Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan Markle, Royal Family
Royal Wagdom, Kate and her Prince

Welcome to my webpage!

 

I am a journalist, writer and co-founder of The Mammy Monologues project.  My work has been published in the UK, Ireland and the USA.  In the past fifteen years I've contributed to some of the following newspapers and magazines - The Sunday Independent, Woman & Home, Essentials, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Sunday World, The Belfast Telegraph, Image, Prudence, Woman's Way, Primary Times (UK & Ireland) The Evening Herald, The Irish Post (UK), The Irish Echo (USA), The New York Dog (USA) and The Irish Examiner USA.

 

I've been featured in a number of anthologies (both fiction and non-fiction) and wrote a whole book (gasp!) called It's Not Me, It's You! A Girls Guide to Dating in Ireland. I've also appeared on TV and radio (as myself, mostly) on the BBC, RTE, Radio France, CNN, CBS and Good Morning Britain.

 

Things I Wish I'd Known: Women Tell The Truth About Motherhood (Icon Books) an anthology edited by Victoria Young came out on 5 March 2015, other contributors include  Adele Parks, Kathy Lette, Cathy Kelly, Bryony Gordon, Emma Freud and Shobna Gulati.

 

I've appeared at the Henley Literary Festival twice and am a regular guest on BBC Radio Berkshire. 

 

 

Follow me on Twitter @amscanlon, Instagram annemarie.scanlon

& Linked In Anne Marie Scanlon

 

 

Twitter: @MammyMonologues

Facebook: www.facebook.com/themammymonologues

 

Lower Manhattan on the morning of September 11th 2001 (The Sunday Independent)
Lower Manhattan on the morning of September 11th 2001 (The Sunday Independent)

 

 

Remembering 9/11

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

05/09/2021

 

On Monday, September 10, 2001, I flew from Dublin to New York. I’d been in Ireland for my friend Fiona’s wedding. It was quite a swish do at a castle in Wicklow.

 

Fiona and I had been classmates in secondary school and then at university, so myself and the rest of the ‘Loreto Girls’ – Deborah, Kyla, Nicola, Keelin (and her husband Conor) – were all shacked up in the same guesthouse.

 

Being together again for a few days meant we all reverted back to our teen selves. Old nicknames were dusted off. There was plenty of slagging and much laughter. Breakfast was a noisy affair.

 

I got back to New York in high spirits. Being around women who have known me most of my life was fantastic – there’s no front, or need for front, around people who know you well.

 

Tuesday, September 11, it was back to reality. Briefly.

 

I awoke at 5am, which is normal after a transatlantic flight. By 7am I was at my desk going through the stacks of mail and emails that had arrived while I was away. I’d started freelancing as a journalist two years earlier and had joined the Emerald Isle Immigration Centre charity (EIIC) on a part-time basis so I could pursue writing for a living. However, they kept promoting me – and by the time of September 11 I was its deputy executive director.

 

When I had arrived in New York seven years before, I’d been working in finance in the City of London. The work was fine. The people were great (one of them is still a close friend) but I was bored and disinterested. I’d been working in finance since I left university.

 

In New York I joined a temp agency and told them ABF – Anything But Finance. I was gainfully and happily employed for two months until I spent two very grim days at the headquarters of a clothing brand. They wanted me to return the following week.

 

I rang the agency and begged them to find me something else.

 

“All we got is Dean Witter but they’re finance.”

 

 

I was so desperate I agreed. And so without a thought I changed course.

Dean Witter Reynolds was a brokerage firm that traded stocks, shares and commodities. I used to have to suppress a giggle every time I heard someone talking about “pork bellies” as I’d only ever heard the expression in the 1980s movie Trading Places. They asked me to become permanent which coincided with me suddenly needing health insurance so I agreed. (I was also still enjoying the novelty but of course that wouldn’t last.) 

 

I had to pass a couple of exams so I could get a licence to trade. I aced both. The other assistant in my area was a young guy called Tai, not long out of university. He was endlessly good humoured.

 

When a position opened up assisting the Big Broker who had one client and 10 assistants it was a chance to make some serious money.

Tai got the job. I was disgusted. I blamed sexism, I blamed anti-Irishness. In the end I took the huff and quit.

 

Again, without actually thinking about it, I had changed course. Shortly after I left Dean Witter, the mid-town office where I had worked was shut – and all the staff moved downtown to the offices in World Trade Center.

 

Taimour Khan, the consistently cheerful young man, died there on September 11. He wasn’t even 30 years old. Two other colleagues, John and Sylvia Resta, who had started dating when I worked with them, also lost their lives. Sylvia was seven months pregnant. It’s impossible to think that Baby Resta would be 20 now.

 

All that loss. All that devastation.

 

And for what?

 

One of the iconic images to emerge from that day was of firemen carrying the body of Fr Mychal Judge, the first recorded victim, from the ruins of the towers.

 

I knew Fr Judge from my work with Emerald Isle Immigration Centre (EIIC) and indeed I’d had the privilege of walking alongside him in the first gay St Patrick’s Day parade.

 

Fr Judge was a genuinely special person. In those days my life was hyperactive but just being in his presence was enough to bring calmness and peace.

 

We all know what happened that day. There’s no need for me to recall the planes, the towers falling.

 

Everyone over the age of 40 can tell you where they were. My overriding memory is of the clear blue sky and the silence. The trains stopped; the planes stopped.

 

On the morning of Wednesday, September 12, I was up at 5am furiously cleaning my apartment. Exerting control over my immediate environment, to offset the feelings of utter helplessness. It was another beautiful day.

 

Mid-morning I took a call from my father. This was a shocking event of itself. My parent’s marriage broke down when I was a baby and my father had deliberately absented himself from my life.

 

The prospect that I might be dead shook my father. The call shook me. We talked about the weather.

 

New York is often referred to as a “melting pot” where all cultures, colours, faiths are welcome. That is of course true – but in New York there is little “melting” or “blending”. Communities exist in tandem. Many have their own enclaves, their own rules.

 

In the days after 9/11 all that changed. We were no longer Irish, or Jewish, Puerto Rican, black, white, brown. We were all the same. We were all New Yorkers – united in shock and sadness. For a short time, the Big Apple was the largest small town on the planet. We saw each other. We acknowledged each other. We were kind to each other.

 

It didn’t last. It couldn’t last. But everything had changed.

 

New York had always been, according to popular belief, a notoriously unfriendly place. In all the years I’ve lived there I never found that to be true. It is the same as any other busy metropolis where people are focused on getting to their job on time and with the contents of their handbag intact.

 

But after 9/11 anger was inevitable. I heard previously reasonable people shout about “bombing the bastards back to the Stone Age”. While I didn’t share those sentiments I understood them.

 

When the US went into Afghanistan I thought it was wrong. I thought the US should stop interfering in foreign conflicts. However I am not and have never been an expert on geo-politics.

 

One of the board of directors at EIIC, Frank Carvill, was an army reservist and went to Afghanistan to “do his duty”. It would not have occurred to him not to go; he was the essence of decency. He was blown to bits by a landmine.  

 

As a woman I’d always been careful when out alone – but for the first time in my life I grew very scared. I was hyper-vigilant whenever I went out.

For six months after the attacks I did not set foot in the subway. Every night I had nightmares about being stuck in a building and trying – without success – to find the exit.

 

The city changed. Barriers – both material and figurative – went up everywhere. New York City became less people-friendly as security increased everywhere. And not just New York. London became a target, so did Paris.

 

And for what?

 

Four months after the attacks I met the man who would become the father of my child. Early in our relationship we shared our 9/11 experiences. To this day if I meet someone who was there I feel an instant kinship.

 

Five of us Loreto Girls were pregnant at the same time, and our babies were born at short intervals between 2006 and the start of 2007. (We finally ended up with 13 children between us.)

 

I left New York when I was pregnant with my son as I fell extremely ill and needed my mother. I arrived back in a wheelchair with just an overnight bag. It wasn’t my intention to leave New York for good but this turned out to be another time when my life changed direction. Even though I didn’t yet know it I was no longer a New Yorker.

 

On that bright morning on September 11, brave men marched into a burning building and did not come out again. Ordinary people went to work and did not come home. Men, women and children departed in airplanes that would never arrive. And seeds of distrust, mayhem, and doubt were planted.  

 

In the last five years the world has become increasingly polarised. Brexit, Trump and Covid have all had starring roles, and people are divided in ways I have never seen before.

 

It worries me. We are tearing ourselves apart in ways that Osama Bin Laden could only have dreamed of.

 

Even Covid is yet another hot button topic that turns otherwise reasonable people into fanatics.

 

Like everyone else I spent most of 2020 confined to my home, washing my hands. It was a terrible year. Nine people I knew died.

 

Early that year my darling friend Keelin passed away. I still can’t really accept it. She was far too young and a genuinely fantastic woman. Certain songs from bands we liked back in the day still reduce me to tears.

 

My father who first reconnected with me as a result of 9/11 died from Covid. Thankfully we had made some peace with the past.

 

Usually I write light-hearted pieces. I like to make people laugh or at least smile. But I can’t do it this time. Death is so final. I can’t and never could comprehend the scale of the loss on 9/11. Thousands of people murdered.

 

But when I think of the individuals I knew it’s different.

 

When I think about the senseless loss of Tai, John and Sylvia and their unborn baby, Fr Judge and Frank I do wonder what was it all for? Their futures brutally ripped away. The massive hole their respective losses left behind for their family and friends. That grief cannot be assuaged.

 

“Lessons will be learned” is one of the favourite phrases of the modern world. It’s trotted out with tedious predictability after every scandal in public life. After every preventable disaster.

 

The events that happened on that beautiful September morning in 2001 took us all by surprise.

 

 

Two decades on, what lessons have we learned? Basic stuff – kiss your kids, call your mother, take a chance. Do what you can, while you can – because when it’s over, it’s over.

 

Boris Johnston, Carrie Symonds, Brexit, Baby, Mother, Father
Boris & Carrie. Photo from independent.ie

People Are Talking

Brexit Baby for Boris

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

08/03/2020

 

The news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expecting another child was greeted, inexplicably, by some UK commentators as “good news for the country”. 

 

Of course everyone loves a baby and no doubt Carrie Symonds, the expectant mother, is delighted but the vast majority of the British public aren’t in a celebratory mood.  Britain is plagued by, er, Plague and, considering the increasingly empty supermarket shelves, famine.  Even the most ardent Tories are reluctant to break out the bunting (still available in supermarkets) as BoJo’s personal life has never borne much scrutiny.  He’s a man with an undisclosed number of progeny who got engaged to his pregnant, much younger girlfriend, while still married to wife number two. Looks like The Jeremy Kyle Show is still running inside No. 10 -only with posher accents.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Royal Family, HRH
Royal Rebels fleeing England

People Are Talking

Asylum for the Royal Rebels

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

19/01/2020

  

Oh Leo, why didn’t you show our new friends in the North how modern we are by offering asylum to the Royal Rebels?

 

Ireland would be ideal for Harry to pop back and forth to visit Granny (she’s very old and there's a will to think about). 

 

No doubt the tax man would be able to ensure a smooth Megxit for their ‘progressive’ new venture (whatever it is).

 

Most importantly, in Ireland we very deliberately ignore the very famous - Megs could pop down to the local EuroSpar for a tin of mineral and a lottery ticket in her trackie bottoms and nobody would say a word. And, we’re still in the EU!    

Greta Thunburg
Greta Thunburg

People Will Be Talking

Hot Air. And Gas

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

05/01/2020

 

Our plastic straws have gone. Our bags for life are going. And yet, the clamour grows ever louder that we are extremely close to the ‘point of no return’, the planet is burning and we’re all going to die. So will 2020 be the year that the human race cops on and stops a massive global catastrophe? 

 

Unfortunately not.

 

What we can expect is to see a lot of Greta Thunberg – on boats, in parliaments, and large multi-national gatherings. Greta will make impassioned speeches, bang the table and shout, and men in suits will say she is great and then carry on getting on with the ‘important stuff’ (Brexit, the Kurds, Novichok, who knows). 

 

We can assume that Extinction Rebellion will be everywhere gluing themselves to things and stopping traffic – even though impeding public transport and letting cars idle will only exacerbate climate change.  As ever, the protesters and the politicians combined will produce too much hot air and gas. We are all doomed.    

Boris Bojo Jenifer Arcuri Brexit Stanley Johnson, Rachel Johnson,
Boris Johnston - a lifelong dream realised

People Were Talking

Boris Johnston fulfils his destiny, according to himself.

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

22/11/2019

 

This year saw a political ‘coronation’ when the Conservative Party faithful anointed Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson as their new leader and UK Prime Minister in July.

 

This was BoJo’s destiny (according to himself) and you have to hand it to him, he was jolly busy for the rest of the year.

 

Women have always been a source of difficulty for Boris – the wives and affairs (if not all of the children) have been well documented, as was the disagreement between Bozza and his Bidey-in Carrie Symonds, when the police had to intervene. 

 

Even the Queen herself isn't immune from Mr Bungle. He got her to prorogue Parliament for five weeks (coming up to the Brexit deadline). The Supreme Court found this action 'unlawful.'  And then came Jenifer Arcuri the scandal that would not go away.  By his own words he should be 'dead in a ditch' by now. He isn't. Enough said.

People Are Talking

Unexploded Blond Bombshell

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

22/11/2019

 

Bojo's premiership has been marked by scandals but he never seems to sweat the big stuff.

With the international spotlight firmly on Prince Andrew (a man who doesn’t sweat either, apparently) Bozza finally caught a break. Unfortunately for him, an unexploded (Blond) bombshell detonated loudly. When news that Johnston was being investigated for grants he awarded pal Jenifer Arcuri, while he was Mayor of London, first broke, Arcuri dutifully defended the PM and kept his secrets. As thanks, Bojo apparently ghosted her. Arcuri was cross, they'd had a 'very special relationship' and he needed to 'man up'. Bumbling Boris is fond of spouting classical allusions.  Shame he's not familiar with Restoration Comedies or he'd be familiar with the old adage “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.  

People Are Talking

Crown Vs The Crown

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

01/12/2019

 

The Crown Series 3,  a highly anticipated TV ‘event’ was finally released by Netflix and fans are disappointed.

The cast has changed but the acting is as stellar as ever (Jason Watkins as Harold Wilson deserves all the awards) but the plots.... Inaccuracy could be forgiven if it wasn’t so dreary - one episode revolves around a quite unbelievable midlife crisis experienced by Prince Philip, while the real life attempted kidnapping of Princess Anne in 1974 is completely ignored.

 

Of course the fictional Crown has some serious competition from the actual House of Windsor. Andrew’s now infamous ‘unbecoming’ interview aired the previous day. Meghan Markle’s family are determined to keep dissing her publicly while William and Harry are apparently at odds.  Come on Netflix, this stuff writes itself.

People Are Talking

Brexit Britain sick of Posh People Problems

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

03/11/2019

 

When Meghan Markle first arrived in the UK the British public adored her but since then the love affair has ended.

 

Having squandered all the good will they had, Megs and Hazza recently toured South Africa, whipped out the baby and appeared to be on the verge of rebuilding Brand Sussex.

 

But, in a classic example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, they gave interviews bemoaning their lot in life.

 

Brexit has left the British public exhausted and demoralised, a feeling compounded by the upcoming Brexmas General Election, - they don't have the patience for Posh Self-Pity. 

 

Apparently Kate counselled Meghan that everybody "goes through a bad patch." Meghan is almost 40, been married twice and has a baby. Does she really need to be told this? Things are obviously worse than we thought.    

People Are Talking

Royal House of Whinger

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

07/09/2019

 

Outside of academic circles, King Ethelred (978 -1013) is largely remembered as "The Unready."  If Prince Harry is remembered a thousand years from now, which is unlikely, it will probably be as "The Hapless". 

 

He and his missus, Meg, do like a good woke cause and have been banging on about the environment for some time. Unfortunately, like many in our celeb-driven culture, the Duke expects the plebs to practice what he preaches, while he and Meghan don't.

 

Hazza has defended his copious private jet usage on the grounds of keeping his family 'safe'. Last month, big bro Wills took his wife and three kids on a budget flight without incident. In the Windsor PR war Wills is winning.

 

So too is Uncle Airmiles Andy, the more hypocrisy Harry spouts, the less people think about him and his dead pal who also liked private jets.

Woke Windsors Sussex Duchess Harry Meghan
Hazza & Meg Right Royal Virtue Signallers

People Are Talking

Royal Vacuous Virtue Signallers

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

04/08/2019

 

Americans, despite booting the Brits out in 1776, are obsessed with the monarchy.

 

Few have been as dynastic as the Trumps, with heir Ivanka included in every damn thing.  In an odd reversal of protocol, Megs and Hazza’s royalling has taken on a distinctly Hollywood tinge.

 

As guest editor of the famed ‘September Issue’ of Vogue the Duchess has showcased her ‘Woke’ credentials featuring, with a few honourable exceptions, young women as glossy and affluent as herself. There’s talk of a Brand Meghan clothing line a la Princess Ivanka.

 

Harry, once the most beloved Royal after Granny, told Vogue, without any apparent recognition of the inherent hypocrisy, that he and Megs would only have two kids – for environmental reasons. What would Granny say? Nothing. She knows when to keep schtum. 

Trump. White House President Ireland Leo Varadkar
The Doonbeg Resort

People Are Talking

Is Trump Gonna Comb Over Here?

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

05/05/2019

 

 

If rumours that Donald Trump is going to honour us with his great orange presence (after his State Visit to Britain) are true, then PAT advises readers to invest in a pair of good protective sunglasses.  Especially those in the Doonbeg area. 

 

In the wake of the Not-So-Secret Service poking about in the dunes Lovely Leo has confirmed that the luminous leader of the free world may be coming. But unlike his visit to England if Trump comes it will be in a personal capacity. 

 

What does that mean in Trump-speak? Let's face it, he's not known for keeping things on the down low.

 

Whatever the status of any visit we can be sure that our politicians will be queuing up to shake the President's self-declared 'yuge' hand. No doubt hoping that some of the magic that allows him to do and say what he wants is catching. Face it lads, the only thing likely to rub off is fake tan.

 

Game of Thrones, Harry and Meghan, William & Kate, The Windsors
The Night King. The House of Windsor also like skiing and Winter Sports

People Are Talking

Into Africa?

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

28/04/2019

 

As Game of Thrones is now in it’s final series, fans are worried about how they will replace it.

 

PAT suggests Britain’s longest running Soap – House of Windsor, which is no longer Corrie with tiaras but has taken a dark Gothic turn with the alleged feud between Cambridge and Sussex. 

 

At PAT we’ve been loath to believe it but the latest development – the notion of giving Megs and H their own little kingdom in Africa, sounds like the Princes and their wives may well be as Lannisters are to Starks. 

 

Are the self-styled ‘Royal Rock Stars’ too big for a small island?  Are they the ones wishing to flee the ancestral homeland, where Megs is now being called Meghan Antoinette for her conspicuous consumption? Or, is future King William feeling threatened? Who is Daenerys? And even more importantly, who is Cersei?

Australian Estate Agent, Viral Video
Dirty Dancing on the Marble Worktops

People Are Talking

Property Porn

Down Under 

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

21/04/2019

 

Here at People Are Talking we’re not ashamed to admit we adore a nice bit of Property Porn. Gorgeous Georgians, Victorian Villas, Marvellous Mansions and Bijoux Bedsits – there’s nothing we like more than a good virtual poke around someone else’s interiors. 

 

One Aussie Estate Agent seems to have forgotten that the 'porn' bit is the also the property bit and their video of a luxury dwelling in Sydney has gone viral for all the wrong reasons. Instead of a standard virtual tour the Estate Agents, living up to all the stereotypes about their profession, decided to jazz it up with the inclusion of two mismatched dancers. (Are they burglars or home owners?) 

 

The toe-curling result is like one of the worst music videos the 80s ever produced (and that’s a large pool). There are too many moments of sheer awfulness to list as Mr and Mrs Raunchy prowl and jig around the house in what is, essentially, a crime against eyes. 

 

Also, we seriously wonder who would be induced to buy a house by watching a fella marching over the marble work surfaces in his shoes? That's pure filth and has no place in proper property porn.

Meghan Markle, Royal Family, Royal Baby
Prince Harry and Meghan

People Are Talking

Oh (Royal) Baby! 

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

14/04/2019

 

Oh dear, Meghan has ‘snubbed’ the Queen’s doctors and the entire future of the UK is under threat because of it. 

 

The British Press are aghast, amazed and apoplectic that a 37-year-old woman would want to have a female physician attend her birth rather than a bunch of ‘men in suits’.  The cheek of the woman! 

 

The royal correspondents are also getting riled up because the Duchess has apparently said she wants a home birth.  OK, let’s all take a breath.  Meghan’s home birth, if she does indeed have one, will not be the usual Mrs Middle Class with the inflatable pool, scented candles and soothing sounds in the living room. 

 

There can be little doubt that Meghan will have a full cadre of medical professionals on hand to assist the delivery of the latest little royal. Given that Meghan only moved to the UK last year the British press should really be celebrating the fact that at least one immigrant isn’t taking advantage of the cash-strapped NHS    

Fergie, Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson, Royal Family, Windsors, Airmiles Andy
The Yorks

People Are Talking

Royals Reunited! 

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

07/04/2019

 

Rumours that Fergie and Airmiles Andy have reunited prove two things.  One, Meghan is now officially The Bad One™ and two, that Brits are so fed up with the Endlessexit (formerly known as Brexit) that they will jump at any chance of diversion. 

 

When Sarah married Prince Andrew in 1986 she was the fun modern one who would shake up the House of Windsor, (sound familiar?). The couple divorced ten years later by which time Fergie was The Bad One™. 

 

While the rest of the royals shunned Sarah she and Andrew remained best of friends. Although they have now been divorced for over two decades for much of that time they’ve shared a home.  They have been so close that Fergie felt confident enough to offer an undercover reporter a meet with His Royal Highness for £500,000.

 

Whatever their respective romantic status there is no scoop in Fergie and Andy getting back together because they’ve never really been apart.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Royal Family, Windsors
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

People Are Talking

The Bad Royal 

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

24/03/2019

 

Once upon a time there were two English princes and they each had a wife. One wife was good and the other was not. 

 

While this might sound current PAT has gone back in time to the 80s when Diana was the darling of the British Press and her sister-in-law Sarah, Duchess of York was routinely vilified by them and nicknamed ‘Duchess of Pork’ when she gained weight. 

 

Diana died and was elevated to sainthood and Prince Charles assumed the role of royal villain for decades.  But now that both his sons have wives the British Press is on repeat mode with the women.

 

With Meghan firmly cast as the ‘bad one’ Charles has been rehabilitated and only last week the press was lauding him as ‘buff on the beach’.

 

Harry and Meghan apparently intend to employ a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton, as their PR guru.  They should save themselves the money and buy an extra Silver Cross pram for the baba as the British media will only let them live happily ever after when they decide to.

Duchess of Cambridge, Royals, House of Windsor, Posh & Becks
K-Middy, Kate Moss and the Backhams go to the Gala

People Are Talking

Kate Vs Charlo 

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

17/03/2019

 

Ever wondered what happens when senior Royals have rival events?  Given the  guests when Princes Charles went head to head with daughter-in-law Kate we think we know. 

 

At the 2019 Portrait Gala, Kate went solo and stole the show not only promoting British fashion  (McQueen)  but recycling a dress from a previous occasion.  Meanwhile back at Buck Hise, Prince Charles hosted dinner for his charity the Princes Trust.

 

Judging by the company the respective royals kept the protocol seems to be ‘age before beauty’.  While Charlo was rubbing shoulders with George and Amal Kate got to make small talk with Posh and Becks. Charles enjoyed the company of everyone’s favourite redhead Benedict Cumberbatch while Kate was left with her cousin-in-law Princess Beatrice. 

 

Still though for all that Kate looked like she was having a whale of a time and genuinely enjoying herself.  Maybe that was because husband William had elected to stay home and mind the three kids. 

Berverly Hills 90210, Buffy, 90s Icon
Luke Perry

People Are Talking

The Death of the 90s 

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

10/03/2019

 

This week, in an unwanted flashback to the Starmaggedon of 2016 when celeb deaths were an almost daily occurrence, we lost three famous faces from the 90s. 

 

Luke Perry (52) was in many ways the face of the decade.  Perry shot to fame in the iconic TV show Beverly Hills 90210 (a cross between the soaps that preceded it and the reality TV that came after).  The actor was often compared to James Dean for his looks and his bad boy 90210 character Dylan McKay. 

 

On the flipside from 90210 the distinctive-looking Prodigy frontman Keith Flint (49) who died on the same day as Perry, was the personification of the rave scene.

 

Perry and Flint's deaths were closely followed by that of TV presenter and chronicler of all things Gen X, Magenta Devine.  Devine maintained her signature 90s look of black bob, black sunglasses and red lipstick throughout her career. People from the 80s going was bad enough, but the 90s?  It’s too soon.  

Oscars, Gender, Sexism, Dress, Stereotype
Billy Porter in a dress at the Oscars

People Are Talking

A Man in a Disastrous Dress

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

02/03/2019

 

At the Oscars  Billy Porter proved that women are still held to a higher standard than men.  The actor owned the red carpet by simply wearing a dress, something women have been doing forever.  Porter was almost drowned in the subsequent tsunami of gush – brave, stunning, revolutionary etc. 

 

Oh puh-leeze, can we just say togas, kilts and Bowie on the cover of The Man Who Sold the World in 1970! Needless to say Porter’s inclusion in the best dressed lists was a given with Vogue, no less, calling the look “unapologetically fabulous”.  Really?  A man in a dress isn’t that shocking but the actual dress was.

 

If any woman had the audacity to rock up to the red carpet in that atrocity – a tuxedo top and hoop skirt, she’d be on every worst dressed list going. What would have been really revolutionary would have been Porter wearing a proper gala gown like Emma Stone’s bronze Louis Vuitton number or Brie Larson’s silver sheath from Celine – that would truly be unapologetic and fabulous.

People Are Talking

Meghan's Critics on FROW

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

24/02/2019

 

New York was the place to be this week.  Fashion Week attracted the usual suspects to the FROWs (front rows) many determined, it seems, to look like they’d raided the nearest Oxfam en route. (We’re looking at you Olivia Wilde and Emma Roberts.) 

 

Meghan Markle was in town for her baby shower which launched a deluge of nastiness in the British Press.  Why did she go to New York?  Why didn’t she invite Kate?

 

Has it escaped their collective notice that Meghan is, in fact, American. That the majority of her friends are Yanks and in fact, the Baby Shower is an American tradition. 

 

The astonishing thing about Meghan’s trip to New York is that she actually came back.  The poor woman can’t turn around without someone sticking a long lens into her baby bump and speculating that her marriage is in trouble.

 

The problem is, this constant scrutiny is nothing compared to what will happen once the baby has arrived. Meghan will have her own dedicated FROW nudging ever closer.

Made In Chelsea, Bryan McFadden
Vogue Williams with baby Theo and husband Spencer.

People Are Talking

Mummy Shame in Vogue

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

17/02/2019

 

Model Vogue Williams has announced that she and husband, Made in Chelsea star and royal in-law Spencer Matthews are hoping to have a second child, a sibling for 5-month old baby Theodore. 

 

Vogue is very honest about pregnancy, birth and motherhood and stating her intention to stop breastfeeding said, “After nine months of pregnancy and six months of breastfeeding I want to feel like myself again for a while before I get pregnant again.” Vogue has already discovered, the hard way, that breastfeeding is a contentious issue explaining that she’d been subject to much criticism – a lot of it contradictory. 

 

“As a mum, the last thing you need is to be parent-shamed.  Negative comments do affect you.”  Poor Vogue.  She probably thinks that things will be different with baby number two.  And she would be wrong. Random strangers hectoring women about their ‘mistakes’ in childrearing, Mummy Shaming, has been in vogue for as long as women have been giving birth.

People Are Talking

Celebs Vs Paps Redux

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

10/02/2019

 

In the olden days (before Trump, Brexit and the death of Bowie) the relationship between the paparazzi and celebrity was clearly defined.  The Paps were the bad guys, stalking celebs with long view lens and exposing their private moments to the world; they were blamed for everything from trampling Begonias to the death of Princess Diana.

 

Now that’s changed and the poor Paps are all aggrieved about being victimised by social media stars who thought it was fine and well to post their own image on their feeds.  Imagine the celebs shock when they discovered that while the photo is of them that they don’t own their own image. The snapper owns the pic until they sell it to a media outlet, a situation that Khloe Kardashian described as “mind-blowing” when sued for copyright infringement for posting a picture of herself on social media.

 

Model Gigi Hadid recently found herself facing a similar lawsuit. Bet Slebs secretly long for the olden days when the odd punch was thrown. 

Meghan  Markle Kate Middleton, Duchess Cambridge, Duchess Sussex
Happy (Royal) Families

People Are Talking

Royal Handbags

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

02/02/2019

 

Kensington Palace revealed just how far behind the times they are this week when they appealed to social media companies to help them police their “Kensington Royal” account, which is being “bombarded” with sexist and racist abuse aimed primarily at Meghan and Kate. 

 

The account launched four years ago has over 7 million followers.  Anyone who has spent any time at all browsing on social media can tell you that it’s a basic sewer and uncivil discourse is par for the course.  Four years ago when Kensington Palace set the account up it was just the same.  And yet they’re shocked? 

 

Some of the worst posts are apparently written by the opposing ‘Team Kate’ and ‘Team Meghan’ factions who have bought into the idea that Meg and Katie are engaged in an epic feud of Bette and Joan proportions.

 

Meghan, despite the endless comparisons, is not Mrs Simpson and Kate is no Queen Mother. Both are too busy to be a-fighting and a-feuding. Meghan is pregnant and has avocados to smash while Kate has three young children.  

Gillette, Sexism, Toxic Masculinity
Men, brawny with egos as delicate as a 5c plastic bag.

People Are Talking

Calm Down Dear

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

20/01/2019

 

Nobody listens to women. The ‘fairer sex’ are frequently hysterical, are shrews, nags, nitwits, bimbos and a seething mass of hormonal mess.  That’s the message that Madison Avenue and the advertising industry have been delivering since before Don Draper was a boy. 

 

If people did listen to women then they’d know that the male ego is as fragile as any Fabergé egg and a thing more delicate than a 5c plastic carrier bag.  This, Gillette, the men’s razor company, now know in the aftermath of their new their advert – ‘the best a man can do’ addressing toxic masculinity. (Basically it’s a plea to men to stop being idiots in their professional and personal lives.)  

 

Ironically many men responded idiotically any by throwing their razors in the bin (or toilet). Trump-licker and professional contrarian Piers Morgan called the advert a “pathetic global assault on masculinity.” Gosh. Who’s hysterical now?  Calm down dear boys, it’s only an advert.  

People Are Talking

Everyone Loves Liv

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

13/01/2019

 

Given the controversy about who is or isn’t presenting the Oscars this year maybe they should just cancel the whole thing along with every other award ceremony coming down the pipe.

 

We’ve seen the Golden Globes and the template won’t change much. After a couple of years of anxiety about  'privilege' Hollywood has returned to it’s default setting and is no longer that fussed about #MeToo or #OscarSoWhite.

 

Nobody will sully their acceptance speech by mentioning Washington unless they’re Christian Bale (who has a sense of humour, who knew?).  Some slebs will post ‘ironic’ selfies like Daniel and Idris but won’t better them. 

 

Male actors will be allowed wear whatever they managed to iron while female actors will be scrutinised and judged ‘best’ or ‘worst’ dressed.  (And nobody will better Saoirse Ronan’s vintage couture). 

 

Olivia Coleman will deservedly win everything. Fine! Everyone genuinely loves Olivia Coleman. So much so, she’s allowed wear what she likes.

Royal Family, Kate Middleton, Prince William, Windsor, Cambridge
The Real Housewives of Windsor

People Are Talking

Royal Handbags

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

02/12/2018

 

Royal news now.  The bit between “the wedding” and “the royal birth” has traditionally been filled with tales of The Real Housewives of Windsor at handbags. And as tradition demands, the tabloids are full of the ‘Feud’ between Meghan and Kate and the wedge they’ve apparently driven between Wills and Harry.

 

Whether or not there is any truth to the rumours it would be surprising if Kate & Megs were best buds. They are two very different women with little in common. Kate has spent her entire adult life as a Royal WAG. Meghan meanwhile was very much the star of her own show. To suddenly become part of a ‘pecking order’ and not at the top either, must be difficult.

 

And then there’s the families. The much maligned middle-class Middletons have held their respective tongues and (apart from Uncle Gary) kept the side up. The Markles, on the other hand, cannot shut up and could lower the tone on The Jerry Springer Show.

Traffic Cone
Traffic Cone

Sarah Walker Show on BBC Radio Berkshire 

 

Tuesday 27th November from 20 mins 

 

 

Tales of Terror!

 

And Traffic Cones!

 

 

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06qx0xb

Paris Hilton, Nicky Hilton, The Hilton Sisters, The Simple Life
Paris & Chris in happier times.

People Are Talking

Another Does of Paris

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

25/11/2018

 

It would be a lie to say Oughties ‘It Girl’ and Grand Dame of Reality TV Paris Hilton is back.  Paris is the gift that keeps on giving and never really goes away. What we’re experiencing right now is another Paris flare.

 

The Great Granddaughter of famous hotelier Conrad Hilton, and one of the original ‘famous for being famous’ celebutantes, never strays far from the public eye and like her Great Aunt Elizabeth Taylor is now mainly known for two things – schilling perfume (between them they have the top sales for celeb-endorsed scent) and men. 

 

Taylor began her serial marriage career with Nicky Hilton, Conrad’s heir and went on to have several more husbands.  While Paris has never married she has never lacked for company or engagement rings. 

 

The latest rock, from the latest ex-fiancé, actor Chris Zylka, is valued at an alleged $2 million. You'd forgive Chris wanting the rock back until you hear he apparently didn’t buy it in the first place. Oof, that’s not so hot Chris.

People Are Talking

I'm a Celeb Sex Change!

 

The Sunday Independent  

 

18/11/2018