Clare Grogan wrote a book
More than a quarter of a century later, despite the iced buns and the appearances on Celebrity Masterchef, Grogan is as petite as ever. Forty-six, with an adopted daughter, she retains a girlishness which goes beyond her slender physique. Now she has emulated Madonna and Geri Halliwell by producing a novel for children. Tallulah and the Teenstars, the first in a three-book deal, is due out in October.
The story is fanciful in the extreme.
Teresa Gordon longs to be a pop sensation, forms a band with her schoolfriends, overcomes parental disapproval, wins the school talent contest and ends up with an offer to support her idols Betty and the Bee Stings. The whole thing is utterly ridiculous until you remember that this is pretty much the story of Grogan’s life.
“I loved the notion of using some of my early experiences with the band,” she says. “It’s all pretty much as it was, apart from the school talent contest. We never did that.”
The book, which she describes as “little chick lit”, is a deliberate move away from the Jacqueline Wilson-style gritty and nitty novels where children come from broken homes, have mothers who take lesbian lovers and end up in care.
In Grogan’s book, Teresa lives with her mum and dad, shares a bedroom with her older sister and does the washing-up.
Grogan still remembers being dropped off at home in a limo only to be ushered towards a sink full of dirty dishes.
“People might accuse me of being old-fashioned and unrealistic and I suppose I am, but that shouldn’t stop you doing what you want in life. The book is not Dostoevsky but I just wanted to write something inspiring.
“I choose not to analyse the fact that, at 46, I feel very much the Tallulah of the book. It’s certainly weird and maybe a bit sinister.”
Maybe you remember her as Susan from Gregory's Girl.
Or perhaps you remember her as the lead singer of Altered Images.