I have a guilty secret: I’m addicted to I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Consequently, when I heard Lisa Mary London used to work on the series and her book Reality Rehab could be just up my street I had to invite her on to Linda’s Book Bag. I was so intrigued by the character of Gloria in Reality Rehab that I asked Lisa Mary London what is in Gloria’s handbag. Luckily she agreed to tell me!
Reality Rehab is available for purchase (or should that be pooch – ase) in e-book and paperback here.
Faded soap star Gloria Grayson swaps banoffee pie for humble pie with a stint on reality TV. But her last ditch bid to salvage her celebrity backfires, when the ex-husband from hell is sprung on her in front of 10 million viewers.
Can Gloria win back A-list status, happy ever after and her Rear of the Year title? Reality is stranger than fiction!
Faded TV star Gloria Grayson has hit rock bottom. Sacked from her starring role in a top soap, divorced from hell-raising actor ‘Mad’ Tommy Mack, and obese from binge eating, her days as Britain’s sexiest blonde are well and truly over.
But her luck changes when cruel paparazzi photos relaunch her career, and she and her fat, feisty dog are booked to appear on TV’s Reality Rehab.
Gloria is incarcerated with an American psychotherapist, a rabble of D-list celebrities and umpteen cameras, then put on a starvation diet. But worse is to come, with the shock arrival of her alcoholic ex-husband.
Tears and tantrums ensue as the divorced couple’s therapy sessions take over the show, and ratings soar. The other celebrities are infuriated to be sidelined and Reality Rehab fast becomes The Tommy and Glo Show.
But Gloria and Tommy are hiding explosive secrets from each other and 10 million viewers – Reality is stranger than fiction!
Gloria’s Handbag Secrets
An Exclusive Guest Post by Lisa Mary London
In a world exclusive, Gloria shares the secrets of her bulging designer handbag – and when you hear what’s in it, you won’t be surprised it’s bulging!
As the former star of Britain’s top soap Jubilee Road, I’m told I’m ‘a national treasure’. I’m not sure I like that description – it sounds like I’ve been dug up! Obviously there are wonderful perks to being a celebrity, like red carpet events, designer gowns and a beautiful mansion in London’s swanky Highgate.
But as the saying goes: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” (Hmmm… is it lunch time yet?) and like every superstar worth her salt (salt and vinegar crisps? Don’t mind if I do!) I guard my privacy jealously.
A downmarket paper recently printed unflattering photos of me putting the rubbish out in a ketchup-stained kaftan, claiming I’d gained weight. The cheek of it! I may have put on a few pounds recently, but that’s no reason for Britain’s best-selling tabloid to liken me to Jabba the Hutt!
I must be on guard constantly for sleazy photographers hoping to snap me in Tesco bulk buying banoffee pie, purchasing supersize Spanx or bending down to pick up Baby-Girl’s poop. So for me a handbag essential, is a compact mirror.
Not only can I check my lipstick, I get a crucial rear view to spot paparazzi’s long lenses when I’m relaxing in a restaurant and just about to deep throat an éclair.
My pedigree Maltipoo Baby-Girl stars in my new memoirs Reality Rehab and is also the book’s cover star. Thanks to Reality Rehab, Baby is the world’s first four-legged reality TV star, and I’m afraid fame’s rather gone to her head.
She now has a wardrobe of designer clothes bigger than mine and will only leave the house wearing enormous celebrity shades. She can’t get her tail out the front door without a hundred selfie and paw-tograph requests from adoring fans, she’s like a canine Kim Kardashian. Baby does her best to accommodate, but she doesn’t want to be accosted when she’s ‘taking care of business’, if you catch my drift.
So she gives stalkers the slip by snuggling out of sight in my oversized Louis Vuitton tote. Baby’s always been the ultimate handbag dog and no one but me knows she’s in there. And boy do I know it, as the shoulder straps cut into my flesh like a cheese wire through Edam, and I reflect I should ration her donut allowance!
Baby-Girl’s adorable but her table manners are quite appalling. When I serve her a plate of wet food, say a delicious coq au vin or boeuf bourguignon, half goes in her tummy and the rest covers her face from top-knot to toes.
So I put my thinking cap on, and solved the problem of Baby-Girl’s ‘gravy ears’ – the Pooch-Snood! It’s my own invention, I had my dressmaker run it up. The Pooch-Snood is like those ghastly snoods that were inexplicably popular back in the eighties. It has gentle elastic that goes round Baby’s little face and holds her ears back, allowing her full access to her dinner while keeping her fur clean and gravy-free!
Baby wasn’t keen at first, but when I uttered the words: “No Snood – No Food”, she couldn’t get it on fast enough! I’ve had a collection of them made up in different fabrics to match her outfits. As Baby-Girl and I invariably stop off at an exclusive restaurant for lunch when we’re out and about, my handbag always contains a Pooch-Snood. I really must get the Pooch-Snood patented, it could be a bigger celebrity money-spinner than the George Forman Grill!
As a busy actress and working mother to a Maltipoo I take my health very seriously and try to get my five a day. To that end, I make sure my handbag always contains a Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Vitamin C’s so important don’t you think?
As Oscar Wilde famously said: “I never travel without my diary, one should always have something sensational to read on the train”. How right Oscar was, and my new memoirs Reality Rehab are a handbag essential. It’s an effervescent tale, packed with laughter, tears and cliff hangers galore, and I can hardly believe it all happened to me. But it did – and I’ve got the mental scars to prove it!
Baby-Girl and I had many hair-raising adventures when we appeared on TV’s Reality Rehab and were both put on a starvation diet. It was no picnic, believe me (Ooh Picnics, I love those!) and when the Producers sprung ‘Mad’ Tommy Mack, the ex-husband from hell on me, all hell was let loose! I can’t reveal any more, you’ll have to read the book for yourself. But believe me, my ex-husband’s so bad he should have a bounty on his head. We split over his affair with a certain dyed redhead actress, but that’s another topic (Bounty… Topic… I’m starving again and I’ve only just had lunch!)
As I mentioned, my talented little fur-ball’s a leading character in Reality Rehab. I wrote a no holds barred account of her behaviour in the rehab house, and all I can say is – thank God she can’t read, and won’t sue!
(Linda – I’m not sure I’ll ever recover from finding out just what Gloria has in her handbag – or why!)
About Lisa Mary London
Lisa Mary London went from Chief Reporter on a sleepy Cotswold newspaper to become Celebrity Producer on some of Britain’s best-loved TV shows. Her TV credits include An Audience with Ken Dodd, A BAFTA Tribute to Julie Walters, The British Comedy Awards and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! She’s worked with stars from Tony Curtis to Ant and Dec, and her debut novel Reality Rehab features around 200 famous names.
‘There’s never a dull moment when you’re working with the stars’, says Lisa. ‘One minute you’re sipping champagne with Pierce Brosnan, the next you’re standing in the Ladies’ minding Barbara Windsor’s handbag.’
Reality Rehab is based on her real life, behind-the-screen experiences as a Celebrity Producer.
A journalist by profession, Lisa has written for the Daily Mail and was briefly a News of the World reporter, but made her excuses and left before anyone was imprisoned for phone hacking.