Scream alert as Union J sign their dolls at the toy store

SO, school's out for the Easter holidays and parents and guardians all over the country will no doubt be tearing their hair out trying to come up with ways to keep their little darlings amused.

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Union J are signing their dolls at Hamley's
Union J are signing their dolls at Hamley's

It's strange the way the ­holidays are scheduled nowadays, as Easter Sunday is actually still another 10 whole days away, or as a friend of mine who has been off the booze for Lent kindly pointed out, 2400 hours or 846,000 seconds to be exact.

Not that he's counting and close to a nervous breakdown or that everyone he sees immediately turns into a gigantic walking, talking pint of lager as a result of his abstinence.

Unless you jet off somewhere nice on holiday, it can be quite a task thinking up fun things for children to do during a two-week school break that will keep them amused and doesn't cost the earth.

There are some great events out there, for example Pollok Country Park in the city's South Side is running a Spring Half Term event until April 20 with lots of fun activities such as free spring crafts, dray rides and egg hunts or there's the Inflatable Fun City at Glasgow Green which runs until April 15.

However, if you have teenage daughters, none of the above will matter a jot to them, for you see there is only one event that they will have their love-struck little hearts set on attending, and it's happening today.

Oh yes people, be afraid, be very afraid, as there's a boyband coming to town and they are armed with Sharpie pens, eyes that could melt snow and more merchandise than you could shake a stick covered in handmade love hearts at.

X Factor's Union J are coming to Hamleys in Glasgow from this afternoon with queues likely to build up during the morning.

If you are living, working, shopping or generally in the area, might I suggest wearing industrial ear plugs and carrying around laminated pictures of singers such as Cliff Richard and Daniel O'Donnell to fend off any screaming hysterical youngsters who may run into your path.

We all know the effect boybands have on teenage girls, you only have to look at the black and white footage of the Beatles coming off the plane after arriving in America back in 1964 or skip forward to 1996 when Take That announced their split after Robbie.

It prompted hundreds of thousands of distraught fans to call the designated helplines that had been set up to know how adored these singers are, so I'm going to stick my neck out and say today is going to be an eventful one.

This is a signing with a twist though, as instead of the usual CDs or posters, the Union J boys are signing their very own dolls.

Thankfully myself and the British public were spared such a doll of moi being manufactured and it was just the good old fashioned album signing when I came to HMV In Argyle Street 10 years ago.

Although I distinctly remember a man asking me to sign his chest. Unfortunately the huge permanent marker I had been using was as much use as an ashtray in a motorbike when it came to that particular gentlemen's body - a Black & Decker hedge trimmer would have been far more useful.

This has all got me thinking about what my doll would have looked like.

Clearly it would have been of the big sturdy wummin variety, with long flowing locks and a wee button on its back, that when pressed activated a broad Scottish voice saying 'Och Simon I love you too', complete with sparkly jeans, a black top and a single yellow flowered earring finished off with a tartan bunnet and a tiny tin of shortbread under its arm.

A sell-out product I'm sure you'll agree.

No, I think I'll leave all of that to the boybands and their devoted fans who will be going along to meet their idols today.

I'm hoping against hope the store doesn't sell out too soon because I know how scarring that can be.

I was six-years-old and had waited in line down at Morecambe Beach while on holiday, only to get to the front of the queue to be told they'd sold out of Kylie and Jason hats, even to this day it still brings a tear to my eye.

IF YOU are looking for a great night out this weekend make sure you get along to comedian Des McLean's A-Z of Scotland.

It's his new show and he's kicking the tour off at The Platform Theatre in the city's East End tomorrow and Saturday night.

Also a little birdy has told me there's a special guest making a wee appearance too, so for more information, log onto

Arts and Entertainment

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