My early TV career: 1. The Worst Dressed Person at the Royal Show

I’ve been on TV, TWICE* – the fame went right to my head.

(*I’m pretty sure there was a 3rd time but I can’t remember it.) 


First time


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. 

Not awkward.

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.)

Image by E.Z キ ? from Pixabay

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