In 2007, Bloomsbury published My Celebrity Boyfriend, a collection of photographs of me and famous men pretending to be my boyfriend.
It came about due to a dare, a part-time photography diploma, my knack with children’s shoes and a lot of good luck.
Over the course of four years, I went on film sets, TV sets and theatre sets, on boats, balconies and carousels, I found myself in beds, in bushes, in cars, stalking, being ignored, being kissed, cuddled, wined, dined, nude, laughing, in a dressing gown, in bondage gear and dressed as the heroine of the 1934 film L’Atalante.
And when it was published, I went on to be a twit on radio, in print and on Richard and Judy. But despite all that, the book was very well received. Except by this man writing to the Guardian:
So here are my top tips for surviving being a photographed as a Celebrity Girlfriend:
- Always wear a vest (see Alexander Siddig and Johnny Vegas)
- Be cool. Pretend that you are shaking because you’ve just drunk a triple espresso, not because you’re meeting someone you really admire professionally (see Iain Glen). Or had a crush on at sixth form (see Jamie Theakston)
- Be open-minded. If they want to wear a mask, let them wear a mask (see Rhys Ifans)
- Try not to break their boat (see Stephen Moyer)
I wrote various bits and pieces about the project at the time, they’re now on my blog – just click on the My Celebrity Boyfriend category. There’s a couple of outtakes in the gallery too. And the book is still in print, should you wish to see for yourself just what I got up to…