I’ve been on TV, TWICE* – and not just CCTV, actual TV, filmed by people. The fame went right to my head.
(*I’m pretty sure there was a 3rd time but I can’t remember it.)
1990-ish – The Worst Dressed Person at the Royal Show.
Massive fashion icon
You don’t dress up for a pig, do you?
(Yes, GODDAMN YES YOU DO, for God’s sake, dress up for the pig.)
I was a twenty-year-old student in London, dressed in black with a partly shaved head, when my mum and dad invited me to The Royal Show. I always said yes to everything, but “Royal” and “Show” were a bit out of my normal routine (pub and band) so I asked the guru (Mum) what to wear. The “so far so good” bit ends about here.
Turns out there’s a
“No, don’t dress up, you’re just going to see animals,”
“Well, there’ll be animals there so I wouldn’t dress up too much.”
Because my mother’s version of “not dressing up too much” involved not wearing a hat with the cocktail dress, while mine meant jeans.
So the OH and I threw on the Led Zep t-shirts, washed his long, flowing hair and my sad keratin patch, and headed off to tickle sheep and scratch pig’s ears. It was blissfully sunny, the animals were beyond cute, and we were having such a lovely time, we absolutely missed the frosty hellos and uber-rigid body language of my parents with their gang of middle-aged suits. Only when we returned home did we incur the Full Wrath of Parent. Senior Management! Royal People! Studs in your nose, studs in your jackets, why does he have a pony tail and what the hell was that on your t-shirt?
Hmm yeah, so, we weathered it, put on our most floral and floaty non-studs, and finally soothed the ruffled feathers with a nice cup of tea and a daughterly offer to watch The Clothes Show. (This was a warm concession because I thought fashion was a bag of crap whereas my mum loved it.) She was so surprised and chuffed, that she forgot to be angry for the three whole minutes before the OH and I appeared on screen as the “most alternatively” dressed people at The Royal Show.
Her shoulders went right up to her ears, right there on the sofa. Didn’t come down for weeks. Apparently all her friends would be watching. All of them.
I like to think that deep down, she was proud.
(She wasn’t. We never spoke of it again.)
Social icon, political poster girl (for drunk women).
This one was a bit harsh. I was driving through London after work and a few mates were meeting up in a pub, so I dropped in to say hi but, because I was driving, I just had a diet coke. While we were chatting, a guy came by and asked if we’d mind him taking our photo or filming, and I didn’t care, so I said sure, and ignored him ever after.
Turns out he was filming a programme on “women who drink too much”
and we were his poster girls.
My friend was furious, which was fun to watch, while I basked in my new-found stardom and planned a lucrative career in wordless, boozy political commentary.
(That man owes me a double vodka and a taxi ride home.)
If I had my time again, I’d have recorded these to show my children, but people, this all happened before broadband existed. Imagine.
So there we go, my 3 minutes of fame
(I still have 12 minutes left; call my agent).