Jeremy Vine And The Make-up Ladies Wow Romantic Novelists


The BookTrade online news carried a curious press release on Friday 13th June –

Apparenly six romantic novelists were persuaded to leave their lonely garrats and venture out into the wide world – and  BBC studio, to pit themselves against the Eggheads, with bribes of make-up, pampering and VIP treatments.


‘As Phillipa Ashley put it, “They worked miracles, and the sight of so much Bobbi Brown, YSL, Benefit and Chanel was enough to make a grown woman weep.”

During the transformation, Judy Astley boned up on the Eggheads’ strengths and weaknesses while Katie turned mother hen, “dispensing Aspirin and tissues and keeping us all calm”. Which was necessary for the nerves, after going over the rules and expectations in the Green Room, in spite of the “nice squashy sofa, lots of tea, coffee and pastries”, said Catherine Jones (aka author Kate Lace).

Presenter Jeremy Vine was variously hailed as scrummy, charming, lovely and “a god stepping onto the set – tall, dark, handsome and very witty. A real Alpha male”. Jeremy may well find himself nominated on the upcoming RNA sexiest male poll. He beat off strong competition from a dalek in reception, where team captain Melanie Hilton (Louise Allen in print) says she was co-opted to photograph Julie Cohen “getting intimate with its sink plunger” while Catherine herded stragglers into the building.

Rounded up, the team were whisked off to have their outfits vetted, sorted and tarted up ready for the cameras. But when it came to miking up, Julie’s dress proved a hitch with nowhere to hide the radio pack. Stuffing it down her M&S knickers was a bust, and it ended up in a pouch around her waist. At which point filming finally got under way.

While the RNA awaits the airing of the show with bated breath, it is rumoured the BBC production crew are still recovering from the onslaught.’

Julie Cohen and a plunger. Now that IS a TV programme to look forward to.