Give me a hand here—am I all right with this, or not? Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper is ready for publication; edit and cover completed; layout for eBook and paperback in hand; and of course I’m nervous—I’m always nervous at this stage. There’s one passage I was happy with and now I’m not. Protagonist Billy has become a celeb, thanks to the efforts of his Prison Education Officer, Melanie, and Jessica, the agent who takes him on. Jessica is teaching Billy what being a celeb means and we get this:
The Governor’s words came back to me. “Lead your own life, McErlane. Don’t let that woman lead it for you.” Jessica said, ‘I know what you’re thinking, Billy, but before you protest, have a look at this.’ And she placed another printout in front of me.
Feeling a bit chilling? Catherine Tate cuddles up to her beau Adrian Chiles as they enjoy a romantic stroll
They went public with their romance in September after they were photographed cuddling up to each other during a holiday in America. And continuing to indulge in displays of public affection, Catherine Tate and Adrian Chiles were seen enjoying a romantic stroll last Friday evening. As they walked the streets of Santa Monica, the 45-year-old planted a kiss on Tate’s forehead while she, 44, wrapped her arm around his waist.
Adrian and Catherine chatted away as they enjoyed their evening stroll whilst hand in hand.
Tate appeared to be wearing Adrian’s blazer as it looked a few sizes too big for her frame. The make-up free flame-haired comedienne stepped out in a pair of slim tight jeans, a striped scarf, Ugg Boots and a dark top. The presenter was seen trying to keep his lady warm as they rested their feet and sat on a set of concrete steps.
Chiles allowed Catherine to rest her head on his shoulder as he stroked her leg.
Dressed rather smart for the evening date, Adrian wore a striped pale blue shirt with a pair of jeans and black leather brogues. He also wore a pair of reading glasses as he held a white carrier bag in his hand.
During the evening, the former One Show host treated Catherine to some frozen yoghurt. Chiles and Tate have both been spotted together on several occasions, and she also appeared on his popular topical news series That Sunday Night Show.
Adrian, who now presents ITV’s football coverage, has been single since he split from his wife Jane Garvey in 2008. The couple married in 1998 and divorced in 2009 – and have two daughters together, 11-year-old Evelyn Katarina and Sian Mary, eight. Catherine split from her partner Twig Clark, a stage manager last year, and they have an eight-year-old daughter together, Erin.
The actress, who is a regular on the U.S. version of The Office, reportedly enjoyed a brief romance with Take That’s Jason Orange in late 2011.
I said, ‘Where’s the story? There’s no story.’
‘The pics, Billy. What do you see? Apart from two ugly people?’
‘Well. They’re posed.’
‘That’s right. You’re supposed to think you’re looking at two people so wrapped up in each other they’ve been snapped without their knowledge, but actually they posed for the pics. Maybe they’re just polite. More likely they did a deal: We’ll give you your pics if you go away afterwards. And I’ll be doing deals for you. Better deals, I hope, because the journalist who wrote this didn’t play the game.’
I read it again. ‘What do you mean?’
‘The reference to slim tight jeans. There won’t be a single person who reads that without remembering that Tate’s arse wouldn’t look out of place on a shire horse.’
‘Why do women have to be so catty about other women? I think she has a nice bum.’
‘Then you have plenty to admire. There’s also the reference to his popular topical news programme, which was so popular it was axed. Just remember: no interviews. Right.’ She turned to the photographer, ‘First shot, please. Leave me out of it. Just Billy drinking his coffee and reading his text book.’ And she placed a book in front of me. I’d never seen it before and I can’t remember what it was. ‘Open it, Billy. Look as though you’re reading it.’ She put an A4 notepad beside me and a pen in my hand.
There were a few other people in the coffee shop and I didn’t find it as easy as Jessica to ignore them, but I did as I was told. When the photographer was happy with what he had, Jessica said. ‘What are you working on in English, Billy?’
We shot a few more pics, but not until we’d driven thirty miles to another town because we didn’t want any sharp-eyed busybody from my past working out where I lived. The first result appeared three days later in one of the redtops.
Okay. The extract is genuine—I lifted it from the Daily Mail and I’ll be acknowledging that in the book. What really concerns me is: Am I going to be all right having Jessica say what she does about Catherine Tate’s rear end? And her reference to two ugly people? When you read those things, do you think it’s me being needlessly unpleasant? Or do you see them as what they’re supposed to be, which is in-character remarks by a somewhat catty and abrasive person?