Thursday, 4 March 2010

I'm Almost Famous!

Everywhere I looked there was a celebrity. To my right was Hayley Tamaddon, the hot favourite to win Dancing on Ice along with her is-he-or-isn’t-he-her boyfriend Daniel Whiston.

To my left was psychologist Linda Papadopoulos and next to her Rosemary Shrager having a false monobrow fitted. Don’t even ask why  - all I know is that it’s all the rage, darling.

We were all in make up getting ready to appear on the Alan Titchmarsh show. In the background Carly Simon was singing You’re so Vain, but it wasn’t the radio playing. She really was there singing and we’d all trooped past her, as if it was normal, while she rehearsed in the studio.

‘Check out Alan’s hair,’ a friend had said when I told her I was appearing. ‘He uses a lot of hairspray apparently.’  So far he’d been elusive, but it wouldn’t be long before I was interviewed by him in front of a live TV audience for a, gulp, show watched by millions. ‘Would you like some lip gloss?’ the make up artist smiled as I tried to stop staring at the famous guests.

A newscaster I watched present the headlines most days on my TV screen had just ambled in, followed by radio presenter Nick Ferrari. It was wall-to-wall celebrities now – and me.
What was I doing here? Had I made a hit record that was number 1 in very country or been covered in bruises learning to perform on ice skates after starring in a soap? 

Er no. I’d made a three-minute appearance in a Cutting Edge documentary revealing what goes on in the world of real life journalism because I’d written such headlines as My Dwarf Hubby’s Big In Bed and A Cannibal Ate My Mum With Pasta And Cheese.

Now I was here to defend my profession before the documentary was aired. ‘Ringlets?’ the make up artist asked as she toyed with my bleached locks and tried not to pull a face. ‘It’s the best thing for naturally frizzy hair.’

I didn’t tell her I’d spent an hour blow-drying it into this mess that morning and had already applied every beauty product in my bathroom. ‘I’ll just airbrush you while the tongs heat up,’ she said. Did she have some magical computer that would erase all of my blemishes, under eye bags, wrinkles and double chin?

No, she meant she’s spray on my foundation with an air gun – and she meant business. Like an old wall, primed with filler, she gave me three coats and left me to dry.

Linda wasn’t being sprayed with foundation or having her spots covered in a dot-to-dot game with concealer. But she looked like Katie Holmes – but better – and actually glowed close up. I simply had pimples’ and open pores.

‘Close your eyes, hold your breath, now shake out your hair,’ the make up artist instructed as I tried to listen in to Dancing on Ice’s Dan telling the girl applying his eyeliner how much he liked Hayley. ‘Well we’ve known each other for 20 years, we just feel right together,’ he beamed. ‘You never know what’s going to happen.’

Finally my make up was done, my hair curled and my runner was ready to escort me back to my dressing room. It was just like a hotel suite minus the bed. ‘You haven’t been at all demanding,’ John said. ‘But none of the big stars are.’

I looked round, thinking some other celebrity had joined us but no, it was just me. John had noticed me guffawing at the mention of the word ‘star’ and was still talking.

‘I looked after Brian May the other week and he just asked for a cup of tea,’ he said. ‘Sting was nice. He was here all day and all he wanted was a glass of coke. The only problems I get are with reality TV stars. They think they’re something special and always ask for Haribo sweets or unpronounceable tea.’

We were in my dressing room now, and John left me alone in front of my giant Plasma screen, wondering if I’d be able to speak with my air sprayed face when a producer came by to check I was OK. Then finally it was time to put on my mic and come face to face with Alan.

‘Be serious and don’t let him belittle real life magazines and their stories,’ I told myself. I was a serious editor who had reported on the breakdown of Charles and Diana’s marriage and been the first journalist outside serial killers Fred and Rosemary West’s House of Horrors in Cromwell Street.

I had to stand up for the 11 million women who read true life magazines every week. ‘It can’t be that hard,’ I thought, remembering Alan Titchmarsh’s roots as a gardener.

But then I caught sight of Dan’s cheeky smile, Rosemary’s monobrow and Alan’s chirpy face and my brain went blank. ‘Tell us all about your most memorable story in your career,’ our host asked. My mind whirred. My air sprayed foundation began to crack. Should I mention when I met Margaret Thatcher. Or the front page story when the SAS stormed a dentist’s after all the patients had been taken hostage?

‘I was once asked to track down a man who’d cut off his own willy and kept it in a jar on the mantelpiece,’ I babbled as Alan and the audience laughed. So much for serious journalism – my mum will be so ashamed.

And yes Alan Titchmarsh does wear a lot of hairspray, has his foundation sprayed on, is very, very short, but is a big sweetie.

Please tune in to his show at 5pm to see me make a fool of myself and I’ll be in the Cutting Edge documentary My Daughter Grew Another Head at 9pm for at least three minutes.


  1. I bet you didn't need any of that makeup to look beautiful! Is it bad that I dont know who Linda Papadopoulos , Hayley Tamaddon or Daniel Whiston is? I think I know Rosemary - she's that cook . I need to watch more TV I think! But I will tune in tonight to watch! :)

  2. Lol I would have been incredibly nervous and I would probably have needed five coats of spray foundation! I've got the Sky Plus all set.

  3. Love it! Can't wait for the show tonight, I once interviewed the Titchmarsh and got a bit tonge-tied, shows the level of "stars" who make me nervous!

  4. Excellent! How exciting and terrifying! i too have no idea who any of those people, apart from Alan, are though.