I was boarding a flight to LA in April 2011 and the Air NZ check in lady told me I was lucky to be travelling with a famous person. I asked who that was and I thought she said it was Ashook or something like that....never heard of the dude!!

She said he was a well-known singer. I quickly rang my daughter for help and she told me it was Usher; I was still none the wiser. She pleaded for me to get an autograph, not something I normally do.

So, here I am sitting in 7A and at the last minute this little guy slinks into 1A surrounded by a couple of 'line backer type' bodyguards. He settles into his seat and pretty well goes off to sleep straight away.

About half way through the flight his head popped up a little so I thought this is the moment. My heart was pumping.


I rehearsed my lines, got out of my seat and headed up the aisle, armed with a tiny little napkin and a pen. I felt like a little kid. At this point one of the 'line backers' intercepted me and asked me what I was doing.

I told him and he said that Usher couldn't be approached. I slunk back to my seat empty handed, very embarrassed, hoping no-one had seen my feeble attempt. Oh well I thought, at least I had tried.

As I was finishing breakfast and we were coming into land, the same 'line backer' came up to me and asked for my daughter's name.

He went up to 1A and a few minutes later came back with a big photograph of Usher with a signed message from him to my darling Jessica. A nice touch and a reprieve for Dad.