan who let me into the secrets of playing in Jeeves and Wooster in the West End, got a hug from Sally 'Traffic' Boazman, congratulated Martin Carthy on his Lifetime Achievement Award and saw tears in the eyes of the Fisherman's Friends who performed for the first time since two of their members were tragically killed in a freak accident.

So whether it was a good night out depends on your viewpoint ... all in all I think it was well worth it.

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