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Homes, interiors and architecture

Suddenly life is brighter

This three-bedroom Chelsea flat, like the happiest hippy trip with only the cheeriest colours, belongs to interior decorator Emma Deterding of Kelling Designs. She and her husband bought the place nine years ago...

Evening Standard 13/09/2017

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Daisy Yellow or Dead Canary?

When I set out to redecorate and furnish our house I started by thumbing through interiors magazines and buying paint. Once the painting was under way I hit the shops, selecting fabrics and furniture as I went along. I was making a big mistake.

Evening Standard 17/08/2016

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Perfect for Dior

Peter Marino - known in his circles as Peter the Great - is one of the world's most sought-after architects and the fashionistas' favourite. He's designed hundreds of shops for super-brands - Chanel and Louis Vuitton among them. And this week he displays his creative genius in the transformation of two magnificent Georgian Mayfair townhouses that have become the House of Dior boutique.

Evening Standard 08/06/2016

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Our crystal palace

There's something of the fairytale palace about this north London family home - something to do with the way it twinkles. There are crystals set in door handles, sparkling pieces in the legs of the bespoke dining table and glinting speckles inlaid in the rims of oversize doors. Even the decorative fruit is made of crystals...

Evening Standard 11/11/2015

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Every picture tells a colourful story

You get a good idea about freelance stylist Mary Fellowes just by looking at her walls. There's a frmed obituary of her uncle - Hugh van Cutsem, erstwhile confidant of the Prince of Wales - and, nearby, there is another about her grandmother, Lady Margaret Fortescue, who inherited one of Britain's largest land-holdings. There is also a Polaroid selfie of Fellowes with Paris Hilton - signed by the hotels heiress.

Evening Standard 11/06/2014

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Kensal Rise has risen

Welcome to Brent — once called the drive-by-shooting capital of the UK. Before that it was the People’s Republic of Brent, ravaged by poverty and famed from the late Eighties for outspoken local MP “Red” Ken Livingstone, London’s first elected mayor.

When I moved to Kensal Rise in Brent, the place was derided. But “The Rise” has now risen, earning a reputation as a celebrity haunt-meets-Nappy Valley. Last year Brent experienced Britain’s fastest-rising house prices, outpacing even the oligarch hotspots of Kensington and Knightsbridge.

Evening Standard 04/06/2014

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A new house, a new life and an Easter wedding

Simon Cowell, Marlon Brando, Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra and OJ Simpson have at least one thing in common: they have all dined at Patmore, the five-bedroom Surrey home of public relations supremo Max Clifford, who is putting it on the market at £1.795 million as he prepares for a new life with a new wife following an Easter wedding.

Evening Standard 13/01/2010

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A family's uplifting space

WHEN it comes to using interior space effectively, the McKenna family has got it totally worked out. They sleep on beds so high up their walls, they are close to the ceilings and utilise the space below. They work on laptops, eat, read, sleep, listen to music and watch television, often all in the same room.

Evening Standard, 31/10/2007

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Rebirth of Kensal Rise

Ever since the tornado ripped through Kensal rise, north-west London, two years ago ‹ damaging 150 homes and rendering 50 (including ours) uninhabitable ‹ the area has become well known.

Evening Standard, 18/02/2009

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Trading in big spaces

WHEN Juan Corbella first saw the Clerkenwell space in 1998, it was a shell. The 1900s building had latterly been a print works. There was ink on the floor and Page 3 girls on the walls. Corbella, who moved to England in 1994, was smitten.

Evening Standard, 20/10/2004

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A fine vintage

WHEN fashion designers Martin Barrell and his partner, Amanda Sellers, found their north London apartment in 2001, they immediately decided that they wanted it. It was not the fact that, apart from a dribble of paint, it had not been touched for 25 years, nor was it the shoddy conversion that swayed them. It was the 75-foot outdoor space full of supermarket trolleys, knee-high weeds, old sheds and rusty bicycles that clinched it.

Evening Standard, 18/08/2004

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Simply successful

SUZY Maas has bought, decorated and resold her homes, five times in six years, to make a handsome profit.

Evening Standard, 04/08/2004

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Mills & boom

Interior designer Amber Galloway took just 10 days to turn a rodent-infested mill into a dreamy home where she combines ancient and modern with flair, says Caroline Phillips MICE scuttled across the floor and water was pouring down the walls when Amber Galloway first saw her new home. "It was infested with rodents," she says.

Evening Standard, 21/07/2004

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Just a little nip 'n' tuck

PAINT specialist Joa Studholme and interior designer and house surgeon Suzy Maas came together to provide a radical, low-budget makeover for a tired two-bedroom basement flat in Kensington. Previously valued at £400,000, by property expert and local estate agent Eve Wilton of Aylesfords, what would this flat be worth after its expert makeover. Read on ...

Evening Standard, 30/06/2004

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The art of spacious living

THERE are high-rise council flats, industrial gas turbines and a superstore on his Vauxhall doorstep. But Madonna, Elton John and Elle Macpherson love his home. Once past his oversized metal door, you enter a surreal world: a 26,000sq ft former handbag factory. The factory is now a stylish home, office and gallery, where the contemporary furniture exhibition, Mattia Bonetti: a Collaboration with David Gill, is showing from 10 June.

Evening Standard, 02/06/2004

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Tricks of his trade

WHEN Ian and Claire Hogarth bought their South Kensington basement flat in 2002, it had not been touched since 1936. The peeling walls dripped with damp - a fan was on permanently to alleviate the smell - and it had concrete floors, but no telephone line nor television aerial.

Evening Standard, 19/05/2004

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A man of steel

WHEN Lucho Brieva first set eyes on the disused office block, he knew he had to have it. He was looking for a place to house a metal workshop and the overflow of guests from the St John's Wood home he shared with his then wife and mentor, singer Chrissie Hynde. He wanted somewhere to work, combining metal and glass to create pieces such as dining tables, candelabra and even showers.

Evening Standard, 12/05/2004

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Here's the cavalry

LAST week, Jane Keisner was up a ladder on a building site wearing a mink coat, hard hat and wellies. She and her business partner, Joanna Lindsay, are known to their clients as the Trinny and Susannah of the decorating world: bossy, vibrant, formidably energetic, fixers of all things domestic and blessed with a strong sense of style.

Evening Standard, 21/04/2004

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Galloping into minimalism

THEY rode 26 horses in the central London drawing-room of architect Seth Stein and his wife Dorothy, a film producer. That was when their home, a derelict builder's yard when they bought it two years ago, was used for stables. Now the only evidence of the horses are the original 1880s numbered tiles in their dining-room, denoting where they hung the animals' tack, and the paddock-sized rooms.

Evening Standard, 21/02/1996

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Weaving a spell

THERE are not many people who own a former synagogue.

Evening Standard, 13/10/2004

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LADY Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, eldest daughter of the Duke of Marlborough whose family seat is Blenheim, divides her time between Fulham and the Oxfordshire estate. But not for her the windy west wing of the grand palace. Lady Henrietta has a snug farmhouse which was used by Blenheim's deputy farm manager on her father's 11,500 acre estate.

Evening Standard, 08/02/1995

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SIR Richard Rogers, architect of Lloyd's headquarters and the new Channel 4 building, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, has been an international force for more than two decades. Right now, I feel as though I've been waiting almost that long to see him.

Evening Standard, 02/11/1994

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Draughts and delights at Castle Guinness

DESMOND GUINNESS - scion of the brewery clan, friend of Mick Jagger and Paul Getty, author of Dublin, A Grand Tour and founder of the Irish Georgian Society - really wanted a Palladian house with rococo plasterwork in England. He scoured the countryside, was gazumped on a haunted house which is now the home of Prince Michael of Kent, and ended up with Leixlip, one of the first castles built by the Normans in Ireland.

Evening Standard, 31/08/1994

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Your new best friend


Evening Standard, 13/04/2005

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An eye for beauty

SECOND IN OUR SERIES PASSIONATE ABOUT PROPERTY Art dealer Nicholas Logsdail built his first home at 14, a two-storey treehouse. In New York he rescued a 40,000sq ft brownstone. Caroline Phillips meets a man who can't resist a property challenge

Evening Standard, 16/03/2005

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There's a new mill by the stream

WHEN Vanessa Higgins first saw the mill house from a nearby public path, she ran back to her waiting husband, David, excitedly proclaiming: "Wow."

Evening Standard, 23/03/2005

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Zen-like space

WHEN Edith Ettedgui and her husband, Franklin, wanted to buy an apartment in which to live while their Belgravia home was being gutted, they were not interested in dealing with more builders. Which is why they chose a split-level flat in west London that had just been renovated to the highest standard. "It was perfect, exactly what we wanted," explains Ettedgui, who comes from Tours.

Evening Standard, 13/04/2005

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One for the yummmy mummies

SHE designed the oak and limestone dining table herself; and the Bulthaup kitchen units were fashioned to her specifications. The modern oak and steel staircase, which leads up from the basement and has lights embedded at foot level, well, that was constructed from her blueprint, too. And let's not forget who sketched the ergonomic workstation with floating bookshelves and mobile storage - and the delicate, armless sofa in the window of the drawing room. Indeed there's very little in her house that doesn't bear testimony to the talented hand of Gail Taylor, the Taylor part of leading interior design duo Taylor Howes.

Evening Standard, 13/04/2005

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Out of Africa

GERALDINE and Michael Leventis cannot resists holiday souvenirs.

Evening Standard, 13/04/2005

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Living in a cube isn't for squares

CLOSE your eyes and imagine you are on a long-haul flight; now open them. This contemporary steel, glass and timber house might be in Malibu or overlooking the harbour in Sydney, but actually, it is in south London. It belongs to Eric Lanlard, 36, a pastry chef from Brittany - supplier of gateaux to Fortnum & Mason and owner of Savoir Design, which produces extravagant celebration cakes - and his partner, Paul Newrick, who runs an aviation leasing company.

Evening Standard, 02/02/2005

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The bare accessories

Until 18 months ago, Dorothy Berwin and Seth Stein lived in his little-larger-than-a-doormat bachelor flat. Very high-tech, it had aluminium floors, aircraft chairs from a jumbo jet and the most minimal minimalism. Dorothy kept most of her clothes in a mobile wardrobe unit-her car. ‘It was like being on a constant camping holiday.'

Evening Standard, 24.04.1991

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Health, beauty and fitness


When I started triathlon training, my coach Bill told me that if I could do the distance in each iscipline individually, then I could do the whole thing. I found this very motivating. Here is how my fitness was transformed in under four months:

Evening Standard, 31/07/2007

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My iron woman challenge

A WALK around Selfridges was once my idea of aerobic exertion.

Evening Standard, 31/07/2007

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Inside London's five-star rehab clinic

THERE'S nothing outside the elegant stucco Chelsea townhouse to indicate the extraordinary things that go on inside.

Evening Standard, 18/09/2007

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Nature or science?

We all want to look younger but does a natural approach give you better results than high-tech treatments? Two writers put their wrinkles to the test

Evening Standard, 27/11/2007

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ONE woman has thrown away the wheelchair to which she was confined for two years. She suffered from ME (chronic fatigue) for 15 years and now, confounding medical orthodoxy, is symptom-free. Another patient says he endured asthma intermittently for 30 years ‹ and is now cured. Improbably, both say their transformation is down to yoga. They are not alone, because many major health benefits are now being claimed for the discipline.

Evening Standard, 24/06/2009

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Civvy's scarier than the Gulf

FLIGHT Lieutenant John Nichol reckons he had a very good war. Yes, his battered face was paraded on Iraqi television at the beginning of the Gulf War after he and John Peters were shot down over the desert and tortured for three days. And he was used as a human shield, imprisoned in an interrogation centre for seven weeks, subjected to mock executions, bombings, burnings, whippings and beatings. And he suffers still from flashbacks and post-traumatic stress disorder. Then in March he is to be made redundant in the wake of defence cuts. But he says he wouldn't change a thing.

Evening Standard, 15/01/1996

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Parents are afraid that bringing children up in the city threatens them with asthma, a frightening condition that now afflicts one in 10 youngsters. But, reports YSENDA MAXTONE GRAHAM, the links between pollution and asthma may be nothing more than scare stories IT IS undisputed that hospital admission for asthma has increased steadily in Britain over the past 20 years; for children, the admissions graph goes uphill at 45 degrees. One in 10 suffer from asthma, a huge increase over the past few years. Nitrogen dioxide from exhaust fumes has been similarly increasing in the air: twice as high as 20 years ago.

Evening Standard, 02/02/1995

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The day Liona smiled

LIONA is 12 and has never smiled. She is physically handicapped, doesn't speak and doesn't play. Then she was taken to Thorpe Park on an outing. Suddenly her classmates gathered round her excitedly. Liona was smiling. This was Kids Out, an event involving thousands of boys and girls, including 2,300 from London. As Liona gave her first smile, other disabled and deprived children elsewhere were at 100 similar events.

Evening Standard, 14/06/1994

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Confessions of a therapy junkie

As Princess Diana visits yet another alternative therapist, CAROLINE PHILLIPS looks at why she, too, feels compelled to try every new treatment that comes along - no matter how bizarre IT IS a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a fortune must be in want of an alternative therapist. At least that's the world according to Princess Diana, who has just been seen stepping out of the latest fashionable foot doctor's surgery, probably en route to Manolo Blahnik via a touch of colonic irrigation. But this is a truth on which the Princess and I agree. Because I am also a therapy junkie.

Evening Standard, 22/07/1993

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A diet guru who makes week-long house calls

IF YOU want a rabbi to live with you for a week or so, at a charge of £1,000 plus expenses for seven days, Rabbi Martin Felt is your man. In America, the personal nutritionist has replaced the fitness trainer as the ultimate status symbol, and Madonna, Cher and Michael Jackson take theirs on tour. Now Martin, a 40-year-old American kabbalistic rabbi turned nutritionist, has brought the practice to London.

Evening Standard, 18/04/1994

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The rack and the ruin

I have just spent four days on my back. With a collar round my neck, a pulley behind my head and attached to five pounds of weights which seemed to be trying to wrench my head from my shoulders - I was like this from 9am to 10pm every day. It was like some torture for a crime I didn't know I'd committed. A kind of 20th century rack.

Evening Standard, 19.06.1991

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Jessica is practising reflexology. She's 2. But then her mummy wants her to be a whole person

Caroline Phillips visits the Little People at London's only holistic nursery school, where massage, reflexology and organic lunches are on the syllabus JESSICA is pummel pummel pummelling Lucia's bare feet, her face creased with concentration. She reaches over for a bottle and, splosh, pours orange and cinnamon oil onto her hands and returns to her massaging.

Evening Standard, 25.07.1991

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Running flat out in injury time

There's a police car outside the hospital tonight. In front of it, an alcoholic sits on a plastic chair, can of Special Brew in hand. His friend - a man with a savaged face - goes into the hospital, pushing through the transparent plastic swing doors.

Evening Standard, 02.09.1991

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Cherry Roomes is 43. To date she has lost 13 babies. Anne, Jane, Megan, Edwina, Emily and Eleanor survived long enough to be named. Megan lived for three days and Eleanor for seven and a half months.

Evening Standard, 18.05.1992

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The high anxiety of a fearless phobia buster

Michael Whitenburgh claims to have cured 12,000 phobics of their irrational fears. But who is he and why is he telling me these things?

Evening Standard, 03.12.1992

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Fashion and shopping

Queen of shopping

MUMBAI - as Bombay is now known - may not be the fist place that comes to mind when planning a shopping spree in search of homeware. But for about £1,000 (which includes return air fare, a Sheraton hotel room and a day with spent with a car a driver and a personal shopper), you can take a long weekend in the Indian business capital and come home laden with home goodies. Traveltakes about the same time as flying to New York.

Evening Standard, 25/07/2007

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A girl who has it all

IF YOU haven't yet heard of Katharine Pooley, you soon will. Pooley, erstwhile banker, adventurer and author of an unusual cookbook-cum-travelogue, A Taste of My World, is launching her eponymous Knightsbridge shop.

Evening Standard, 22/09/2004

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Terrible twins from the outer underworld

SETTING up an interview with fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana is a nightmare. Until the last minute, the appointment time is changed and the venue is undecided. Then they offer half an interview - Stefano will talk, Domenico won't. Then they relent. Next they refuse to have their photographs taken. I arrive in Milan to discover the couple don't speak English. But, of course, I did forget to ask.

Evening Standard, 30/03/1995

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Born to be outrageous

With Viviene Westwood as a mother and punk's leading poseur as a father,Jo Corre has a hard actto follow.So he's opened a lingerie shop... JO CORRE spent much of his childhood in a dustbin. Jo, 27, is the son of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, the punk poseur who managed the Sex Pistols. The first time Jo jumped into a dustbin was with his brother Ben, to retrieve the toys Malcolm had thrown away because he wouldn't tidy his room. `Once we'd discovered this place where you found loads of other stuff as well, we were, like, always in the dustbins,' says Jo. `Most parents wouldn't let their children play with us because we were really dirty.'

Evening Standard, 19/12/1994

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When a bargain does not fit the bill

She thought her discounted designer suit was a bargain. True, it didn't quite fit. But with a few minor alterations it should have been perfect. Four months later she had a jacket in which she couldn't quite raise her arms and a skirt in which she couldn't sit down.

Evening Standard, 28/06/1994

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Sex appeal in a bottle isn't heaven scent

THE secret of human sexual attraction has been solved and scientists have found a way to bottle sex appeal. Professor George Dodd of Warwick University has developed The Pheromone Factor, a synthetic version of the chemicals (pheromones) secreted by the body to attract others. Your pheromone-enhanced smell, he claims, will hook a sexual partner by acting on his subconscious.

Evening Standard, 14/01/1994

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The revelations of Reger

Janet Reger, the Queen of Knickers cum Maureen Lipman of the underwear world, is commenting on the storm in a B-cup caused by the Kate Moss underwear pictures in this month's Vogue. Entitled Under-exposure, the grunge model looks like a 13-year-old. Are the pictures disgusting? Hideous? Tragic? Paedophile?

Evening Standard, 07.06.93

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Fashion? There's no future in it Denis Jones

Victor Edelstein, one of Princess Diana's favourite designers, is having a mid-life crisis. He's 46 years old, has worked in fashion for 32 years and has clients from the Duchess of Kent to Princess Yasmin Aga Khan. Now he's closing his couture house and starting his second life. `I'm going to be very poor for a long time,' he says. `But I don't mind. I want to be free.' In 1967, aged 21, Victor was assistant to Barbara Hulanicki at Biba. Next he was assistant designer at Christian Dior. Then in 1977 he started on his own, but went bankrupt. Instead of slinking away and becoming a pattern cutter, he salvaged something out of his liquidation and moved into couture.

Evening Standard, 18.05.93

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From curlers to catwalk

Eight o'clock on Sunday morning at the Duke of York's headquarters in Chelsea. We are backstage at the Roland Klein fashion show, part of London Fashion Week. The lights are bright and the seats are empty. The models complain that it is freezing.

Evening Standard, 17.03.1992

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Those 1000 a minute questions

Cameras flash and the fashion world applauds while eating cheese straws and drinking Lanson champagne. These are the British Fashion Awards - the Oscars of the designer rag trade.

Evening Standard, 15.10.1991

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The gentle art of self enjoyment

Maverick and inspirational fashion designer who is a byword for the avant-garde and once jumped on a policeman's back during a punch-up. Fervent and shy woman who is not afraid to shock and put punk, bondage and conical external bras on the catwalk. Humorous and scholarly lass who wore a fig leaf on her body suit on television and wants people to appreciate the intellectual curiosity behind her designs.

Evening Standard, 09.08.1991

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Lifestyle and travel

Ask the family

The plane lands to an unusual chorus. "Santo bravo," the plane's incumbents, many of them schoolchildren, shout and clap. "They are thanking the pilot," explains my octegenarian neighbour, an Italian lady in black. It's our first insight into the warmth of the Apulians, as the locals are known. Welcome to Bari in Puglia, high on Italy's heel.

Evening Standard, 10/10/2012

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NOT heard of Lili TarkowReinisch yet?

Evening Standard, 08/07/2009

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COCONUT with everything.

Evening Standard, 06/01/2010

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You can raise a company and run a kid...

FIRST there was Penny Hughes, Coca-Cola's 35-year-old UK president who, newly pregnant, decided that motherhood was the real thing and abandoned her position and £250,000 salary.

Evening Standard, 15/12/1995

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The very alternative Mrs Campbell

Thought the Good Life was dead? Haven't seen an Earth Mother of late? Well, in deepest Sussex, unperfumed armpits are blooming FORMER Londoner Adrienne Campbell, 34, eats food foraged from hedgerows, teaches her children at home, has just created a new local currency for her Sussex village, boycotts supermarkets, won't vaccinate her children, changed her name from Katy when she felt she'd outgrown it, was celibate for two years, has spiritual revelations and gave birth underwater at home in front of her children and the au pair.

Evening Standard, 03/08/1995

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ANNA Gonta has been in labour at Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital since 5am. It's now 10am. Her baby's heart is fluctuating. Anna, who's had an epidural, says she doesn't feel any pain. But Arthur, her husband, clutches his stomach. `I feel pain here,' he says. `I didn't have this with the first one.' Anna smiles weakly.

Evening Standard, 24/05/1995

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The day I did a stretch with a former Madam

I'M ON MY back on a bed with my legs over a woman's shoulders. She pulls my supine body. Suddenly a man in an anorak appears on the roof outside the window of her first-floor Beauchamp Place room.

Evening Standard, 24/04/1995

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I SLAMMED on the brakes of the car in heavy Christmas traffic. Adrian, my fiancee, got out and walked off. So I abandoned the vehicle, door open, in the middle of Kensington High Street.

Evening Standard, 03/01/1995

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Happy to be on an island in the sun

Winter's drawing in, the traffic's bad, work is hell and you wish you could chuck it all in and go and live on a tropical island. Here's one man who did just that...

Evening Standard, 29/11/1994

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ON CHRISTMAS Day last year 10-year-old Elizabeth was sexually assaulted by a family friend. Her assailant, Barry, 50, was convicted after a week-long case which ended on 30 September. He's now on bail, awaiting sentencing on 21 October. Elizabeth, meanwhile, cries inconsolably in her bedroom with the Phil Collins poster; often she won't sleep in her own bed or close her eyes all night. She has an IQ of 168, but recently flunked her exams. She goes to the lavatory 50 times a day and, at night, walks along the corridor in her flannel pyjamas, clutching her soft toy rabbit, and spends three hours in the bathroom. Her father thinks she's trying to wash away her dirty feelings.

Evening Standard, 12/10/1994

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LAST week I had to have emergency treatment for chronic back sprain. After two days of intensive therapy I managed the five-minute walk to my car in a record 20 minutes, desperate to be driven to my physio. Sadly the car was gone.

Evening Standard, 03/08/1994

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THE opera singer Fiona O'Neill was eight weeks pregnant when she was driving on the M1 at 70 miles an hour and was hit by a Portuguese lorry. She was lifted into the air in her car, which then spun around before hurtling across the motorway, hitting a concrete block and landing 200 yards up an embankment.

Evening Standard, 21/07/1994

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RANDOM drugs tests are to be carried out on about 12,000 prisoners a year to combat the growing narcotics problem in jails.

Evening Standard, 19/07/1994

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IS TENNIS in terminal decline? At the goldfish bowl of the Stella Artois finals day at Queens Club, the smattering of rent-a-celebs watched the singles. Those with their eye on the ball were such notables as Roger Moore and his daughter Deborah, the ubiquitous Ivana Trump and on-off lover Riccardo Mazzuchelli, and Baroness Fiona Thyssen.

Evening Standard, 20/06/1994

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Don't leave me, then he died in my arms

DIANE OSBORNE'S husband died in her arms. `After I'd called the ambulance, I begged Bob not to leave me,' she says.

Evening Standard, 14/07/1993

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Night I was face to face with death in my home

THAT fateful Saturday night Heidi read an Agatha Christie thriller before falling asleep. She had always dreamed of living on her own in London and had moved into her rented Shepherd's Bush flat just the day before. It was on the ground floor but had good security. Yet she awoke at 2am with a strange man standing by her bed. It was the start of a three-hour ordeal.

Evening Standard, 26/07/1993

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The murderer's tale

DOUBLE-killer Norman Parker, 48, was freed last week after spending more than half his life in jail. In 1963, aged 18, Parker, who is Jewish, shot dead his Nazi girlfriend who was two-timing him. He might have hanged, but pleaded self-defence and was jailed for manslaughter. In 1971, he was convicted of a gangland killing - the sensational Body in a Trunk murder - in which his victim was hammered, shot six times and disposed of in the New Forest.

Evening Standard, 09/08/1993

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THE HERCULES in which we are arriving in Sarajevo makes a tactical landing, suddenly nose-diving in case there is small arms fire. The Serbs take more pot shots in the afternoon when they're drunk, but this is early morning. Still, the crew say they can't underestimate the threat from the ground. I feel frightened because, in contravention of the rules, I don't have a flak jacket. This is Saturday, the day before this same plane, known to the crew as Fat Albert, is used for Operation Irma.

Evening Standard, 16/08/1993

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IT'S OVER. The harsh streaks of an uneasy dawn brings the news that they have found the last of them. He is dead. We are told he is Peter Alcock. More we do not know.

Evening Standard, 19/08/1993

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IN PASSAU, a picturesque Bavarian city at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers, the Second World War is still being fought.

Evening Standard, 31/08/1993

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The A to Z of Aunty Pig

A FILM should be made of the life of artist and writer Phyllis Pearsall - or Aunty Pig as she is called by Chris Patten, Governor of Hong Kong. An astute, mischievous and spritely 87-year-old, she was born into poverty, once tried to hit her mother's boyfriend over the head with a bottle, walked 3,000 miles and has advised Prince Edward on his love life.

Evening Standard, 28/09/1993

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In the steps of Jamie . . .

THE man who looks like George Bernard Shaw is queueing for Court One where two schoolboys stand accused of killing James Bulger. He has wild long hair, a streaming beard, carries three plastic bags and later, in the public gallery, he wears odd socks on his hands and eats a Cornish pastie. After him, another man tries to gain entry to the court with a bus ticket instead of a public gallery pass. He mumbles incomprehensibly as the police officers turn him away.

Evening Standard, 05/11/1993

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We lost one son - why did we have to lose another?

THIS week it was Jacqueline Bodger's 40th birthday and she attended the inquest to hear why her five year-old son Terry died after going to have six baby teeth extracted, visited the stone which covers the ashes of her eight- year-old child Martin, killed by a car just six years ago, said `goodnight' in her head to her dead children as she does every night, and sat on the sofa in her sitting-room with her husband Philip just wondering why. We're talking in their council flat in Hendon. They moved there to start afresh, away from the painful memories of the home outside which Martin was run over. Now Terry's bicycles stand in the hallway by the front door and and toys lie untouched in his bedroom. There are framed photographs of two smiling, healthy boys on the walls, and 70 sympathy cards line the sitting- room shelves.

Evening Standard, 03/12/1993

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IT WAS seven o'clock on Tuesday evening when four children attacked me. I'd never met them before, never set eyes on them. I had just parked my car, a geriatric red Volkswagen Golf, in the King's Road, by the World's End estate. I was meeting friends, and was wondering whether I'd get a ticket for parking there. Just then, a young girl with pigtails crossed the road, walked between the rear of my vehicle and the one behind it, and delivered a forceful kick to the back of my car followed by smashing her hand on the rear windscreen.

Evening Standard, 20/12/1993

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TODAY, Valentine's Day, divorce Richard Fleet will propose to divorce Gina,just as he has every day for the last six months. He'll arrive from work a say: `Hullo love, marry me.' If she says no and starts arguing, he'll call and propose later. Sometimes he proposes on one knee, often he begs her, and other times tears of supplication splash down his cheeks.

Evening Standard, 14/02/1994

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Taking the smoke to the country

TOMORROW Romaine Hart, the woman behind London's most successful independent cinemas, goes to the palace to collect her OBE for services to the British film industry. For the past two decades she has enticed discerning cinemagoers to her picture houses all over London and the Home Counties, from the hip Screen on the Green, Islington, to the modish Screen on the Hill, Hampstead.

Evening Standard, 16/02/1994

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Radical results for jail drug treatment

A PIONEERING charity is claiming success against the spiralling problem of drug crime by treating prison inmates for drug and alcohol abuse. The Addictive Diseases Trust rehabilitation programme is the first to establish itself full-time in a British penal institution, Downview Prison, Surrey, and has rehabilitated a third of the people it has treated. The work comes at a time of growing public concern about the links between crime and drugs. Shadow Home Secretary Tony Blair said drug-related crime cost £2 billion a year, half of all property crime was drug related and the number of notified addicts had risen five fold since 1982. The ADT programme began in 1991. It is modelled on 200 such programmes in American prisons, most of which now have drugs-free wings. The reoffending rate among `graduates' of one course in Arkansas is down from 65 per cent to 20 per cent.

Evening Standard, 16/02/1994

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Brutality that hides behind suburbia's closed doors

THESE are true stories of everyday happenings in the genteel suburbs. An obsessive woman looked after a multiple sclerosis sufferer for years and every day scrubbed him in the bath with a Brillo pad. A bearded man attacked his wife brutally and then confided to the police he was a practising transvestite. `I'm trying to give it up,' he explained. `As you may appreciate, a beard and dress don't go well together.'

Evening Standard, 22/02/1994

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Why did my Stephen kill himself 19 days after we married?

A BRIDE GROOM who killed himself 19 days after his wedding attempted suicide with his former lover hours before he ended his life. An inquest on 16 February heard how Stephen Hartwell, 46, had an emotional reunion with his ex-lover Nicola Cordrey, 22, when she discovered he'd remarried. In a bizarre suicide pact, they put a hose from the exhaust into his car. Nicola said she'd never intended them to die and pulled him, semi-conscious, on to the passenger seat. Shortly after, he drove her home. Then Stephen, a divorced father of two with a printing business, drove off, re-attached the hosepipe and killed himself. The inquest, attended by his first and second wives and ex-lover, heard how he'd split up with Nicola last year just a month before meeting Rosemary King, 45, whom he married three months later.

Evening Standard, 01/03/1994

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Victims who turn tragedy into a cause

MERLYN Nuttall, 29, today uses her real name and has her picture printed for the first time. Formerly known only as Miss X, she was snatched off a Brixton street in February 1992 by Anthony Ferrira, a convicted killer, viciously raped, brutally attacked, set on fire and left for dead. `I'm going public because I want to help people who've had similar experiences,' she says. `I want them to have someone to relate to who looks well and is getting on with her life.'

Evening Standard, 10/03/1994

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IT WAS one of the most bizarre trials ever heard at the Old Bailey. Susan Whybrow and her lover Dennis Saunders were sent to prison for plotting to murder her husband by tying him to a sit-on lawnmower and aiming it towards the garden lake. This week, after serving three years, a retrial at the Old Bailey found them not guilty of conspiracy to murder and they were freed. Today, for the first time, Saunders talks about that extraordinary affair and why he has returned home and not to his lover.

Evening Standard, 25/03/1994

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THIS attractive woman spends much of her time with 30 cavorting naked men. She goes out on special occasions with blood and mud on her clothes. She rubs hot stuff on men's thighs and keeps a bed in the middle of her drawing room. And she enjoys standing in front of 60,000 chaps, some jeering and asking her to strap them up. Sounds odd? She's Fiona Phillips, physiotherapist to Bath Rugby Football Club and one of the club's four Deep Heat-wielding dames.

Evening Standard, 19/05/1994

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Social climbing

THERE'S a doggie spa and a pooch bakery in Telluride, Colorado. The former offers custom-made towelling robes and a grooming package (from $210, or £157) for four-legged guests; while the latter sells icing-topped cookies baked specially for the canine market. Visitors can also savour another unusual experience in Telluride: iceskating with Zimmer frames - a unique approach that is perfect for the elderly and skating virgins.

Evening Standard, 16/03/2005

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Get it right first time

LUCY Judd appeared to have it all - a great husband, Dominic, a wonderful baby and an 18th century cottage home with roses round the door and sheep in the neighbouring field in exquisite Bodiam in East Sussex.

Evening Standard, 09/02/2005

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Three men and a baby take on west end giants

This is the story of three Londoners who have decided to take on the West End musical mafia to prove there are living alternatives to Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber; to fight the recession with one of the great palliatives, escapist entertainment; and to spend the money of one of them in so doing. The unlikely trio are Alan Davies, ex-docker turned auctioneer, John Asquith, spiritual healer and breathing teacher, and Jesse Carr-Martindale, former infantry officer and erstwhile owner of London's first floating nightclub.

Evening Standard, 17.06.93

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A lesson with the screaming Mimis

The philosopher proposes marriage publicly to the masseuse he met 24 hours previously. Amanda, a creative soul on the dole, cries with anguish in front of near-strangers then recites John Donne. And Adrian, a venture capitalist and closet harmonica player, sings a sentimental Swedish song. The course leader says you can have whatever you can imagine. So we scream, sing and improvise.

Evening Standard, 21.05.93

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Lesbianism and our new family

My chauffeur is a homosexual with spiky hair and red-framed glasses who speeds me on a Yamaha XJ900 motorbike to meet the lesbian couple. He is Peter Brunnen, the gay rights activist and Labour councillor. And they are the businesswoman and former nurse who this week won a three-year battle to become foster parents. They fear exposure and refuse to be named, photographed or visited at home. So we meet in Brunnen's office, where he greets a waiting lad with a kiss on the lips.

Evening Standard, 23.04.93

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Making her mark at mach 2

Former hairdresser Barbara Harmer yesterday became the first woman to pilot Concorde. A convent-educated Action Woman, she qualified on Sunday and is now the most senior woman on the British Airways flying staff. We talk over breakfast in a tin can 29,000 feet off the ground, her ‘natural environment'.

Evening Standard, 26.03.93

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Fear and love for a wild child

Her 14-year-old son boasts that he has done some 500 break-ins in the past year. Today he was back in court and released once more because the authorities say there is nowhere with room to detain him. His mother, affectionate and frank, is in despair. This Woman's 14-year-old has been responsible for 200 high street burglaries in the past year.

Evening Standard, 04.03.93

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I was down but wasn't about to slash my wrists

Bruce Oldfield, the handsome man once connected with Princess Diana, doesn't sleep with men or women. He is celibate. He has always lived alone. He says he's never had a close personal relationship. And he has always been a loner. ‘'Frankly,' he says, smoking frantically, ‘I've been on my own since I was 13.'

Evening Standard, 22.02.93

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He could have cancelled my life. I don't believe he deserves to live. I won't ever forgive him...

The world is mostly full of good, kind and thoughtful people. Miss X smiles as she says this, and emphasises how lucky she is. She says she loves her friends and family. She expresses her intense gratitude. And she explains how every day feels like a plus. ‘I love my life,' she says, ‘that's why I fought so hard for it.'

Evening Standard, 22.01.93

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Police chief who gave his heart - and almost his life

When Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Peter Imbert had a heart attack two years ago, he realised there was a distinct possibility he might die. Journalists were waiting outside his hospital door firming up his obituary details, which he was determined not to give anyone the opportunity to publish. ‘I'll make a bargain with you,' he said, post-intensive care, ‘you show me my obituary, and I'll talk to you.' No interviews ensued. Sir Peter, 59, retires on Sunday after a distinguished and extremely hard-working career. He imagines his obituaries might have said that he'd endeavoured to change the face of policing. But now he's talking in a rare way about everything from his neglect of his family, to his passion for his wife and his son stealing money.

Evening Standard, 21.01.93

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Murder, madness and Milligan

The plaque outside the Sixties breeze-block house in Sussex commemorates ‘The Blind Architect'. In the sitting room a notice reads: ‘No smoking. Trying to give up lung cancer.' And the invitations displayed on the shelf are mostly for parties in 1988. This is, after all, the home of Spike Milligan, 74-year-old former Goon and manic-depressive.

Evening Standard, 15.01.93

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Every woman knows what to expect when she comes within yelling distance of a building site. Tracie Simpson went to work on one, the only woman among 150 men. She will not be repeating the experience.

The female bricklayer Tracie Simpson knew she was going to be in trouble from the start. The first day she arrived at the depot to begin work, 150 male workmates downed tools and stood watching her. Immediately someone commented on her bottom. ‘Is it a lesbian, ain't it a lesbian?' asked someone else from this territorial and testosterone-pumping group.

Evening Standard, 13.01.93

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Meet Mike, top dude at Thames Valley University

He has highlighted ageing-rock-star hair, discoloured teeth, a jazzy tie, green suit and a dangling silver earring engraved with the initials of a pop song. He looks wrecked and talks in a heavy way, man. This is Dr Mike Fitzgerald, 41, Britain's youngest vice-chancellor and top dude at Thames Valley University, London.

Evening Standard, 12.01.93

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Dancing to a new tune

It's being billed as ‘the dance event of the century', the first big arena ballet. The largest stage in Europe for leaping to music will be erected. For the Royal Albert Hall is to hold one of the most ambitious dance events when 160 Bolshoi artists pirouette into Kensington in January for a five-week £3 million season.

Evening Standard, 18.12.1992

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A forest full of fungi fanatics

Deep in the woods, there are strange stirrings. One local is threatening to slash the tyres of restaurateur and mushroom lover Antonio Carluccio - his crime was to bring busloads of paying cep hunters from London. Another tells stories of night puffball raids. A third man likens finding a chanterelle to having an orgasm. Yet another won't tell his wife where he goes when he disappears picking.

Evening Standard, 07.10.1992

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Dial M for money

Today is probably the world's biggest ever redundancy party. Thousands of British Telecom employees will be celebrating becoming former British Telecom employees. In fact there's never been a Black Friday quite like it. More than 30,000 jobs are to be shed this year, of which 19,000 go today. And with generous redundancy payouts for them all, the mood promises to be one of Gold Rush fever. As if everyone has won the pools.

Evening Standard, 31.07.1992

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Tears for the neighbour they called a model mother

Friendly, unaffected, lovely, always pleasant . . . these were the words with which friends and acquaintances described murdered mother Rachel Nickell today.

The blonde, part-time model was strikingly good-looking, with natural poise and charm. She was ‘the kind of woman whose looks stopped people in their tracks', recalled a neighbour.

Evening Standard, 16.07.1992

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Of Maya, marimba and a giant banana

They say in Mexico City that the pigeons drop dead from the sky when they hit the smog. Aldous Huxley once said he had never felt so bad tempered as he did during a week's stay there.

Evening Standard, 08.06.1992

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Daddy dearest I never knew you

Wearing a spray-on black catsuit, she puts her feet on the table and lies back, stretching into a supposedly feline and sexy pose. During our hour-long interview, she proceeds to demolish her parents. They are Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

Evening Standard, 02.06.1992

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I have been unfaithful about 20 times in each marriage. That's three times a year. But if it was only three, it was a bad year

I've been unfaithful numerous times. I honestly can't remember how many. Maybe 20 times in each marriage. About three a year for each marriage,' laughs the man with the husky voice and drink-veined nose laughs. ‘But if there were only three, that was a bad year!'

Evening Standard, 02.06.1992

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Cher's pop corn

Picture that over-sized meat abattoir, Wembley Arena. People are eating toffee popcorn instead of doing drugs.

Evening Standard, 07.05.1992

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Take three debutantes

Melia Belli is a self confessed feminist. She went to a state (‘public') school in San Francisco and later got four A levels. She's also vegetarian, teetotal and American. She wants to be a lawyer and is travelling in the Himalayas this summer before going to Glasgow University. Not your stereotypical debutante, in other words.

Evening Standard, 13.04.1992

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Why Mr Nice Guy is still chasing that elusive prize

Peter Scudamore used to think the best way to deal with a tricky situation was to panic. Now, he prefers to handle difficulties with prayer and goes to Catholic church most Sundays. ‘I'm not as good a Christian as I should be,' he says. ‘But everyone has to find a way of coming to terms with things. Racing is a dangerous sport and I face that through religion. I say a prayer.'

Evening Standard, 10.03.1992

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Tears, triumphs and true grit

It's very brutal and violent with executions and torture. ‘But kids love that. It's a family show,' says Jeremy Isaacs, director general of the Royal Opera House and former chief executive of Channel 4. He's talking about Puccini's opera, Turandot. The first time ever that the Royal Opera House is staging an opera at Wembley Arena.

Evening Standard, 09.12.1991

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Cheap, naive and, frankly, boring

My own sex education was scant. My mother presented me with a leaflet on how banana flies do or don't copulate. Later, on asking: ‘Mummy, what's an erection?' the reply came: ‘It's when they put a building up.' Most of my useful sex education took place in the playground.

Evening Standard, 25.09.1991

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Release brings new hope for those who remain and london echoes to the sound of freedom

The release of John McCarthy may signal a sea change in the Middle East hostage saga but the kidnappers' bottom line demand is still as intractable as ever.

Evening Standard, 08.08.1991

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A storm on the high cs

I'm en route to hear Pavarotti in Pavarotti City, Hyde Park. O Paradiso. Opera buffs cross oceans to listen to him. But will the power of that single human voice send ripples across the Serpentine? And will there be a sing-along?

Evening Standard, 31.07.1991

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Victims of the devastating r-words

Redundancy, recession - the everyday words strike a menacing note as the meaning of unemployment strikes home on a personal basis for more and more of London's white-collar middle-classes. Alistair Delves plunged from earnings of more than £100,000 a year to unemployment benefit of £50 a week. Jane Hill felt emotionally shattered and then filled with rage after being told she was no longer wanted. Bert Casey offered to go in the hope of saving a younger man. How did these three victims cope? And are there lessons in it for those still threatened by the recession?

Evening Standard, 01.07.1991

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Just who would want a pit bull as a pet?

Next to the door bell is a sticker bearing the legend: ‘Make his day. Break in.' On it is a picture of a pit bull terrier, stocky and muscular with a steel-trap jaw.

So why would anyone want an American pit bull terrier-or APBT, as the new Sporting Dog periodical would have it?

Evening Standard, 21.05.1991

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Agony of the long goodbye

‘Chess' proclaims the huge banner outside the drab one-time cinema that is now the Playhouse theatre in Edinburgh. Scarcely noticeable beneath it, a small strip reads ‘Rudolph Nureyev'.

The audience file in, looking as if they were going to the local bistro, no one particularly glammed up for the occasion.

Evening Standard, 01.05.1991

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Celebrities and personalities


PRINCE Edward will turn his mind to marriage once Ardent, his film production company, is established. `I want to concentrate on my career now,' he says crustily. `But this is not what this interview is about.' Can he not develop his career and marry? `I've got to make sure we have a track record before turning my mind to other things.' Say, in two years time? Edward Windsor - as he is known at work - laughs. `Ask the commissioning editors.' Last week he said that it would be 1996 before he knew whether his business was a success or failure.

Evening Standard, 07/04/1995

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The memoirs of a mischievous man

GEORGE Greenfield, the man who discovered Jilly Cooper, acted as a middleman between Margaret Thatcher and Robert Maxwell and was agent to Enid Blyton, Stirling Moss, Ranulph Fiennes, Rex Harrison, David Niven and Sir Francis Chichester, has finally put pen to paper himself. His book, A Smattering of Monsters, A Kind of Memoir, show that, if nothing else, he has learnt one or two things about the value of spicy titles.

Evening Standard, 09/02/1995

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Why life never soured for the singing Milkshake

SINGER Olivia Newton-John is in London to promote her new album which chronicles her triumphant battle with breast cancer.

Evening Standard, 24/01/1995

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The panic and passion of Stephanie Cole

STEPHANIE Cole collects relations. She discovered her twin cousins when she was 11, her father when she was 21 and her half-sister when she was 38. As if this weren't extraordinary enough, she was also expelled from school for throwing a book at her Latin teacher, once suffered so badly from agoraphobia she couldn't walk to the shops, and became a Buddhist. We meet in her north London flat. Stephanie, tall with a massive jaw, piercing blue eyes and stern headmistress's face and clothes, spits out her gum, makes a cup of instant coffee with dried skimmed milk, shoos away her cats and talks in a deep, self-assured, direct voice. She is an intense, likeably formidable and surprisingly unsmiling woman.

Evening Standard, 07/11/1994

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Did I infect Freddie? Who knows?

JIM Hutton was the `husband' of the late Freddie Mercury for seven years before the legendary Queen singer died of Aids in 1991. Jim is talking about their `marriage', being diagnosed as HIV positive four years ago, his book Mercury and Me, about watching Freddie die and being evicted from the £4 million mansion that Freddie left to his former lover Mary Austin - according to Jim, on condition that he could remain there.

Evening Standard, 28/10/1994

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Anger, envy and the hidden Cliff

CLIFF RICHARD, the Nice Guy of Pop, is a man of hidden violence. A man who thinks he has the potential to commit any of the crimes he has ever read about. When he was young, he says, he might have been able to murder somebody. Sometimes he puts his hands under his bottom when people ask him questions, just to stop himself hitting them.

Evening Standard, 24/10/1994

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I'd hate to be remembered only as John Mortimer's ex

PENELOPE Mortimer, who has written 11 novels, a bitchy biography of the Queen Mother, two volumes of autobiography, had six children by four men, been sexually abused by her father, attempted suicide and had lung cancer, is frightened she'll be remembered only as the ex-wife of the creator of Rumpole, that "Ex-Wife of John Mortimer" may be engraved on her tombstone. And she resents that.

Evening Standard, 21/09/1994

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Whenever I married, I married for life. But things have gone desperately wrong

DINAH Sheridan, star of Genevieve, The Railway Children and mother of Conservative Party chairman Jeremy Hanley, has lunched with Noel Coward, stayed with Sir John Gielgud, once had a stroke and was baptised aged 41. She's also had both hips replaced, married four times, lost her three day- old child, had a nervous breakdown, addressed the Tory faithful and met nearly all the Royal family.

Evening Standard, 09/09/1994

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Mandy and the angels

MANDY Smith, former wife of Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, would like to become a barrister. They are, she says, the ones up there doing it. She wants also to `do more journalism' and interview Princess Diana. `She's Cancer and Charles is Scorpion (sic),' explains television presenter Mandy, `and I'm Cancer and Bill's Scorpion.' She is keen to dispel the bimbo image, has dyed her blonde hair to thinking woman's chestnut and talked her life story into a book, It's All Over Now.

Evening Standard, 13/07/1994

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Is it now going wrong for Angela Rippon?

ANGELA Rippon hides her feelings cleverly. She controls her face and emotions as if she's on screen. She's professionally nice, like a Tory lady at a fund-raising garden fete, talks becomingly, looks squeaky clean, drinks mint tea and smiles vocationally.

Evening Standard, 05/07/1994

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Me,women and sex, by Sir Antony Buck

ON THE phone Sir Antony Buck says he wants to be paid for talking to me. No chance! So he taunts that he may sell his story elsewhere.

Evening Standard, 21/06/1994

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RICHARD Briers has plenty to be sad about. The star of The Good Life and Ever Decreasing Circles watched his mother die slowly over 12 years, diabetic, blind and with her leg amputated. And he stood by helplessly for a decade as his father perished painfully from lung cancer. Unsurprisingly, Richard, 60, who was brought up in genteel poverty and fears financial insecurity, dreads old age and dying.

Evening Standard, 13/06/1994

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People say I'm bonkers, but I just speak my mind

SIR Nicholas Fairbairn would once have liked 24,000 wives, like a man he heard of in Saudi Arabia. The flamboyant politician is back from his deathbed with a vengeance, firing off letters to the newspapers about our parlous times and talking about sex, his marital infidelities, the deaths of two of his children, and the ghosts in his castle.

Evening Standard, 28/06/1993

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Boxing clever with Dunant

TALKING to the TV presenter Sarah Dunant is like speaking to her on television when you're at home. She protects herself from questions with a glass screen, runs the show and you have the feeling that your only control is to switch her off.

Evening Standard, 02/07/1993

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Why I'm so proud of my daughter Camilla

MAJOR Bruce Shand, father of Camilla Parker Bowles, is giving his first ever interview. The man who brought up the mistress of the future King of England is talking about marriage, sexual promiscuity, his children, the upper classes, the Queen, the effect of Camillagate on his family, his extraordinary upbringing and being a prisoner of war.

Evening Standard, 27/07/1993

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The astonishing life of Sarah Miles

SARAH Miles,the actress, is dying. She is in the terrible last stages of arsenic poisoning. Her face is awfully pale and her breathing difficult... She's filming Dandelion Dead, a television drama based on the true story of a 1920s solicitor who murdered his wife. But her real life is more improbably dramatic and beset with tragedy than fiction.

Evening Standard, 29/09/1993

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RICHARD La Plante, former rock star and psychiatric counsellor, martial arts expert, screenwriter, actor, novelist and husband of the first lady of screenwriting, Lynda La Plante, has written a thriller, Leopard. It is, according to the blurb, about `nature's perfect killing machine'. But turn the pages of Richard's own life to discover nature's most unbelievable living machine - a tale of sex, drugs and a woman who was once paid to talk to him.

Evening Standard, 07/12/1993

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DAWN Airey, network controller of children's television at ITV, likes her job. It was, she told a Sunday paper, the best thing she could do with her clothes on.

Evening Standard, 15/12/1993

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KEITH FLOYD is about to dine in his arch rival's establishment. He thinks that eating, drinking and sex go together. But he'd like the sex first, he announces loudly to the genteel clientele talking in whispers as they do in nice country hotels.

Evening Standard, 31/12/1993

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I want to be perfect for him always

She's engaged to Will Carling, England's rugby captain, and is busy planning their wedding this summer. But she's also lived with rock star Jeff Beck and sepped out with Eric Clapton. In her first interview on her own, Julia Smith talks about past loves and her romance with the nation's most eligible sporting hero JULIA Smith, 29, is marrying sport's most eligible bachelor, England's rugby union captain, Will Carling. She's also dated Eric Clapton. And, at 18 years old, she dropped out of university to live with the then 39-year-old veteran guitarist and millionaire Jeff Beck, erstwhile lover of fabled Sixties model Celia Hammond.

Evening Standard, 30/03/1994

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BRITT Ekland, a lover with stamina, once stayed in bed with her soon to be ex-husband drummer Jim McDonnell for two days and nights. Before him, she slept with Peter Sellers (whom she married), Lou Adler, Rod Stewart, Warren Beatty, Ryan O'Neal, Lord Lichfield and George Hamilton. Now she's written a bonkbuster, Sweet Life, which echoes her own life and is about a Swedish air hostess who marries an English Lord who dies and leaves her penniless and ready for adventure... But Britt's real life story is of a beautiful woman who protects her vulnerability with an iron will and compulsive need to control.

Evening Standard, 11/04/1994

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The Prince,the ballet dancer and candlelit dinners for two

BALLERINA Bryony Brind is talking for the first time about her relationship with Prince Michael of Kent and of the death in a climbing accident of the man she planned to marry. About being violently mugged in London last week and about her psychic abilities and plans to marry on a cliff top. And of her youth when she was the Royal Ballet's youngest star, Rudolph Nureyev's partner and hailed as the new Margot Fonteyn.

Evening Standard, 27/04/1994

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The many many hates of mr meades

I am dining with Jonathan Meades. The restaurant critic, presenter of Abroad in Britain, and now author of Pompey - the fattest and most scatological novel in recent memory - has a fearsome reputation. ‘He's detached from the human race and would be just as happy to meet Dennis Nilsen at a dinner party as Mother Teresa,' says a rival food critic. ‘He enjoys poking about in the nasty bits of pigs' guts and people's lives,' comments another. ‘He borrows an intimidatory technique from Brando, of staring and pretending to be deaf.'

Evening Standard, 11.05.93

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What David Frost would ask himself

Hello, good afternoon and welcome back, as someone might say. Welcome to Sir David Frost OBE returning after more than 20 years to a live studio audience with The Frost Programme. But Frost off the box is a hard man to penetrate. He seems to be stage-managed.

Evening Standard, 15.04.93

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Why Margaret Drabble says: 'I can live with my husband now'

The writer Margaret Drabble lives in a Hampstead house and Michael Holroyd, the husband to whom she is devoted, lives in Ladbroke Grove. It is an arrangement that London's top-drawer literary couple have maintained since their secret wedding in 1982. But now she wants to move in with him. When they entertain, they sleep at her house; when they go to the airport, they spend the night at his. ‘We speak every day,' says Drabble of Holroyd, the enigmatic man of letters who received a record advance of £625,000 for his biography of George Bernard Shaw. ‘He's coming to dinner tonight, tomorrow I'll spend alone...'

Evening Standard, 10.02.93

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How my lovers gave me a real education

It has been a good decade for Mary Wesley. The best-selling author of The Camomile Lawn, who wrote her first book aged 70, has sold 1.5 million books in paperback. ‘I'm always terrified when I've finished a book that it'll be a disaster,' she says. ‘I used to think, ‘What am I trying to do? I can't write.' Now I still think each book will be my last.'

Evening Standard, 01.02.93

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Who's afraid to be fat?

Big is beautiful for comedy actress Miriam Margolyes. Failure certainly does not frighten her and success means having another helping of smoked salmon Miriam Margolyes: on a winning streak SUCCESS means never having to say you're hungry, according to Miriam Margolyes. ‘I get nervous when food is taken away from from me,' she says, firmly preventing the waiter from clearing the table. The 51-year-old comedy actress has risen in the last few years via voice-overs and BT commercials, her one-woman show Dickens' Women and a truckful of character roles in films and television to become one of the most sought-after character thespians in the business.

Evening Standard, 18.12.1992

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Eternal youth and Sheridan

There have been two murder attempts on Irish writer and director Jim Sheridan. The first was by robbers in Chicago in 1972 - his friends saved him - and the second in Baltimore in 1981: ‘I met two black guys after a party. I felt they were going to attack me so I tried to get away. Then somebody - I don't know who - told me they wanted to kill me,' says Sheridan, famed for the Oscar-winning movie My Left Foot.

Evening Standard, 11.12.1992

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Loud, proud and larger than life

'My youngest child called me the other day, crying hysterically that his older brothers were saying he was a mistake. I said he wasn't a mistake, none of my precious babies were ... their father was.' Black American comedienne Thea Vidale shrieks defiantly and slurps her drink.

Evening Standard, 11.12.1992

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How I got into the mind of the Ripper

In 1984, reporter Barbara Jones knocked on the door of Sonia Sutcliffe's home. Little did she know then, but for nine years her life was to become dominated by the wife of the Yorkshire Ripper and the murderer himself. The results of her obsession can be seen this week with the publication of her book, Voices From An Evil God: the true story of the Yorkshire Ripper and the woman who loves him. It is the first time the words of Peter Sutcliffe, the man who killed 13 women and left seven more for dead, have been heard.

Evening Standard, 27.10.1992

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Don't yawn, they're really awfully nice

A lot of people can't stand television presenters Anne Diamond and Nick Owen. ‘I don't have a personal need to be loved by everybody,' retorts Anne, wearing a loud applique jumper with jewellery at the collar. She knows that she gets up people's noses.

Evening Standard, 05.10.1992

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The boy with everything

Lorne Thyssen, heir to one of the richest men in the world and one of its most eligible bachelors, is talking about how he lost his virginity. `It was an extremely unpleasant experience. I was only 15 and it was with a hooker in Travemunde in Germany.'

Evening Standard, 29.09.1992

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Claire Bloom: The misery I am never able to forget

Her reputation precedes her. Interviewers find actress Claire Bloom guarded, private and shy. They talk of her nervous sensitivity and fiercely controlled personality. She rarely reveals anything personal. So it is an honour to find her talking intimately and revealing secrets. Like the fact that this serene, elegant, very English actress used to take drugs: ‘Well, who didn't in the Sixties?' she says. ‘I did pot at parties and loved it. I loved listening to music or looking at paintings.'

Evening Standard, 24.09.1992

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Torvill and Dean: the truth about us

There is something tacky about ice-skating. One goes to meet Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean expecting Colgate smiles and the psychological equivalent of sequins. Instead, they talk for the first time about their traumatic childhoods, the shocking death of his father, their intimate relationship and their years of celibacy. They are humble, genuine and touching.

Evening Standard, 14.09.1992

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The barrister with a culinary brief

Clarissa Dickson Wright, 45, daughter of the Queen Mother's renowned surgeon, Arthur Dickson Wright, was the youngest ever barrister called to the bar. She practised for 13 years, decided she wouldn't have any difficulty becoming a judge, and threw down her briefs to go to the West Indies and cook on a charter yacht in 1977. Permanently, she thought. But soon, feeling like some time in London, she took over a luncheon club in St James's. Then, fancying a spell out of London, she applied to run a pheasant farm in Sussex. On being asked whether she knew all about pheasants (she knew nothing), Clarissa replied haughtily: ‘One does, doesn't one?' And got the job.

Evening Standard, 14.09.1992

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Can Sir Terence do it again?

Conran on son Jasper: Many of my friends are gay and one's son being gay isn't any different. I don't think it has anything to do with upbringing, I think people are born that way.

Conran on ex-wife Shirley: Shirley is an extremely ambitious woman and it's difficult to live with someone intensely ambitious - she was always rushing round the world Terence Conran built a £200 million empire and then watched most of it disappear.

Evening Standard, 11.08.1992

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Why this man isn't really sexy

Imran Khan - sex symbol, matinee idol and pin-up cricketer - is not fantastically good looking. Maybe it's because his eyes are particularly small, his nose contrastingly large, his facial skin slightly mottled and his chest hair peeks through the gold chain over his T-shirt neck. He looks as if he's just woken up after a hard night of drinking, although, being a good Moslem, he doesn't drink. And he appears exhausted. Anyway, it's difficult to see what all the fuss is about.

Evening Standard, 20.07.1992

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Michael, loneliness and the the fan who stalked him

Michael Crawford is not an obvious sex symbol. But there's something about him that attracts 140 fan letters a day - and a year ago caused an obsessive female fan in LA to follow him fanatically for three months. ‘Each night I drove home from the theatre and a car pulled out from behind the hedge and started to follow me. I was on my own and the audience had gone,' he says, wringing his hands and looking down as he does throughout most of the interview. ‘I used to come off the freeway by a different exit each night to try to lose her.

Evening Standard, 24.06.1992

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Love and the man who gets 500 letters a week from girls

Last month Phillip Schofield took over from Jason Donovan, one of the world's biggest singing stars, in the leading role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Palladium. Before Schofield stood in for him for six weeks in January, he had only ever sung in the bath, and his previous stage experience was limited to two stage productions and a walk-on part in a children's variety show.

Evening Standard, 17.06.1992

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Yes, Fergie is still my friend

This week ‘Madame' Vasso, Fergie's Greek clairvoyant with the blue pyramid, is starting up a new telephone helpline service. She has 10 Mercury Premium Rate service lines on which, for 48p a minute, she will explain how to use crystals and pyramids, and give advice on loneliness, anxiety, love, health and money.

Evening Standard, 16.06.1992

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A very public and very private Ivana

The photographers stand four deep. Bagpipes are being played. The crowds, drinking champagne, are packed together like second-hand paperbacks. Michael Caine has been invited, so has Terence Stamp and, oh, here's Jeffrey Archer.

Evening Standard, 05.06.1992

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Pop art

Piers Jackson lies on the floor with his knees in the air and Jade Jagger sits on them. Jade, heavily pregnant, is wearing a brick dress, brick jacket with fresh daisy in the button hole, ruby cross round her neck, and bare legs.

Evening Standard, 30.04.1992

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Jilly, jealousy and how two people can hurt each other

Best-selling author Jilly Cooper has been talking ingenuously about love, jealousy, betrayal, trust, hurt, sex, toyboys, mistresses, money and affairs. ‘I always feel God is up there peeling a heavenly banana skin to throw under my feet,' says Jilly, who once appeared to have it all and had the image of a frothy party girl.

Evening Standard, 30.04.1992

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The man who hypnotised his way to a million

Tonight Britain's best-known hypnotist, Paul McKenna, the former Radio One disc jockey, will be found at the Dominion Theatre putting ordinary people under extraordinary spells. Like turning an accountant into an uninhibited Elvis Presley and getting a systems manager to wander around in the interval, deep in trance and behaving (hilariously) as if the 2,000-strong audience is full of long-lost relatives.

Evening Standard, 03.04.1992

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Martialling the art of getting what you want

The millionaire cowboy-booted hunk opposite me has been hailed the most macho star in America, the king of the martial arts and the heir to Bruce Lee. Ten years ago he was as big as Stallone, bigger than Shwarzenegger. Now he's been eclipsed not just by these two, but by younger versions of himself, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Still Chuck remains the darling of the video rent market, with one of the largest world wide sales. So what's it like now just to follow in the footsteps of Shwarzenegger and Stallone? `You don't compare yourself to anyone or you start to drive yourself crazy. Sly, Arnold and I are all friends. I've known Arnold for 25 years. Of course he's at the top of the heap right now. But the three of us have talked about success.

Evening Standard, 27.03.1992

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One from the Hart

Volatile, fair and loyal personality who organises poetry readings in a Cork Street gallery and is the wife of ad man Maurice Saatchi. Versatile and competitive producer of high-brow plays. Entertaining and high-voltage career woman with supercharged emotions who was formerly on the board of Haymarket Publishing.

Evening Standard, 06.03.1992

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Mixed marriages and the bad lad who became a model hero

Jeremy Guscott has a 42in chest, an outside leg of 43 inches and cheveux noirs. It says so on his model's Z card. On one side of it, there is a photo of the hunk playing rugby; on the other, he sits, legs astride on a chair, while a blonde with a plunging neckline stands behind him with her legs apart.

Evening Standard, 05.03.1992

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Breaking up from Andrew and the debt I owe my father

I had a wonderful childhood and wonderful parents,' says Sarah Brightman. ‘We lived in a four-bedroom house in Berkhampstead that my father built. I went to a stage boarding school when I was 11 and I was unhappy there. I remember my father saying to me, ‘Make up your own mind. You can either come home and do something else, or if you're ambitious, you'll have to stay on at the school'.

Evening Standard, 27.02.1992

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How Pat stopped sleeping around and found god

Pat Booth was once extremely promiscuous and slept with men because she thought it old-fashioned not to. ‘I think I have a very healthy sexual appetite. I've seldom met a man who hasn't appealed to me.' This East End girl turned model, owner of boutiques in the Sixties, photographer, journalist and now steamy best-selling novelist thinks of herself as having a man's mind in a female body. ‘I often see men as sexual objects.' The place she really likes to be more than anywhere else in the entire world is in bed. ‘If someone said, ‘What would you like to do for the rest of your life?' I'd say, ‘Stay in bed - alone'.' She laughs. And what would she do? ‘I'd read.'

Evening Standard, 21.02.1992

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Good time Shirl

Perky, impish and nutty Academy award-winning actress and sister of Warren Beatty. Self-centred, single-minded and charming author of Dance While You Can who talks about her past lives and is into the occult. Whither the real Shirley MacLaine?

Evening Standard, 31.01.1992

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Teddy Bears and Turandot ...

Amusing and nervous impresario who once forgot about a booking in Northampton, leaving the audience staring at an empty stage. Gimmicky and stocky promoter who once did the Spycatcher Pops - passages from the banned Spycatcher book set to music at the Barbican and with free seats offered to MI5 and MI6 members on proof of identity.

Evening Standard, 24.01.1992

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Back from the brink of divorce

Fay Weldon is drinking a cup of instant hot chocolate and talking about marriage, divorce and reconciliation. Just last month, her husband claimed she had fled their home to get away from a noisy neighbour. Then the author of Life and Loves of a She-Devil, Puffball and The Cloning of Joanna May (on ITV later this month), and Growing Rich (a TV series next month) announced that she had actually filed for divorce from her husband of 30 years, Ron Weldon.

Evening Standard, 13.01.1992

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Accidental eyebrows

Friendly and bejewelled codpiece-wearing rock and roll star grandfather with the new single Are You Ready to Rock. Glittery, irrepressible and outrageous monument to high tack who has survived alcoholism, drug dependency and bankruptcy to turn into a vegetarian Buddhist. Autobiographer of Leader who once took a driving test in a Rolls-Royce while wearing platform boots and a fur coat.

Evening Standard, 27.12.1991

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No more Mr Ice Guy

Friendly and magnanimous man who comes but once a year over snowy towns and Christmas trees, dipping into his sack of gifts. Dignified and deep-voiced postman cum chimney sweep who works during the season of goodwill and commercialism. Ebullient and jolly gentleman with rosy cheeks. Or sceptical, curmudgeonly and grumpy schizophrenic who is part cultural attache and part million-dollar mogul.

Evening Standard, 20.12.1991

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When I was a Boy I used to scream and shout

Macrobiotic and Buddhist former heroin junkie cum gay transvestite. Volatile, funny and charismatic befrocked singer, formerly of Culture Club and now of Jesus Loves You, back in the charts with After The Love. This is the George O'Dowd who turned into enfant terrible Boy George. ‘I call myself George on my records now,' says the 30-year-old. ‘Other people always call me Boy George.'

Evening Standard, 06.12.1991

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Under the shell of a good egg

Just as the Government cannot throw off the gigantic shadow of Mrs Thatcher, so her children cannot escape it either. Carol Thatcher struggled to find an independent identity while her mother was in power. Now that Mrs Thatcher shakes her gory locks at her successors, Carol is still being called to account.

Evening Standard, 06.12.1991

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The gentle outlaw

Energetic, menacing and original writer, director and actor appearing in Kvetch. Temperamental, extreme and talented madman cum tyrant and East End bovver boy made good. Clown or gangster. Attentive, courteous, private and peaceful man. Such are the Jekyll and Hyde images of Steven Berkoff. He's wearing jeans and loose, black, zip-up sports shirt. ‘Clothes are of such a trivial nature that I've never considered bringing my mouth to express words to define my sartorial preferences,' he says, writing down an idea on his notepad. ‘To give voice and value to what I wear suggests a monstrously trivial spirit.'

Evening Standard, 22.11.1991

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Life after the orgies

Druggy, loony and shaggy-looking Australian personality and former editor of Oz who was prosecuted at the Old Bailey for corrupting public morals. Enfant terrible of the swinging Sixties cum non-conformist journalist who has just written Playing Around. Militant, gregarious and energetic erstwhile hippy and leading figure in the London underground.

Evening Standard, 08.11.1991

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Bed by 10.30 with a cup of hot chocolate

Caroline Phillips spent two days with the English rugby squad, watching the tension mount as Will Carling's gentle giants gear up for tomorrow's big game.

Evening Standard, 01.11.1991

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A legend in his own mind

Norman Mailer is sitting with his legs stretched out in front of him, sneakers on his feet. He's a horrid little man, pugnacious and with small eyes that are sharp and mistrustful.

Evening Standard, 25.10.1991

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Consulting the Bron thesaurus

Gentle, genteel, benevolent and tolerant bon viveur cum Literary Review editor and author of Will This Do? Or snarling, snobbish, splenetic, racist, sexist, sadistic erstwhile Private Eye and current Telegraph columnist? Bron, Brontosaurus and Auberon Waugh are sitting in the same armchair in his Academy Club in Soho, to which members serving prison sentences don't have to pay their subscriptions and wherein he hopes to provide refuge from insufferable bores.

Evening Standard, 11.10.1991

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Minogue: a study in insecurity

Kylie Minogue has a very determined handshake. The pocket sex bomb - 5ft 1in and one of Australia's biggest exports - stands up with out-of-bed hair and exerts a surprising pressure on the hand. Surprising in view of the fact that she is just about to talk about her nervous breakdowns. She has had two, the first in 1988, the second shortly after - both at the height of her popularity.

Evening Standard, 07.10.1991

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Playing the white man

Witty and self-mocking man who is married to Dawn French and started on New Faces. Affectionate and straightforward comedian who stars in True Identity and came from a West Midlands Jamaican family.

Evening Standard, 27.09.1991

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Body politic

Passionate, proselytising, innovative and controversial managing director of the Body Shop who has just written a manifesto of an autobiography called Body and Soul, which is printed on recycled paper and signed ‘Anita X'. Former teacher turned role model with financial acumen and vision. Enter, powered by very fast and lead-free feet, Anita Roddick - also known as Miss Mega-Mouth.

Evening Standard, 20.09.1991

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High priest of the New Age

Hip, controversial and publicity-keen priest who keeps beehives on his roof. Radical, blunt and flamboyant rector with the New Age Disneyland and counselling caravan in his church yard. Passionate man of rousing sermons and woolly sweaters.

Evening Standard, 30.08.1991

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Cat and mouse-like

She's the woman with flair and ability who flags down dustcarts when she can't find a taxi. The lady who founded the Open Space Theatre, ran the Roundhouse and reckons she looks as old as God. And the guile-filled former thesp and erstwhile parachutist who is bringing the Ninagawa-directed play Tango at the End of Winter to London.

Evening Standard, 16.08.1991

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The wages of cyn

Direct and honest Streatham-living subject of Personal Services. Money-mad erstwhile madam who will perform an Afternoon of Innocent Cyn at the Edinburgh Festival.

Evening Standard, 02.08.1991

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The agony and the empathy

Kindly but firm columnist and author with the caring manner who is leaving LBC after 15 years. Pioneer of broadcast therapy with the unshockable ear. Clear, patient and concise Agony Uncle who has written books both on sex and Wagner.

Evening Standard, 26.07.1991

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A legend is born again

Forty-seven years and 19,500 parties after Betty Kenward began writing Jennifer's Diary in Harpers & Queen, she has handed it over to Sue Crewe, who admits to loving society gossip but, in the column's tradition, will keep it to herself. She talks to CAROLINE PHILLIPS SUE Crewe, unattached and the former shopping editor of Harpers & Queen, is taking over from Betty Kenward as ‘Jennifer' of Jennifer's Diary in the same magazine. Mrs Kenward, 84 and always ready with a withering semi-colon, has had 47 thrilling years of marvellous chronicling of charming partygoers, dear dear friends, looking radiant and living in a world of silk organza. It is said that the redoubtable Kenward went to 19,500 parties during her tenure and every Royal Wedding since 1944 except that of Princess Margaret. (A palatial oversight.) It was she who covered two consecutive days at the Royal Windsor Horse Show interrupted by a dinner party in Venezuela by Concorde. And there was that incident on the operating table when, minutes before the surgeon drew his knife, she insisted on reading her galley proofs.

Evening Standard, 22.07.1991

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Bringing down the shutters

Morose and hunky photographer who is compulsively attracted to gun battles and death and was once hit with a shell in both legs. Non-violent, courageous and honourable man who has worked from war-torn Africa to Vietnam armed only with a camera.

Evening Standard, 07.06.1991

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Maltese teaser

International and egghead author of 34 tomes including Handbook for the Positive Revolution and I am Right You are Wrong. Self-contained and quiet Maltese originator of lateral thinking who can write an entire book on the London to Sydney flight.

Evening Standard, 31.05.1991

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No strings attached

Sandie Shaw is wriggling and giggling. Now she's sitting cross-legged. Now there's the laugh that hits the ceiling. And more wriggles. And lots of funny voices. If you didn't know she hated the song, you might say she was acting like a bit of a Puppet on a String. But she's just recorded an interview with Jonathan Ross, and she seems to be quite high. Grace, her lovely-looking and, at 20, her eldest child, has just left us. (‘Yummy Mummy' is what her children call her.) ‘Grace is really beautiful, not just physically but mentally and spiritually. We relate very much to the child in each other as well as the woman.'

Evening Standard, 01.05.1991

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Putting up with her majesty

‘How did you get on with the Queen, Mr President, and what did you think of Windsor Palace?' Lech Walesa thought for a moment and replied: ‘Windsor is very nice. But I'd move a few things round a bit if I lived there. The light was too far away from the bed and the bed was so big I could hardly find my wife in it.'

Evening Standard, 29.04.1991

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Logical Lindy

Cool, self-assured, forthright former waitress, clerk and receptionist who was born in New Zealand. Devout, unimaginative housewife who was convicted in 1981 of murdering her nine-week-old baby Azaria by cutting her throat with a pair of nail scissors at Ayers Rock. Hard, unsympathetic, little bitty lady who was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour. Unflinching author of Through My Eyes, a direct and detailed account of her conviction and subsequent exoneration, phenomenally recalled in 768 pages.

Evening Standard, 26.04.1991

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AT AYTON Castle, Lady Christine de la Rue, in red jumper and jodhpurs and wearing dusters on her feet, is skating around what appears to be 27 miles of wooden hall floor. A polishing trick she picked up at the Pucci Palace in Florence. The fire is blazing, sandwiches are laid out on the grooms' table in the hall - where they play ping pong and do Scottish reels - and Highland terriers scamper about.

Evening Standard, 12/10/1994

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Pilgrimage of a political wife

JONATHAN Aitken's wife, Lolitzia, was meditating for a week in an isolated Buddhist retreat when her husband rang to break the news of his promotion to the Cabinet. Lolitzia, a Swiss heiress and one of London's most important society hostesses, was with pilgrims on Holy Island reportedly sleeping in a traditional wooden box designed to keep the body's energies flowing. This wasn't how we'd imagined the wife of Jonathan, newly appointed chief secretary to the Treasury, former TV-am big wig, biographer of Nixon and financier. But, speaking for the first time, Lolitzia says she spends up to two months a year looking for her spiritual `essence'. How does Jonathan regard these trips? `Maybe deep down he thinks I'm a bit cranky. But everyone has the right to be.' She laughs. `I didn't sleep in a box on Holy Island. I'm worried I'll seem to be really wacko.'

Evening Standard, 01/09/1994

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ON Sunday the chocolate heir and former television chief Peter Cadbury, 76, was burgled. It was the most recent in a series of burglaries in his village near Basingstoke. He stormed that the Tories had lost his support. He demanded a crackdown on law and order, thundering that the Tories wouldn't otherwise regain his backing.

Evening Standard, 31/08/1994

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The unbeatable bimbo

IN APRIL her Putney home was gutted by fire and her furniture and possessions burned. In June she was burgled and her jewellery stolen. Then her best friend died. In July she was car-jacked and her £5,000 watch robbed; 24 hours later, she bumped into the gang who stole it. Former Page Three model Jilly Johnson, who has spoken before only about her watch theft, admits reluctantly that she's had a run of bad luck.

Evening Standard, 15/08/1994

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WHEN Barbara Kaczmarowska Hamilton drew the Duchess of York, she discovered her sitter was an artist. First the Duchess photographed the initial sketch by Basha, as she's known to her friends. Then the Duchess revealed that she daubs cityscapes, has a painting teacher, and hangs her work on the walls at Romenda Lodge. Basha had a quick private view of the Duchess's watercolours and thought them exceedingly good.

Evening Standard, 09/06/1994

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The Benenden Man

HE THINKS he's Pooh Bear. That's who Jonathan Watts, head of history at Benenden, one of the most famous gels' schools in the country and alma mater to the Princess Royal, identifies with in literature. This means he's solid, reliable and vulnerable. But not, of course, a bear of little brain who is gullible and gets things wrong. Now Watts is to break a 70-year-old tradition to become the school's first male `housemistress'. The 43-year-old bachelor will take charge of 50 girls aged 11 to 16.

Evening Standard, 08/07/1993

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How Grumpy taught me to be Tania

CAROLINE PHILLIPS asks TV guru Michael Barratt to help in her quest to become cool on camera and just like a very, very famous weather girl SOME are born great, others achieve greatness, and others have it pinned on them through being television presenters. This is why I want to be Tania Bryer and have spent weekends on Learn to be Tania Bryer courses. The media training industry has mushroomed like satellite dishes over the past decade. And when it comes to training, I'm a course-aholic.

Evening Standard, 30/07/1993

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At home with the celebrity fixer ...

A SOCIALITE who shrinks from publicity, the beautiful Uruguayan aristocrat and fixer for Hello! magazine who is said to travel the world with a Louis Vuitton suitcase full of money in search of celebrities for the magazine, Marquesa de Varela has opened the doors of her garden in her stunning rented Knightsbridge home to give her first interview. The triumph of Hello! is largely due to the normally mysterious marquesa, its marvellous hit woman. She has formidable contacts with the rich and famous and is a friend of the Duchess of York's mother, Mrs Susan Barrantes. It was the marquesa, with her jet setting and title, who scooped the world with her 48-page special on the Duke and Duchess of York. She is famed for her exclusive though not penetrating interviews. (At Mandy Smith's bedside, she asked: `Do you cry a lot?') She never gets too personal, nor does she try to trick anyone in her interviews, nor does she put any indiscretions in print. (The only person she really wants to interview who hasn't agreed to her request is the Pope!) The glamorous and charming marquesa has carte blanche from her publisher to fly Concorde to her interviews.

Evening Standard, 02/08/1993

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The grouse of Atholl

GEORGE Iain Murray, who refuses to use the name George and is the 10th Duke of Atholl, lives in Blair Castle, Perthshire. The castle has white-painted pebble dash on it and was started in 1269. `The Earl of Atholl owned the land then. He was on a crusade when a local gentleman called Mr Cumming decided this was a nice place to build a house and started doing so,' says the Duke. `The Earl returned and was somewhat annoyed to find a house in the middle of his grounds. So he turfed Mr Cumming out and took over.' The Duke, whose father was killed in action in 1945, was evacuated to Blair Atholl during the war. (Before then, the castle was let to an American married to a Dutch diamond millionaire. `They used to play bicycle polo in the ballroom. When they left, they gave a new floor.') He came to the title aged 26, through a third cousin three times removed. He doesn't have a son and heir.

Evening Standard, 11/08/1993

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Goodbye F-factor, hello fluffy bathrobes

SOMEONE recently said to Lis Howell that launching a television channel was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. `I must be dead then,' says Howell, waggishly. Howell was the director of programmes at GMTV who was sacked from her £100,000-a-year job amid rows about the F for fanciability factor. Now she is launching UK Living, a women's satellite channel of which she is head of programming. UK Living, she says unrepentantly, will have the F-factor too. But this time, F stands for feminine.

Evening Standard, 19/08/1993

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THE television journalist Kate Adie, who was adopted as a baby, was reported yesterday to have been happily reunited with her natural mother and sister after searching for a year. But the newspaper stories made one person unhappy.

Evening Standard, 16/09/1993

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THE Marchioness of Worcester, former actress Tracy Ward, is a woman obsessed. She lives on the Duke of Beaufort's Badminton House estate and believes in organic farms fertilised with human manure. She cycles around the countryside wearing a Rajisthani skirt and fiddles with Ladakh prayer beads. To save water, she doesn't flush the loo after she pees. Her life makes gossip columnists gleeful. She was expelled from school after smacking the deputy headmistress, did a sexy cabaret act, stripping to black camisole, in rough London pubs, posed nude for Norman Parkinson and dated heroin-addicted Etonians. Tracy's sister is the actress Rachel, her mother is married to Lord `call girl' Lambton and Tracy married Harry `Bunter' Worcester, heir to the Duke of Beaufort's fortune. Phew! In the past few years, Tracy has metamorphosed. She's now Mother Tracy, the tireless charity worker and Green person. She's a trustee of Friends of the Earth, The Gaia Foundation (works with indigenous people in forest areas), Transport 2000 (to reverse the Government's £23 billion road programme, improve public transport and cut down pollution) and the Schumacher Society (lectures by eminent environmentalists).

Evening Standard, 08/02/1994

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The observer's guide to life

Annie Leibovitz is the star who photographs the stars. Yet she doesn't come out from behind her lens happily, CAROLINE PHILLIPS discovers ANNIE Leibovitz has fixed the look of American popular culture for two decades. She is reputed to earn £1million a year. Annie finds it hard to talk, struggles with her work, worries she's lost her touch and nearly cried when she walked into her exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Annie, 44, has shot heavily pregnant Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg in a bath of milk, John Cleese hanging upside down in a tree pretending to be a bat and Joan Collins, who pushed her cleavage up with gaffer tape. For magazines from Rolling Stone to Vanity Fair, she's spent the past two decades on the road with Mick Jagger, at the White House for Richard Nixon's departure and with John Lennon, pictured curled foetally round Yoko, hours before he was murdered. Recently, she left Sarajevo to shoot Sylvester Stallone in Los Angeles.

Evening Standard, 03/03/1994

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My life without Mel

WHEN Deborah Moggach's partner of 10 years died in February, they stopped the film at the Empire Cinema. The paramedics leapt on him like athletes, attempted resuscitation, the theatre emptied in a flash, and the police cleared Leicester Square. He was the cartoonist Mel Calman and he had a fatal heart attack as somebody's throat was being cut on screen. His death was no more extraordinary than the life of Deborah, 45, the popular novelist.

Evening Standard, 24/05/1994

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Inside the mind of the master

Imagine the sound of Approaching Menace music, the inquisitorial spotlight, the camera zooming in, the terrified man sitting in the famous black leather chair, the nervous flinching and twitch of the mouth . . . this afternoon we have polymath Magnus Magnusson in the hot seat with 45 minutes on The Life and Reign of Magnus Magnusson, Mastermind quizmaster.

Evening Standard, 07.05.93

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Sex? It's just a waste of time says Janie Jones.

She had sex and showbiz parties in her Kensington home, was loved by Moors murderer Myra Hindley, kept a pet goose when she was a child, was tried at the Old Bailey, owned a Rolls-Royce, ran a call-girl agency for diplomats and aristocracy, was sent to prison where she wore a mink coat, appeared topless at a world premiere in Piccadilly, is a long-standing friend of Lord Bath, released a single with The Clash and was kept by a colonel. These are incidents from the life of Janie Jones (born Marion Mitchell).

Evening Standard, 23.03.93

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Fighting talk from a princess

Patrick Bergin has just watched himself drown in the icy waters of the Arctic in the arms of his own monstrous creation. He has good reason to flinch. As Victor Frankenstein in David Wickes's new version of Mary Shelley's classic story, transmitted on ITV on 29 December, Bergin suffered more than necessary. ‘A model turned over and crushed my left arm. I have a horrific spiral fracture. It could have killed me.'

Evening Standard, 18.12.1992

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Kingdom comes

If you haven't heard of him, you should have. The Kinnocks, John Updike, Ben Elton, Eric Clapton, Luke Rittner, Molly Parkin and Anne Robinson are fans. And he performed this week for Prince Charles. ‘Good evening culture vultures,' he said to HRH and company, in his best Dylan Thomas voice. Meet Bob Kingdom, whose solo tour de force, Dylan Thomas Return Journey, is directed by Anthony Hopkins. ‘Tony said to me ‘Don't try to please the audience, they don't want that'.' For years Hopkins wanted to play Thomas and identified closely with the role. ‘He's healthily obsessed as well.' Kingdom, 48, is a reformed alcoholic. ‘I got drunk and fell under a train in Cardiff once,' he says. That was 25 years ago. ‘I also got sick of waking up and not knowing where I was.' Kingdom becomes Thomas when he plays the notorious romantic hellraiser during one of his recitals (at the Lyric Studio until 2 January). Thomas died of chronic alcohol poisoning when he was just 39.

Evening Standard, 18.12.1992

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Our astronaut daughter

The soviet space chief last night launched an extraordinary attack on women astronauts-including orbiting Briton Helen Sharman, whom he described as a loner who ‘works like an iron lady'. Caroline Philips talked to the parents of the down-to-earth girl.

Evening Standard, 31.05.1991

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“Caroline Phillips is a tenacious and skilful writer with a flair for high quality interviewing and a knack for making things work.”

Paul Dacre, Chairman Associated Newspapers

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