Shock horror! Jacko”s girl is so normal. Peaches, please take note
Down to Earth Song: Paris Jackson, 13, proved on the Ellen DeGeneres show that she is far from the neurotic teen wreck you might expect
Michael Jackson’s only daughter gave her first solo television interview this week. Paris Jackson turned up on the Ellen DeGeneres show in the U.S. to talk about her debut as an actress. It was an absolutely shocking appearance — for all the right reasons.
For 13-year-old Paris was poised, she was pretty, she was sweet. She was very, very far from the gibbering, neurotic teen wreck that one might expect following the, um, difficulties of her cloistered and bizarre upbringing.
Even by showbiz standards, Paris has lived through some challenging times. Daddy was the most famous entertainer on the whole planet. The circus of his life was matched only by the grotesqueness of his death. Not to mention the court case that followed, in which Jackson’s doctor was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. None of it very edifying, least of all for a little girl to witness and absorb and try to understand.
One of the last occasions Paris was seen in public was at the incredibly gaudy memorial held in Los Angeles for her father, in which his body lay centre-stage in a gold casket. Over a billion people watched on television as the star-studded ceremony unfolded, with Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey and Lionel Richie singing songs… to the casket.
Mind-blowing for all, not just for his traumatised and grieving then 11-year-old daughter. At one point during the proceedings, Paris was seen sobbing with her hands over her ears. Who could blame her
Yet here she is now, all grown up — almost — and somehow managing to be remarkably down-to-earth and even empathetic as she explained to Ellen that yes, she hated being made to wear a mask in public by her father when she was little. However, now she understands that daddy Michael was only trying to protect her and her brothers, Prince and Blanket. All perfectly normal family stuff, what’s the problem
Paris also explained that Michael helped her prepare for her upcoming film role, in which she will play Lundon in Lundon’s Bridge And The Three Keys, an action-animation adaptation of the fantasy series based on writer Dennis Christen’s novels.
Protective father: Paris told presenter Ellen she hated being made to wear a mask when she was young
Michael taught her how to act by holding improv sessions at home and encouraging Paris to cry on demand. Or was that just her natural response when he also told her, in so many words, that he wouldn’t be around for very long. Encouraging!
Yet none of this seems to have dented Paris’s amiable confidence and charm. She is a credit to someone — but who With a starring role in a film already to her credit, her future looks bright, in the short term at least. Yet can she or any of Michael’s children expect to live a normal life and escape the demons of the past What real chance is there that it will all be OK for her
Perhaps she will thrive and soar — and let us hope so. Or perhaps she will be just another recruit to the ranks of the SADOS — those desperate Sons and Daughters of Stars who want to carve out a slice of the fame pie for themselves — and choke it down with a nice, big glass of Do You Know Who I Am And it is strange (or is it) that having spent so many of her formative years under a blanket dropped on her head by daddy, that little Paris is now determined to be a star herself.
Interminable: Peaches Geldof, unlike Paris, is a classic example of a child of stars who cannot leave celebrity alone
She seeks the limelight like a parched baby camel skipping towards the sparkling desert oasis. She is like a budgie who has ripped away the cloth over the cage with her own tiny beak.
For one thing SADOS do not want to do is hide their light under a bushel, no matter how hopeless or talent-free they might be. Paris has yet to prove herself — but the rest of us have so long suffered at the mercy of SADOS inflicting themselves upon the unsuspecting public that we are more than jaded.
From Jade Jagger and her ‘jewellery designs’, to Sting’s daughter Coco Sumner’s music career, Mick and Jerry’s goofy modelling daughters, to Ronnie Wood’s girl Leah and her rock star ambitions to interminable Peaches Geldof, who is both attracted and repelled by the celebrity life but cannot find it in herself to leave it alone.
She has even just become engaged to another man who looks just like daddy. Chelsea Clinton has launched herself as a TV reporter in America, saying that she had a responsibility to ‘do something’ with her fame. Nothing she did or said onscreen dismissed charges that she was there because of her surname.
Well, let us hope Paris Jackson bucks the ghastly trend. So far, so very positive even if fame is a burden as well as a blessing. Everyone has their fingers crossed for this exceptional and tragedy-struck teen.
Yet she must also be warned that we are all on a short fuse. For witnessing the underwhelming achievements of over-privileged offspring is one of the torments of the age. Peaches, you know we mean you-hoo.
A first-class clip around the ear
“Victim face”: If Sam Main is no lout, he made a pretty good impression of being one
Oh poor wee Sam Main. He’s the student who was thrown off the Edinburgh to Perth train earlier this week.
Sam couldn’t produce his ticket for the inspector, but refused to move when he was told to get off the train. After a ten-minute row, includingmuch swearing and belligerence on Sam’s part, fellow passenger Alan Pollock threw the second-year student off the train.
Sam claims to have suffered cuts and bruises in the incident. Indeed, hehas allowed himself to be photographed with a bloody graze on his cheek, wearing that ‘victim face’ expression we have all come to recognise so well. His family are outraged, saying that Main is not a lout or a junkie, and want criminal charges to be brought against Mr Pollock.
Come off it. If Main is no lout, he made a pretty good impression of being one.
In the video made by a fellow passenger and posted on YouTube, we all saw a truculent youth being abusive to a ticket collector and being quite happy to inconvenience his innocent fellow passengers by halting the train.
He just thought he would get away with it, didn’t he
I get so fed up with ordinary people being held to ransom by the selfishactions of a few gobby oafs, who then run bleating to the authorities if anyone challenges their unsociable behaviour.
Yes, even when a proverbial clip around the ear is exactly what they need.
I do hope that common sense will prevail and that no charges are brought against Mr Pollock.
In the meantime, Main has claimed that it was all the fault of the railway service, who accidentally gave him two singles when he asked fora return.
Oh yes. That often happens on Scottish trains.
Piece of the pie: Super-rich Tamara Ecclestone claims she prefers cooking simple food to feasting on foie gras
Lovely Tamara Ecclestone wants so badly to be an It-girl.
Unfortunately she always comes across as a bit of a nit girl instead, doesn’t she
In a newspaper item about her food likes and dislikes this week, billionaire Bernie’s daughter (yes, she’s another fully paid up member of SADOS) confessed that, contrary to expectations, she didn’t like to feast on foie gras and caviar.
Instead, what our Tam likes more than anything is to have friends over to eat her homemade shepherd’s pie.
‘First, get cook to peel and grate two shepherds,’ she said, revealing her recipe secrets.
No, of course she didn’t. I’m joking.
But as the accompanying photograph showed our Tam heating up a saut pan on a wooden chopping board, I do have my doubts about her culinary prowess.
The pans go on the cooker, dizzy.
Nevertheless, Tamara insists she is a whizz, who loves ‘baking desserts’.
Sure she does. But slipping a Gu into the microwave doesn’t count.
Dumbo dung bag, anyone
Really, what would Christmas be without an act of festive largesse from Trudi Styler
An empty shell of consumerism, that’s what. A worthless extravaganza of meaningless tat.
This month, the film-producer wife of pop star Sting has helped to guest edit a festive edition of The Big Issue.
She has also helped produce a special ethical accessory range. Called The Bag Issue, it’s made by women on low-subsistence incomes from banana skin fibres and elephant dung. They were commissioned to raise money for orphans from Karm Marg, a home for street children based in the outskirts of Delhi, and were made by local women.
Some articles from The Big Issue are to be screen-printed on to The Bag Issue, along with important historical documents. The first one will have the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 on the front.
I wonder if it comes in pink
Sorry Mary, but I just love shopping online
Shopping boffin: Mary Portas, retail guru to the PM
In May, shopping guru Mary Portas (right) was asked by the Prime Minister to write a report on Britain’s ailing High Streets and city centres. Retailers everywhere promptly groaned.
For Mary’s report would probably be like every other report into the decline and desolation of our towns, where the number of empty shops has doubled over the last two years. The only difference would be that it might gain the PM and MP some favourable headlines, which is exactly what happened.
The thing is, everyone knows what the problems are.
Rents and rates have forced out independent traders. Parking restrictions deter shoppers — while the convenience of online shopping attracts them. The temptations of out-of-town malls — like the one Portas and her company promote in London — are a further distraction.
Greedy councils encouraging the bankability of soulless chain stores is another killer blow to the city centre. So maybe it is time to jettison the endless marketing reports and start thinking about the problem in a different way. Is it not the case that many people are just plum sick of shopping — and nothing will tempt them back Tell me this — what is so great about trailing around rain-slicked High Streets, being ignored by staff in overheated shops that don’t have the size you want anyway
I did most of my Christmas shopping online this year (cue smug expression), and it was super convenient not to mention an efficient use of time. Despite what Mary and the shopping boffins think, online shopping is not evil.
I see it as a force for good, something that sets women — and some men — free from the tyranny and drudge of shopping. Free to do something other than join the check-out queue with aching feet. Or continue to believe in the daft fairy tale that shopping is some sort of fabulous pastime or lovely hobby.
Antonio Horta-Osorio, the high-flying boss of the Lloyds Banking Group, had to step down last month suffering from chronic fatigue brought on by running the bank. His bosses have now urged other exhausted execs in the City to seek help, too — bankers are so caring, aren’t they — while insisting that their stressed executive was not, in fact, suffering from executive stress.
Instead, he had a ‘benign condition affecting energy and sleep levels’.
That’s a good one to remember when it’s time to do the washing up on Christmas Day.