When The Mail published a piece about Grasshopper last year the response was unbelievable. Even though they dressed us up like Anthea Turner, slathered us in make-up and made us perch on the work-surface of my kitchen, Britain cheered and I even attracted an admirer from Sutton Coldfield. So when The Mail asked if I’d like to be featured in a Health & Wellbeing piece last week I jumped at the chance.
The weekly slot features a businesswoman alongside a breakdown of what she spends to keep her fit and well. Some initial Google action showed that the kind of thing they were looking for was
‘Nicky Clarke does my hair, I’ve known Nicky for years, in fact when my quins were born Nicky styled their as they emerged from the birth canal’ or ‘I go to The Spa at The Mandarin Oriental where 5 women work on my body at the same time using a mixture of diamond dust and ass’s milk, it takes years off me’
As my beauty regime amounts to soap and water followed by face cream scrounged off my mum I began to feel daunted. My trepidation grew when I discovered that the feature would include a full-length shot of me dressed and styled by the paper and reached fever pitch when I arrived at the studio for the shoot to see that the other subjects looked like Sheryl Cole.
The stylist looked me up and down while the hair and make-up lady asked me what I normally used on my lips (Vaseline) and how I usually added ‘texture’ to my hair (my hair has only one texture, fluffy). The first dress they picked out went over the top half of me ok but got stuck and shielded only by the curtain that divided me from the photographer/stylist and Sheryl Cole-alikes I tried to take it off again and got stuck in the manner of a puppy in a cardboard box. The shoot itself was mercifully brief and involved me standing with my hand on my hip in thick make-up, stilettos and a mini-dress with a swirly pattern (the only one that I could get on although as I wriggled into it I remembered something my mother had told me once ‘just because you can do it up doesn’t mean it fits’)
After I did the interview I reported back to Abi and told her how I had cleverly used the opportunity to mention some of our Grasshopper friends who had supported us in the past to try and get more hits on their websites. Jem Hall is a friend of ours from home, he went to St Johns and his dad is an expert on military uniforms and wears a hat like a French Revolutionary. Jem is a windsurfing coach but only teaches people who are already brilliant and want to learn tricks that range from very difficult to impossible. I told Abi that I had managed to mention him in the piece and she went quiet. Already nervous that I was going to look like an over-made-up Oompa-Loompa Abi took what was left of my self-esteem and dispatched it with a savage accuracy that can only be achieved by a member of ones own family.
‘Did you ask Jem first? Do you really think that he wants you as his poster-girl?’
The piece will run on a Monday in October, watch this space...