Credit to: The BBC and the TV Crew and the participants
Content from: The Nine Lives Of Alice Martineau Documentary

Alice Martineau - The Nine Lives Of Alice Martineau Documentary from BBC
Shown at various dates in 2003 on BBC3

As a brief note, some words in the documentary are inaudible and some don't appear to be the correct spelling (names of medicines etc) if anyone can shed any light on the actual names, please email me so I can update the page, thanx!



So, how do I start off? I’m Alice, Alice Kathryn Martineau. I’m a singer songwriter, I live in Notting Hill, and last year; I signed a record deal. In the next sixty minutes, you’re going to learn everything about my life. My music, my friends, my family..

But there is one thing that I haven’t yet mentioned, and that is that I suffer from Cystic Fibrosis, a condition that affects the lungs and digestive system, and I am now currently waiting for a heart lung and liver transplant.

So where shall we start, I think it’s probably best if we start my story at the beginning.



It was a warm summer’s night, in Wimbledon, on June the eighth 1972, when I popped out into this world

The minute I was born, it was clear, there was something not quite right. My parents heard the doctor say “There’s something wrong with this baby!” My skin had taken on a bluish tinge, and I was struggling to breathe.

Mum and dad were suddenly thrust, into a terrifyingly unfamiliar world.

They had never even heard of Cystic Fibrosis, CF, let alone knew what it was.

They were told I had a life expectancy of just ten years.

But how wrong they were!



I had a great childhood, this is my mum, she likes cats, Audrey Hepburn and my dad. This is my dad; he likes skiing, Chris Christopherson, and my mum. This is my brother Luke, he likes painting, the two ladies in his life, Ella and Grace, and he loves playing scrabble, and he’s going to tell you all about me

Luke: it would mean, it would mean more to her than absolutely anything if Chris martin of Coldplay were to ring up and say, “Alice, I heard the album, wicked, you know, err, you know, I wanna meet you for tea.”

Alice: this is my cousin Livvy, she likes laughing, buying new clothes and babies. This is my friend Jan, he is my oldest friend, he likes the isle of mull, the wizard of oz, and Anna, his girlfriend. This is my friend Char, she likes having massages, pumps and ham sandwiches, and they’re going to talk all about me.

During my childhood, I did everything that any other child does

Luke: I don’t think there are any sort of real blots on our memories of childhood, and one of the things that I, always meant to say is, that as a family really, we, we’re much closer because of Alice’s illness.

Alice: I always I always knew I was slightly different cause you know I had to, take loads of tablets and I was on a low fat diet, but I wouldn’t have said I was ill, I never had an attitude of an ill person

Luke: hehehe, she was definitely the naughty one

Alice: yeah, you know my mother smacked me on the bottom, several times, often (sniggers) I ju.. I love my childhood; I had a very happy childhood.



I think its time you understand exactly what CF is, this is professor Geddes, he likes motorbikes, art and Italy. He’s gonna tell you all the science stuff about CF

Geddes: Cystic Fibrosis is a, an inherited disease where one single gene goes slightly wrong. You need two copies of the defective gene to get the disease. About 1 in 25 people have one copy of the defective gene, two of those people have to meet, and then their children have the risk of getting both copies of the defective gene and having the illness. People who are born with the faulty gene get lung infections and get problems with digestion. All of us are breathing in dust and bacteria all the time, and clearing it out again, with somebody with Cystic Fibrosis, their lungs are too dry and they don’t have enough water in them to flush out any bacteria that land there so they get infected. The digestive problems of Cystic Fibrosis are similar. The lung infections are the important part, and they, its that, that leads to episodes of illness err, which get increasingly bad, as the person gets older, destroys the lungs, and eventually, sadly, still kills almost everybody with Cystic Fibrosis during childhood or early adult life.

Alice: Can we move on.

Luke: Well Alice rather fancies that she is the queen of the scrabble board umm, and actually, (laughs) nope. (Continues laughing) umm, she’s umm, no, she’s very good at scrabble, very good, but I’m better

Alice: (sniggers) that’s so crap! Well my likes, I love rice pudding, absolutely love rice pudding, I love water, umm, lakes and rivers, and I love cats, and my thing about cats is, cats have nine lives and I very strongly believe that I’ve had about, probably about 5 or 6, so far. And, so I’m, I’ve got a good few to go, and I love ET, absolutely love him, and I just feel something, I feel warmth towards him, I feel an inner glow like he does as well. This may sound really weird, and it will sound weird, umm, but I’ve always felt that ET and I are kinda like the same person. (sniggers) his heart stopped beating, and then he was brought back to life again, I also have had near, you know, misses as it were, umm, and have got better, ‘my heart started beating again’. Umm, I also, we share very strange fingers. (imitating ET) “Be good, be good.”

Primary school was great, I really loved primary school.

Livvy: I was at school with Alice, and we were very good friends

Alice: at my primary school, they were so good, I was never excluded from anything, but if I was ill, and wasn’t feeling well, they rallied round and helped me they were really lovely, lovely girls.

Livvy: she used to hate sports days, cause it, she wasn’t very good at it and used to always be last so we used to hold hands over the line, so that neither of us were actually last, we were equal last, didn’t really count. And I can’t really remember whether she made me do that or I wanted to do that but I was always near the back and she might have made me!

Alice: Secondary school, wasn’t so good.

Luke: I mean I, it’s strange to imagine that she was actually, she was bullied, you know. Umm, probably not in a sort of, in any physical way, but, I think she had a miserable time there, for some time I remember her coming home and crying and just like, you know, absolutely gutting. And they perceived her to be different, they perceived her to be weaker, and they perhaps preyed on it.

Alice: Enough, enough! Go on to the next bit! Things I dislike, are, spiders, being called brave.

Luke: yeah you know we’re not allowed to use the B word.

Alice: I absolutely hate being called brave, because its not true

(Friends agree about Alice not liking being called brave)

Alice: and, underground car parks. Music has always played a massive role in my life

Luke: now we were, we were sort of, umm, brought up on, initially on my mum’s music. It was her taste that then sort of, you know, kinda grasped into music. And all, a lot of those bands and artists are still are, still our favourites or my favourite.

Alice: U2, the Beatles, were a massive inspiration to me. But someone that I idolised was Madonna. I just was Madonna; I was her everyday. When I was about thirteen, I went through like chains, cross earrings, crosses, the whole works.

Most people sing into their hairbrush, I actually have got a nebuliser that I sang into, that was perfect really, and it did the job. After Madonna, I was into The Smiths, and The Cure for a bit but I was, then, massively, into Kylie, which wasn’t probably that cool at that stage, but, I loved her. I used to get dressed up in all that gear and, dance in front of the mirror and go out clubbing and you know, with little hot pants on.

Jan: For me the, her ability to tell slight white lies was mostly with her mum and dad, and she was absolutely world famous at it. Really, really good when she was sort of, just starting to go out with boys,

Livvy: And she used to go to, when she was only fourteen, she’d get into the dodgy nightclubs, and just dance the night away like some wild child and her mother would have no idea what she was doing, not a clue. And the next day, she’d just be, you know she’d be in bed for about 3 days

Jan: she was, she was doing her thing on the podium, and this was in Spain, at a huge club, and basically, she lost her footing, fell backwards into the DJ booth, and she actually knocked out the entire club sound system. She was, she was, so embarrassed about it,

Char: she pretended she was..

Jan: yeah, we had, we actually carried her out, and she, she wasn’t unconscious but she pretended to be unconscious because she was so embarrassed. I don’t know if the club got their system back after!

Alice: (laughs) Up until my teenage years, I’d say I lived a pretty much a normal life of any teenager and then I had a brief stint working as a model, and it was quite brief, umm, and I wasn’t very good at it.

I was in Jigsaw one day and someone came up to me and said, “have you ever thought of being a model?” And I was, at the time I was seventeen, and thought yeah, I could handle that and be quite cool, I was a little bit small for them, but they put these seeds into my head you see, so I went round to a couple of agencies and I was taken on by Nevs agency

Livvy: when she was doing her modelling, I think it was quite hard for her, because, you know, everyone was doing things, going away on their gap year, so everyone, all her friends from school were going off for six months abroad, and obviously she can never do that. So she’s like, “Right, I wanna done something in my gap year and not gonna just sit around.”

Alice: It was, I suppose you could say, a bit of a stupid profession for me to go into, because a model’s life involves a lot of traipsing around from casting to casting and even if you’re fit and healthy it’s quite exhausting. So I used to struggle somewhat. I would get inside and there’d be like, a metal staircase sort of five stories high and you’d be like “oh my God, I’ve gotta get up four of them.” You also knew the people who buzzed you in, knew what time they buzzed you in, so you couldn’t spend hours waiting on the stairs. You know you’d have to think up a pretty good excuse as to why it took you half an hour to get up there, and I didn’t want to arrive (breathes out of breath) cause that would not look good for a model. It was then that I learnt, umm, to, little tricks to hide having CF I guess, umm, to hide my exhaustion, and my, anything that wouldn’t make me look vulnerable or in need of help or sympathy, because I couldn’t bear that.

Jan: She’s always, always wanted to seem as normal as possible, and she will go to any length to keep her illness away from anyone.

Alice: The walking back down was more of an issue than my breathlessness. I was a bit wobbly and I‘ve always walked slightly strangely because I have a vitamin E deficiency, so I used to go through a complete mental torture, when I had to walk into that room, and there’d often be like a panel of people, there on a desk, and you’d have to walk in and they’d watch they’d scrutinise you, every step you took. I’ve always chosen professions that have been a huge challenge for me I think as a form of escapism for me. Very much, it’s something that completely is so away from hospitals and being ill. And I think that’s why it’s always held so much umm, attraction to me, cause they’re all about looking good, feeling good, looking great. I went to Warwick University.

Livvy: I went with her and her mum, to take her there, and I think her mum was terrified and Alice was so determined there was no way that she was not gonna be normal, even though I’m sure her doctors would have said, you know, “you’d be much better off.” Because she wanted to prove that she could do it, she did.

Alice: My lecture rooms were a good ten minutes walk from my halls of residence, and I basically just got completely exhausted walking there. Everyone used to leave together, to get to the lectures, umm, and I ended up leaving about half an hour earlier than everyone else so that I could A, have stops on the way, and B, recover when I got there. Umm, so I didn’t look like a sweaty old dog, umm, which was fine.

I was there for about uhh, three weeks, and then I got ill. I had to come back to London, because I got another ?evetrom? and I went back into hospital and ended up being very ill, and was in and out of hospital for about four months. That was my first wake up call, like “I am actually ill.” I, cause, up until that point, I didn’t have CF, in my head, I had something similar, but it wasn’t CF.

I then started at Kings College the following year and got a degree in English there. Getting my first at university was one of the most amazing days of my life, umm, I remember looking down on the list, scouring the list and looking at the two ones because I thought I’d probably got a two one, umm, my name wasn’t there so I was a bit despondent, looked down at the two twos, my name wasn’t there! And I thought, “God, don’t tell me I got a third! I looked down at the thirds, my name wasn’t there,” and I thought, “come on, I can’t possibly have got a first, I didn’t work that hard, and I looked up and there were like five people who have got a first and I was one of them and I just could not believe it.

Luke: and she got a first, haha, at university, I mean they just, Alice is a winner, she just does, is such is a winner.

Alice: I was taken seriously for the first time for something other than being ill, umm, and it gave me so much determination to go on and write and so I started writing umm, which lead to writing music and, umm, my music really. At this stage I need to introduce you to the following

Phil: Right, my name’s Phil Long, and I manage Alice Martineau

Alice: He’s one of my managers

Phil: my three favourite things are my wife, my cat, and Alice Martineau

Alice: This is Stevie Langer, she’s one of my vocal trainers

Stevie: WOOOOAAAAH BODY FORM! BODY FORM FOR YOU! Hi, I’m Stevie Langer, the big mouth.

Alice: so this is Howard

Howard: My name is Howard Toshman, I am a songwriter, manager, bit of a producer, I’ve managed Daphne and Celeste, and worked with Alice Martineau.

Alice: David Enthoven, likes flower beds, Robbie Williams, and me. A friend of mine’s step dad is Robbie Williams’ manager

David: Alice came in and, she came in with a tape actually, and played it to me, I liked her a lot and I loved her enthusiasm

Alice: then the next year, I was having meetings with him

David: I’ve helped her with umm, enthusiasm

Alice: He basically encouraged me to keep on writing

David: I always gauge whether they actually really are trying to live their dream, that’s how I always judge people and she’s definitely living her dream

Alice: I’ve always wanted to be a singer and, you know its that kind of game when your, when you’re young, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” “I wanna be a pop star!”

Luke: umm, well, she’s, she’s an exhibitionist, umm, you know from, from the earliest years you know, when I would sort of go up and catch her you know, peering in the mirror

Alice: you know, when I, when I first told people, that umm, I was singing, I wanted to be a singer, they were just like, “choose something else Alice, come on, Alice why don’t you choose something a little bit easier?”

Luke: Of all the things to choose, and I don’t mean just because she’s ill, the road is scattered with the corpses of those who have not, you know, succeeded

Alice: “Come on, you’ll get tired singing, you know, there, there, there,” and I was like, “well no, I wanna sing and, and actually having CF makes you more determined to succeed, definitely. Umm, especially when people are going “I don’t think you can.” Its like a challenge and you wanna get out there and prove them wrong.

Char: I never thought she could sing! (laughs)

Harold: Alice is a very funny person, she is very amusing I, I couldn’t work with anyone who didn’t make me laugh. She’s tough as well, she knows what she wants, she really does, and if she doesn’t like something she’ll tell you she doesn’t like it. She’s very strong willed.

Alice: Howard’s got his own little studio in Holloway; I pitched up at his studio with a demo that I’d recorded. He listened to it and he said, “mmm, I’m, you know, I like, I like your voice,” we then started co-writing songs together.

Howard: Obviously Alice had has problems breathing, her lungs don’t work like the rest of ours do, so I wasn’t sure how its going to sound, but it sounded, it was very interesting I think maybe because of the way her lungs work. That’s what gives her, her sound

Geddes: Alice’s lung capacity is very, very badly damaged, I wish I knew how it was possible for somebody to sing with such badly damaged lungs

Stevie: I met Alice, through umm, through Robbie Williams’ manager David Enthoven, the first song she played was ‘inside of you’, which I, completely blew me away, and then we went into the logistics of, of how difficult it was for her to breathe. So, when most people breathe, they go, (breathes in deep), and their tummies go in, (breathes in), that should happen. The first part is diaphragm, (breathes in), and then a second breath, (breathes in), up into the lungs so you get twice as much air. When I work with Alice, it’s really difficult for her to breathe slowly. So what we did is we, we incorporated in a quick breath (breathes in quickly) so you get the whole lot in one go. So that is one of the things we did with her. That (sssssssss) that muscle there, is the muscle that controls everything. It’s the chi, (sssssssss, ssssssss) and this muscle hardens and tightens, and Alice I found had the strongest diaphragm muscles that I have ever come across in my life, cause she coughs a lot, because of her condition. It’s really difficult as a singer, but she just overcomes it. She just, this voice just came sailing out, you know, it’s amazing.

(Breaks into “if I fall”)

Howard: ‘the right time’ was the first song that we wrote together.

Alice: His publishers loved it, so that kinda spurred me on to do more.

Howard: she’s really on it, you know, she really wants this to happen more-so than a lot of other artists, you know, who kind-of held back for whatever reason, she would just go and get it.

Stevie: Alice is just the hungriest person I ever met in my life, because she knows that she has this amazing talent, and she also has this dreadful curfew. Nothing stops her, she just goes for it. She’ll be, she’ll have moments when she’s absolutely brilliant and then she’s really ill, umm, and still she just, she gets past it and she just gets on with it. It’s just, full on, Alice.

Howard: Yeah, I’m sure she’d love all the partying and the, the film premieres, but I don’t think that’s the main reason why she did it. I think she wants to be, do something that people say, “you know, we think that’s great.”

Geddes: I’m frankly baffled as to how well people with Cystic Fibrosis can do, when much of the rest of the human race can’t do as well, when they’re healthy. If I tried to, to catalogue all the things that have happened to Alice’s body, and a beautiful body at that, since she’s had Cystic Fibrosis, it’s a terrible catalogue in fact.

Alice: This is all the kinda stuff that I need to take, and I’m dependant really quickly, inhaler, high calorie milkshake, syringe, different inhaler, nebuliser, insulin pen, ?colomycin? vial, ?atravent? vials.

Geddes: the antibiotics

Alice: ?creon? tablets

Geddes: extra antibiotics

Alice: ?lysac?

Geddes: antibiotics have to be breathed in… (Alice: ?amatreviol? ) four tubes, extra tubes, (Alice: ?edremeneve? ) she needs to use a nebuliser, (Alice: Vitamin K, vitamin A and E) It’s not just a nebuliser (Alice: ?colomycins?) Nutritional supplements and enzymes (Alice: ?atrevec? ) Physiotherapy (Alice: ?Menthalin?) Then on top of that, (Alice: ?dna? ) Injections, (Alice: ?chemerapenon?) there’ll be an antibiotic.. (Alice: ?atronec?) (it gets pretty much indecipherable after this with just a few words that can be made out, such as enzyme, sulphate, “inhaled form of ?cortrazone?”)

Geddes: Alice has to spend many hours a day, just to stand still, to avoid getting any worse. As the disease progresses, that burden becomes heavier and heavier and heavier, and almost intolerable.

Alice: (sighs) I don’t, this is not a big deal it’s just part of what I do every day and it’s please don’t think it’s a big deal, because its, its just not, and people think “oh my God, how can you take all those things?” But its just part of my life, like, you have to clean your teeth. I have to take my drugs.

Geddes: it is absolutely amazing how well people like Alice cope with life in spite of that burden

Alice: Word got around that I was looking for management

Paul: I first came across Alice, because two and a half years ago my lawyer passed me on a demo, cd, of four of Alice’s songs, umm, which I took home, played them, over and over again, thought they were wonderful, got in touch with Alice, went to meet her, signed her to a, a short term contract, and then went hell for leather trying to get umm, the record industry interested. I had a friend at a particular music publishing company who err, he played the demos to, and they really got it, uhh, the senior guy there got Alice in and she played err, she sang a couple of songs to him with a backing track.

Alice: You don’t ever know how much you reveal to people is gonna freak them out, there’s easier to just tell them nothing and pretend that you’re completely healthy and make up excuses for why you can’t do things, that are completely normal. And I always pray that there’d be a long wait for the lifts cause then I could catch my breath before walking into the lift. Because in a lift, in an enclosed space, if you’re breathless, people can hear it. I thought, “do I sit, do I stand, then again is it going to be obvious if I sit down,” and then I thought, “oh! fantastic, I’ve hurt my leg.” So I used that one, which I sometimes did used to use. I’d wrapped up in a bandage and everything, “I fell down the stairs. Typical, I’m so clumsy.” And so that I could hobble, and therefore sit down to do it, but still perform. And I’m walking in the room, and also hobbling, makes you more out of breath than actually just walking anyway, cause you’ve got to do the whole sorta wobbly bit. “I’m really sorry I won’t be able to dance today, I fell over and hurt my leg.” Then I’m really trying to recover my breath and they’re all staring at me and I’m desperately trying not to show them that I’m out of breath. So I keep on sort of smiling and, you know, and you have to be on form as well as trying not show them that I’m out of breath and try and get my breath back so I’m gonna be ok when I sing. So I then fiddled around with that (the CD player in the documentary) and trying, and pretending that, you know, took me quite a while to, to get the track to where it was and whatever, which allowed me to get my breath back. And then I was offered a deal, about, three weeks later.

Paul: He was very impressed, umm, then he took us out to a meal, wined us and dined us, wants to do a deal with us, offered us a deal, and then it slowly went cold after that.

Alice: My managers told them that I was ill, never heard from them again; take what you want from that. I’d, I personally took it that they freaked out, and they didn’t wanna invest money in me when I was ill.

Paul: And then, I think after that fell through, we sort of ran out of steam and Alice went her own way and I went mine.

Alice: I had a lot of near misses and thought I was gonna get signed and I wasn’t, and I didn’t really think I’d ever be accepted as a singer with CF, I thought people would just see the CF and not the singer bit. That’s what stopped me going forward, to be honest, I got to a stage where I was really getting quite exhausted and my health was deteriorating and I just thought “Not gonna happen”

Luke: Umm, she probably has more treatment now than, than ever before.

Geddes: well eventually somebody with Cystic Fibrosis gets to a stage when treatment is, is just containing the condition but not really uhh, not really treating it very well. And then I have to consider whether a transplant would be the right option. You know when your doctor says to you, “The time has come for a transplant.” You have reached the end of the road, and that obviously is devastating, and, even for somebody as, as robust and cheerful as Alice, it’s devastating.

Alice: The end of the road? I don’t think so. I’m just at the beginning of my road

Geddes: With Alice we’d talked about it and decided about eighteen months ago, that we should begin to do the tests and get her on the list.

Char: I certainly umm, err when the transplant umm, came about err, and it was being talked about and everything that was, it was quite, umm, a sort of, it wasn’t really a shock as such, but it did make you realise quite how umm, serious it was and, or is.

Geddes: The success rate for lung transplant operations is getting better all the time it’s now well over 70% but that still means failures in as many as 1 in 5. And in the case of Alice, when a liver transplant would be necessary as well, the experience is so small only very few people have had a three organ transplant in the world so far, it is very difficult to talk about success rates but it inevitably will be less than that 80%. It could be a lifesaver, and an, a door opening onto a fantastic new life, or it could be the, err, a journey to an operating theatre and not to come out again.

Char: you know, but it’s a real sort, well it’s a hope, it’s great.

Andrew: I’m Andrew Armor, I’m a lecturer in physics, at the university of Nottingham, the three things I like, lets see, umm, nice cup of coffee, umm, Sunday mornings, definitely, and uhh, playing badminton, that’s good. I had a heart, lung and liver transplant, uhh, about five years ago, cause I was born with Cystic Fibrosis. From the very moment that you take your first breath, you know that something is completely different about you, because you know, you’re used to CF lungs, and they feel completely different, and whenever you breathe in, you can feel things all over the place in CF lungs, you know, there’s stuff around, and you can feel it, and you’re aware of it. I then, after a transplant, it’s all gone. I mean its all completely empty and, its amazing and you, you know, anytime you breathe in you just remember that.

Alice: I carry a pager around with me umm, and if it goes off, then I have umm, two hours to get to the hospital to have a heart, lung and liver transplant. Umm, being on the transplant list, means I can’t go away on a holiday, means I can’t go any further than 2 hours away from London, when the pager goes off, I will pack my, well I’ve actually got a bag packed already, umm, I’ll just get to the hospital as soon as I can, and go and have my transplant.

Andrew: you can’t guarantee a transplant, it’s a gift, it’s a possibility, but it’s you know, and it’s, and you, I mean I think its important, to live as though you think you will carry on living.

Luke: it’s a fine line, you don’t dwell on it, you don’t think about it all the time. You don’t, in fact you try as much as you can, umm not to think about the inevitability of death who knows when, in mid to short to long term you don’t know, you just say these are the things I’ve gotta do now, this is what’s required of me now, this week. Umm, in Alice’s case, these are the things I have to do to keep alive, and to keep well, umm, in our case, these are the things I have to do in order to not make myself just crumple up and be completely, you know, why just give up because it’s so awful and terrible what Alice has to suffer, umm, you just say no, I’ve got a job to do, I’ve got a life to lead, Alice has hers, and we just get on with it.

Alice: I’ve been waiting umm, for two years, for my transplants umm, the reason it’s been such a long time is because there is just not enough organs available for umm, transplantation. Not enough people carry donor cards,

Andrew: there’s nothing you can do about waiting, for a transplant, you know, nothing you can do about that, you don’t really even wanna hope for it too much. Once you wake up, its back in your hands, to some extent.

Alice: I think people don’t wanna think about, obviously about death, so people don’t become organ donors.

Andrew: The offer of organs gives, transforms, somebody else’s life and I think it’s always worth thinking about that, and those who receive these gifts are very aware of the circumstances under which they’re made and it’s not something you ever forget.

Luke: She has looked into the abyss, you know, she’s, and she’s come out, fighting, smiling and getting on with it. Now that’s okay, it’s maybe a bit trite to call it bravery, but I think it’s, I think that’s what it is at the end of the day, umm, and maybe it’s the kind of bravery that we’re all gonna have to one day umm, come to terms with or get a bit of, umm, but Alice has had to do it from a very early age and that’s the difference. I think you have to train yourself to live for each moment, and Alice makes it, makes a philosophy of that. Umm, you know, it’s in her songs.

Phil: June 15 fifteenth, 2002, I get the Telegraph delivered. Duly arrived on the doorstep on a Saturday morning, and, there’s Alice on the front cover. Uhh, it was an article she’d written umm, all about herself, it was like, it was sort of, a cathartic thing for her, for Alice, she was coming out saying I, listen I’ve got Cystic Fibrosis.

Livvy: She said, “I’m doing some article for the Telegraph.” And I just imagined this sort-of little page thing, and I was just stunned when I read it cause I really didn’t think it was gonna be that big a thing. I was quite surprised that she’d gone into that much detail, considering, her lengths to avoid everything.

Phil: She mentioned the music, towards the end of the article, she wasn’t gonna mention music at all, I phoned her up immediately that morning and said, “shall we go forward with this, shall we have another go?” she said yes, off we went again.

Alice: this is Nick and Jo, from Sony

Jo: I’m Jo Charrington, and I do A and R for Sony

Nick: My name’s Nick Raphael, err, I’m vice president of Sony Music.

Alice: And they’re gonna tell you, what they like.

Jo: Bed, music, sister.

Nick: err, my son, Charlie, mother, Amanda, and music

Jo: how it happened was, err, somebody dropped a CD off on my desk, which happens all the time. Her voice was very haunting, the songs were great, loved it immediately, took it straight to Nick.

Nick: ?tenuff? being quite cynical to Jo, and saying well lets meet her and I’ll sorta make my mind up when I met her.

Jo: twenty-four hours later we met Alice.

Nick: never did I feel more strongly about signing an artist, post that erm, post that meeting, err because, because of the artist, because of what she said, because of what she, how she behaved in that meeting. You know, a lot of artists have a, erm, self-doubt, and Alice didn’t seem to have that. She just, she seemed to have this complete self-belief. For me, Alice having CF, initially I thought about it, and thought, ish, this is bigger decision than usual. And Alice had a lot of great ticks, err, in her tick boxes, and then she had a box that had never, I never even had to consider before, which was personal health. So I’m guilty if I don’t sign her, because she’s ill, and I’m guilty if we sign her, because I’m exploiting she’s being ill, on the other hand. And its like, you can’t win, so erm, my attitude is you make decisions solely on the basis of, it’s good or it’s bad. And the fact of the matter in my opinion, its better than good. Its brilliant.

Jo: and when you meet Alice, after you, use, you know, two minutes, she’s not ill, you don’t think of her as ill she’s, she’s just Alice.

Phil: From June the fifteenth to signing the record deal was err, signed the record deal on August the first. So it was amazingly quick process.

Alice: I remember I was shaking, I just could not believe it, could not believe it.

Jo: Normally when its something you love, that’s how it happens, you just listen to it and you kinda know. Before we did, actually had done the deal, we were already talking to producers, going through all the tracks.

Nick: the focus on getting this done, was completely unique.

Alice: This is Bacon and Quarmby

Jonathan: My name’s Jonathan Quarmby.

Kevin: Kevin Bacon

Jonathan: and we are, record producers.

Alice: And they’re gonna tell you, what they like.

Jonathan: When I used to go paragliding, taking off, into the wind, very exhilarating.

Kevin: Good wine, and the temptations

Alice: they produced Breathe Tonight on my album

Jonathan: she came in and made it so clear, right from the word go, there was nothing, there was no issue about anything. You could see she was really psyching herself up for the (sings)“breathe tonight,” and she, just went and did it, it was absolutely amazing, even the singing teacher was like

Kevin: Woah.

Jonathan: Wow. Absolutely incredible.

Stevie: Breathe tonight, was the track that I went down to the studio. Erm, and that was really hard for Alice, because her, you know, she was really having trouble with her breathing at the time, and err, we were, we were doing bit by bit, putting her through it. you know, she’s ahh, really difficult for her, but she just gets up there and does it anyway, you gotta admire her.

Jonathan: We were in awe, we just, sat here going (breathes out). The thing was she was able to, she was able to find a way into the track and find a way into her voice and come up with a convincing, a convincing vocal which is an incredible achievement for somebody who, technically probably shouldn’t be able to do it.

Alice: I write all my music so I’ve got gaps, in between the words so that I can take a breath. I couldn’t just sing any song, on the radio

David: She does her job really well, her job is singing and song writing.

Jo Whiley: I’m Jo Whiley, I’m a presenter at radio one, so I play records. My three favourite things umm, I’ve got three kids so they, could that be it? Jude, Cass, and India. They’re my three favourite things in the world. Umm, I heard about Alice’s music, umm, before I heard the actual stuff, and it was really impactful I remember, umm, just sitting there being fairly blown away really by, by the power of it, it was really, you know, she’s got a brilliant voice. And really powerful music.

David: She presented Sony with a, a very polished album

Jo: Essentially, its eleven really good pop songs isn’t it.

Nick: great pop songs

Jo: that are cool as well, and you’re not embarrassed to like it.

Stevie: well Alice wanted, desperately wanted to do a live gig and I thought it was a great idea, and I said look forget backing tracks Alice, lets get a full band in. And she’s got a lot of friends who love her and really admire her music. Cause at the end of the day, Alice is an incredible musician. We went through days of sorting it out and she was worried cause she said well can I stand up through the whole thing and I said don’t worry about it just, we’ll sit you in a high chair and your music’s gonna come through.

Alice: What I do, every day, that I know I’ve got something planned, I wake up and I take an extra steroid, which I’m not really meant to do, umm, so to all those CF sufferers out there, don’t do what I do, cause its not good! Every time I do something, I feel I’m taking a risk. Everything you do, in life, is a risk, really, if you look at it. There’s nothing I like more, than being on the stage. It’s just the most incredible feeling of power and you’re up there you’re singing you’re, you’re singing your own songs that you’ve written as well.

David: The gig at the 606 club was really special to her because it was sort of focused all her efforts of doing a live show in front of an audience

Alice: And my mum came, and she’d never ever, I’ve done gigs, quite a few gigs and she’s never come to one, and I really wanted her to come, cause somehow, there’s something in, in me that was saying that that was my last gig I’d do before my transplant. I don’t know why, and all my really good friends were there and it was, it was really emotional.

David: A few days before she’d actually met umm, Robbie Williams who I work with, and he was knocked out with her and liked he liked her music and said you know, course, can I come on down to the gig?

Alice: And I never actually expected him to come, but he did. Someone said to me once, Alice, you can’t get scared going on stage, because you have confronted a fear that none of us confront, and that is you know, facing your own mortality. Going on stage, is nothing compared to that, just think every time you go on stage, “hey, you know, I could be on the operating table now, and I’m not. This is child’s-play in comparison.” And that’s what I think.

Stevie: we have here, a very special artist, who I’ve had the pleasure of working with for the last couple of years, Alice Martineau.

(Alice performs a bit of “the sunlight song”)

Stevie: He gave a standing ovation at the end of it, I mean, so did everybody. It was an amazing gig.

David: That was very special, it was a very special night.

Stevie: Wow, what a great singer, great music. I think Rob said to her afterwards that he, he was hoping that he could do some writing with her.

Alice: Robbie DID say he would ring me,

Robbie (at gig): Yeah, I’ll get your number off Dave, (inaudible)

Alice: I’m still waiting!

Blue: Oi! Sexy! You! Now!

Alice: Oh wow!

Stevie: I have a lot of well known people that I work with and Duncan came down from blue and I said to him, Duncy, you’ve gotta hear this singer, what do you think? And I put it on and he went, “who the hell is that?”

(Blue singing inside of you in background, Alice joins in later)

Stevie: then I told him the situation, I said look, I really want you to meet Alice, cause umm, she’d love to write with you and she wants to work, you know, she’s a great fan of yours, and they went, “yeah, yeah! We wanna meet her.” So I arranged for them to meet down at my studio umm, and just see if I could get this thing together. And they all just fell in love with each other.

Alice: I went to meet the boys from blue at Wembley, with Steve, he’s my other manager.

Duncan from blue: Hello darling! We need to get together and write some songs.

Alice: yeah, that’d be cool

Duncan: just chill out,

Alice: Yeah.

Duncan: get some inspiration. Do you know where you’re gonna be sitting? Stage left or right, so we’ll give you a big shout out.

Alice: yeah, cool!

Alice: And then Duncan got up on stage, during the concert, and said “we’ve got a very special person in the audience tonight, guys. A friend of ours, Alice, who’s got an album out, go and buy it”, basically gave me a massive plug. Having twelve thousand people at Wembley, shout out your name, pretty cool.

David: it is, It’s important to get recognition from other artists, you want your peer’s recognition, umm, I think every artist does that, wants to be told, by another artist, “yes you’re doing really well” or “yes that is really good” or “that song is fantastic”

Luke: Very, very, very, few people make it to the, to the stage that she has got to, umm, and it’s umm, I mean it’s, brave of her? No, crazy of her to even think about doing it, but umm, look she’s, she done it, you know.

Alice: Don’t use that word! I hate that word!

Luke: Yes, I know, I deliberately used it, to annoy her! (laughs)

Stevie: She hates the word, she’s brave. So I’m gonna say, “you’re so brave Alice!”

David: She’s really, really brave.

Alice: No! God. People treat me as if I’m really brave, umm, I’m not brave, I’m just dealing with something that I have no option, and it makes me so angry when people come up and go, “aww, Alice, hello, how are you feeling today?” And it’s just like, “hello? I’m a normal person, you know, I just have problems with my lungs and, you know, my health. But I’m exactly the same as you are, exactly the same (laughs)

Jo Whiley: Umm, the one track that I really, really love is ‘inside of you’, just the lyrics are, umm, they’re quite special really, uhh the music’s just beautiful, her voice is gorgeous on it.

Alice: My favourite song is ‘inside of you’, I actually wrote the lyrics, umm, “I like to watch you from above, it’s not an ordinary love,” and those lyrics formed the basis of the song. Umm, I have no musical training at all, really, so I don’t really know what I’m doing I just do it by ear. That chord, with that chord, they work together. “I like to watch you, from above, not an or-dinary love.” The song is, is about sort of, you know when you, when you’re dead and you always think that, that you can, its kind of almost like re-incarnation and you live, you’re living your life through someone you love I guess, again, umm, in their eyes, you’re sort of with them, even though you’re not with them, cause you’re not physically there but you are there. It was written about my boyfriend Al, yeah, so.

Alice: I want people to feel emotion when they listen to my music, just to feel, to be moved by it in some way.

(sings inside of you, acoustically)

I like to watch you from above
it's not an ordinary love
I like to feel you
so close to me
I bet I'm nearer than you'll ever see

and I'm sitting up against the wall
trying to find my way
I'll play it safe
in case I fall from yesterday

you're letting me live
inside of you
you're letting me live
as someone new

I wanted to be
forever young
you and me now I'm forever free
I wanted to learn from our memories
you're never cold
though you're not here to hold

and I'm sitting up against the sky
trying to find my way
nothing to do but to wonder why
it's not yesterday

you're letting me live
inside of you (inside of you)
you're letting me live
as someone new (as someone new)

believe in me 'cos I believe it

somewhere there is an angel
watching over your life
sometimes there is a silence
somewhere a face in the light

know this place is where I am
know this face is of me
know I'm watching over you
do you feel it too?

You're letting me live
inside of you
you're letting me live
as someone new

(you're letting me live)
somewhere there is an angel
watching over your life
(inside of you)
sometimes there is a silence
somewhere a face in the light

(you're letting me live)
know this place is where I am
know this face is of me
(as someone new)
know I'm watching over you
(know I'm watching over you)

(you're letting me live)
somewhere there is an angel
watching over your life
(inside of you)
sometimes there is a silence
somewhere a face in the light

(you're letting me live)
know this place is where I am
know this face is of me
(as someone new)
know I'm watching over you
(know I'm watching over you)

Stevie: Alice Martineau’s music goes totally to my soul. It’s the most I’ve, I think that her lyric content is something to reckon with. Very, very, very, special artist. That’s what I wanna say. Her music is to die for.

David: I’d love to think she was going to be successful, I’d, I would love to think she was going to be successful. But I’m not the general public and it’s always up to the general public, and radio.

Geddes: I think the final thing to say, is just how Alice is a superb symbol of how people can fight against Cystic Fibrosis, and one of her, her big contributions to herself and everybody else is just how hard she fights and how much she achieves

Alice: Ok, well, I hope you’ve enjoyed rifling through my dirty clothes! Umm, now goodbye really!

Sadly, since making this program, Alice has died.