With awards season in Los Angeles in full swing, last weekend saw the turn of Downtown LA to be in lockdown, as the annual slime fest that is the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards took place.
Lucky me, I got to go along and report back on all the hype and hysteria exclusively for Digital Spy.
Arriving at LAX, it always amazes me the sheer fascination Americans seem to have with my accent. To me it's a rather plain, not quite posh enough for my mother, North London/Hertfordshire twang. To the countless taxi drivers and waiters I encountered over the course of my trip, it appeared to be bizarrely something quite to the contrary. Most flattering, when personally I can't stand hearing my own shriek on the telly, I dread to think what the rest of you lot must endure! My apologies.
The other fascination reinforced to me was this overseas obsession and intrigue with the royal family. I only had to utter the word 'hello' to my airport transfer taxi driver, and upon deciphering the origin of my accent, launched into a 'William and Kate' question and answer session so persistent it would have had David Dimbleby stuttering for words.
I digress; LA and its multi-cultural mix of people is a terrific place to visit, and it's second to none for its awards ceremonies - Nickelodeon's 25th annual awards were in safe hands.
> Kids' Choice Awards 2012: 'Victorious' cast on Will Smith, sliming
With 220 million votes cast worldwide, and 15,000 celebrities and kids in attendance, it was a success from the off.
Arriving on the vast 'orange' carpet, it was impossible to ignore the sheer wall of sound courtesy of the One Direction fans who had lined the streets. Now we've all heard that Harry and Co are big stars in the US, and of course their recent number one proves it, but the hysteria our five British boys created simply by getting out of a car was something to be believed. Screaming, crying, brandishing marriage proposals... and that was just from our production crew.
Seriously though, One Direction really are the surprise X Factor success story. Despite the 20-man 'PR machine' and entourage flanking them at all times, the lads appear to remain unchanged. They were polite, humble, and natural in the way they conducted themselves in such manic surroundings.
Giving the UK journalists hugs and kisses, I asked Harry, 'When are you coming home?' and grinning from ear to ear he replied, 'We miss the UK, we'll be back soon'. And in a pack formation they were swept into the venue to perform their smash hit 'One Thing', which saw even Michelle Obama and her daughters groove along in the audience.
The arrival of The First Lady had caused a buzz of excitement and tension prior to the event, with the entire Galen Centre - which played host to the awards - being evacuated for two hours beforehand for Secret Service to conduct a security sweep.
With a guest list that read as the best kids party EVER, the screaming crowd were clearly in their element as the likes of Selena Gomez, Katy Perry, Taylor Lautner, Halle Berry, Nicki Minaj, Cee Lo Green, Heidi Klum, Adam Sandler, new Spider-Man Andrew Garfield, Kristen Stewart and Big Time Rush all took their turn to either perform, present or get slimed with the famous Nickelodeon green goo.
Other A-listers had just turned up to watch the fun like the rest of us, and tugging at her short dress, a rather self-conscious Victoria Beckham seemed to be enjoying the event with her three boys. No sign of Daddy Beckham or baby Harper, but having clearly inherited their parents good looks and fashion sense, Brooklyn and Romeo were quite happy to dance away next to LA Reid, while a shyer looking Cruz took refuge on Mummy's knee, before all making a sharp exit at the end.
Katy Perry in Gladiatorial regalia delighted the cheering punters as she flew in with sword in hand, before performing girl power single 'Part of Me'. Brandishing an oversized diamond ring before discarding in a frenzy, one couldn't help but think a sneaky subliminal message to ex-hubby Russell Brand perhaps??
But one relationship that seemed to be well and truly ON course following recent headlines to the contrary, host Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith, along with their super talented kids, Jaden and Willow, all showed a united front and mucked in with the shenanigans.
It was thanks to the Smith kids and their announcement of the final award that drew the biggest screams from the audience, as Justin Bieber won the coveted Favourite Singer 'blimp' and entered the stage from the back of the auditorium, his 'smile' quickly turned to 'slime' as he and Will Smith closed the show receiving a truly spectacular amount of green goo in the face... and the body! it was everywhere! A finale worthy of a 'blimp' award itself.
Having attending this awards show in previous years, 2012's offering of the now legendary Kids' Choice Awards proved that it really is up there in the showbiz calendar for an A-list turnout. Number 1 in the ratings over the weekend, I can't wait to see how they can possibly top it next year.
Catch the Kids' Choice Awards again this Friday, April 6 at 6pm and Saturday, April 7 at 8pm on Nickelodeon.