Sunday, 1 July 2007

Tête à claques XIV

I had been planning to slap Mariella Frostrup for a while, but, you know how it is… However, since my commenters have questioned her presence on the list of Slappees below, I don’t think I can put it off any longer.

Something like 15 years ago, she presented a programme on Channel 4 entitled The Little Picture Show. It was on very late at night – probably just before the preposterous Prisoner Cell Block H on ITV (I’ve always worked at night with the TV on, preferably rubbish so my brain doesn’t have to engage with it too much) and it was just as inane. I’m afraid I took an instant dislike to Mariella. Who was this blonde bimbo with a rasping, flirtatious voice who reviewed the latest video releases? She may have been saying interesting things, but I couldn’t get past the annoying, staccato voice. I was repulsed by it, but I carried on watching: the awful can very often be fascinating.

It went on for a few months, then she disappeared. I believe she was George Clooney’s girlfriend or something useful like that for a while. Much much later, when I thought I could escape her by not looking at those pages in magazines that show bleary-eyed celebs staggering out of night-clubs, she turned up on Radio 4 – of all places! Presenting a book programme! Aaargh!

So, anyway, it’s been years and she’s finally getting a bit better (I would have sacked her after her first interview: it was such a disaster). I listen to Open Book because anything about literature interests me, but it’s through clenched ears (I know, I know).

She really was nothing but a blonde girlie with a sexy voice, but she was given the chance to learn on the job, from scratch. So many others, more talented, never get a look-in. I know she’s not the only one but, hey, who says I have to be fair?

Oh, yes, there’s something else: this is what she said, when asked what she missed most about her old life (i.e. before babies, etc.), ‘I miss the sheer indulgence of it. I miss having time to sit in a café, drink a coffee and read a paper. But, what I miss most are those lost afternoons; the ones where you meet a friend for lunch, drink a bottle of wine and then decide to order another one because you have nothing else to do.’

When did you have a life like that?

I rest my case.

Update (19/07/07): I feel like taking back everything I said about Mariella. I’ve just heard say that she didn’t understand why adults read Harry Potter, since there were soooo many wonderful books for adults. I may have misjudged the woman...


  1. When did I have a life like that???

    Well, never.

    Heck I never even got my 15 minutes with Goerge Clooney.

  2. I feel the same about Victoria Coren. When she started writing newspaper opinion columns she was truly dreadful: badly structured writing, no experience of life (she was about 19), boring subject matter. I'm absolutely certain she only got her first commissions because she was famous Alan Coren's daughter. Five or six years on, as well as being a poker whizz she can now write OK. But she got the chance to learn on a public newspaper. Slap!

  3. Neither did I, TLP, or maybe just for a minute when I was a student, but the woman isn't talking about her student days. B***** nerve!

    Oh, Victorian Coren! She's one of the boys. How much did she win at poker? Half a million, was it? Grrr!

  4. I think it's mean to hate people. But I am busy hating Cat Stevens on my blog. It's dead mean to put up unflattering pics of people. I just put up the worst one of Cat Stevens on my blog. This is what journalists do (as so often with the Queen looking grumpy). Now I think I will put up a really nice pic of the Queen laughing with Germaine Greer. I might even go looking for a nice one of Mariella who is actually dead nice. I guess you aren't going to publish this comment, Bela, but DO look at my lovely pic of her Majesty. It will bring a smile to your face. And who is that third woman who looks a bit like Helen Mirren?

  5. It is mean, isn't it, but so satisfying. :-)

    I have no idea who the third woman is in that photo.

    Btw, why would I not post your comment? I post all comments, except those that are abusive and/or are from people with obscene avatars.

  6. I agree with what you say about her, but somehow...


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