Liz Jones is arguably the UK’s most famous female columnist, renowned for her confessional often controversial style. I’m not a regular reader of her column though when I do she generally elicits an eye roll reaction from me. However I like to hear things from the horse’s mouth and make my own mind up so when the chance came up recently to hear Liz Jones talk about her life and times (part of plugging her new memoir Girl Least Likely To) at The Other Club, I went along.
Liz Jones was interviewed by fellow journalist and fan, Tanya Gold, at the event called ‘Liz Jones In Therapy’ with Q&A from the small audience. Below are the main nuggets of what she said:
- The Fashion industry is very duplicitous, peddles false dreams and doesn’t take criticism well at all but she still loves it despite all she knows about the reality. She has been banned by most designers – Victoria Beckham is the worst with the heaviest henchmen to keep her out of the fashion shows
- Liz has never looked at herself in the mirror
- Liz hates and doesn’t understand women attacking other women
- She’s had a hand job (hand surgery involving fat from thigh being inserted to plump up)
- People on Twitter aren’t very sophisticated and she never reads comments
- Journalists who don’t hide when they’ve filed a story are not doing their jobs. They are PRs
- Liz doesn’t understand why her siblings have stopped talking to her since she did a story (for a piece to help sell the book) on caring for her mother for a day and publishing a photograph of her mother on her sick bed without her permission. She didn’t see how it was any different from the time her brother took money from their mother’s bank account without permission
- The best books betray people
- She has one friend who she’s known since she was 18 and her assistant is like a friend
- She’s disliked because she is female, funny, doesn’t have children and is the highest paid columnist (half a million pounds a year if you really want to know)
- She hasn’t had a day off in three years
- People in the countryside hate single skinny women
- Her column is just about being entertaining and having fun
- There is a great deal of pressure to hit graphs for number of clicks, comments etc to maintain her position
- The Daily Mail doesn’t pay her for blogs and photo shoots
- She doesn’t write to be sensationalist and doesn’t write anything she doesn’t believe when she’s writing it….though she can change her mind afterwards
- India Knight isn’t on her Christmas card list (I’m paraphrasing as what she said was more *&%**%^%)
- Her favourite book is I Capture A Castle by Dodie Smith
- The best writing comes from failure and unhappiness makes the most compulsive reading
- Men can’t do confessional writing as they don’t like sharing their failures
- Her proudest achievement is getting CCTV installed in slaughterhouses
- She had a tattoo done and facelift for money – the surgery was free and she was paid £5K
- She’s in love, dating David the baker since August, who she first met in 1983 – he’s the love of her life
- Liz wants to write a screenplay next
- She has no regrets
Based on what I heard her say directly, I think Liz Jones is a very clever cookie, funny, self-aware, candid and a little disingenuous. She gives good quote and would be very entertaining at a dinner party. Something about her persona reminded me of Katie Price.
With a CV that includes being editor of Marie Claire; deputy editor of Sunday Times Style; one of the UK’s highest paid writers; voted Columnist of the Year and so on, Liz is incredibly successful yet speaks of herself as “little old me”. I can see why she’s a fan of Ruby on Great British Bake Off.
So are you a Liz Jones fan or foe? Would love to know what you think.