Caroline Phillips


Caroline Phillips
“Caroline Phillips is a tenacious and skilful writer with a flair for high quality interviewing and a knack for making things work.”

Caroline Phillips


All articles from 1991

Accidental eyebrows

Evening Standard | 27 Dec 1991

Friendly and bejewelled codpiece-wearing rock and roll star grandfather with the new single Are You Ready to Rock. Glittery, irrepressible and outrageous monument to high tack who has survived alcoholism, drug dependency and bankruptcy to turn into a vegetarian Buddhist. Autobiographer of Leader who once took a driving test in a Rolls-Royce while wearing platform boots and a fur coat.

This is the 47-year-old perennial teenager; the Paul Gadd who grew into a Gary Glitter.

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No more Mr Ice Guy

Evening Standard | 20 Dec 1991

Friendly and magnanimous man who comes but once a year over snowy towns and Christmas trees, dipping into his sack of gifts. Dignified and deep-voiced postman cum chimney sweep who works during the season of goodwill and commercialism. Ebullient and jolly gentleman with rosy cheeks. Or sceptical, curmudgeonly and grumpy schizophrenic who is part cultural attache and part million-dollar mogul.

Enter, on an environmentally friendly sleigh, Father Christmas. ‘I’m also known as Santa Claus,’ he says, smacking his reindeer on the bottom and turning off some particularly nasty electronic Noel bells. ‘I don’t care what you call me. And I’d rather have a Saab.’

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Tears, triumphs and true grit

Evening Standard | 9 Dec 1991

It’s very brutal and violent with executions and torture. ‘But kids love that. It’s a family show,’ says Jeremy Isaacs, director general of the Royal Opera House and former chief executive of Channel 4. He’s talking about Puccini’s opera, Turandot. The first time ever that the Royal Opera House is staging an opera at Wembley Arena.

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Under the shell of a good egg

Evening Standard | 6 Dec 1991

Just as the Government cannot throw off the gigantic shadow of Mrs Thatcher, so her children cannot escape it either. Carol Thatcher struggled to find an independent identity while her mother was in power. Now that Mrs Thatcher shakes her gory locks at her successors, Carol is still being called to account.

Her failure to pay a £32 poll tax bill is a matter of national interest. But she does not attract the same public indignation as brother Mark. Never the favourite child, Carol has achieved wide popularity. She had not demanded privileges nor pity. She is what the British call A Brick. Carol, 38, presents a tall, robust slightly hefty figure. She wears loads of noisy, chunky jewellery – ‘she looks like a walking mobile,’ says one of her friends – and lots of make-up. She appeared on the list of Worst Dressed Women while in Australia, a fact she jokingly brings to people’s attention. She has said she just puts on whichever clothes are nearest. ‘She likes to look smart, but she has a problem cultivating the feminine side of her nature because she is so jolly hockey sticks,’ says a colleague.

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When I was a Boy I used to scream and shout

Evening Standard | 6 Dec 1991

Macrobiotic and Buddhist former heroin junkie cum gay transvestite. Volatile, funny and charismatic befrocked singer, formerly of Culture Club and now of Jesus Loves You, back in the charts with After The Love. This is the George O’Dowd who turned into enfant terrible Boy George. ‘I call myself George on my records now,’ says the 30-year-old. ‘Other people always call me Boy George.’

Today he’s dressed for cycling in a Soviet waistcoat, scruffy 50p trousers (‘bargain-hunted from a French market’), exotic fake snakeskin sneakers and a glittery Lord Jaganagh (Krishna God) brooch. He’s all in beige, navy and black.

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The gentle outlaw

Evening Standard | 22 Nov 1991

Energetic, menacing and original writer, director and actor appearing in Kvetch. Temperamental, extreme and talented madman cum tyrant and East End bovver boy made good. Clown or gangster. Attentive, courteous, private and peaceful man. Such are the Jekyll and Hyde images of Steven Berkoff. He’s wearing jeans and loose, black, zip-up sports shirt. ‘Clothes are of such a trivial nature that I’ve never considered bringing my mouth to express words to define my sartorial preferences,’ he says, writing down an idea on his notepad. ‘To give voice and value to what I wear suggests a monstrously trivial spirit.’

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Life after the orgies

Evening Standard | 8 Nov 1991

Druggy, loony and shaggy-looking Australian personality and former editor of Oz who was prosecuted at the Old Bailey for corrupting public morals. Enfant terrible of the swinging Sixties cum non-conformist journalist who has just written Playing Around. Militant, gregarious and energetic erstwhile hippy and leading figure in the London underground.

Is this the real Richard Neville?

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Bed by 10.30 with a cup of hot chocolate

Evening Standard | 1 Nov 1991

Caroline Phillips spent two days with the English rugby squad, watching the tension mount as Will Carling’s gentle giants gear up for tomorrow’s big game.

Wednesday, 1pm at the four-star Petersham Hotel (£110 a night for shared twin rooms), second home this week for the England rugger squad. On the reception desk a notice reads: ‘Signed Copies of Will Carling’s Captain’s Diary on sale’. Outside, a blue BMW has a side painted with the legend: ‘Mike Teague. Good luck in the Final.’

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A legend in his own mind

Evening Standard | 25 Oct 1991

Norman Mailer is sitting with his legs stretched out in front of him, sneakers on his feet. He’s a horrid little man, pugnacious and with small eyes that are sharp and mistrustful.

He has written mountainous quantities of goat food – but his greatness is upheld by the Naked and the Dead, which he published when he was 26, Armies of the Night, the Executioner’s Song and parts of Harlot’s Ghost. The latter, his latest book, is about the CIA and took him seven years to write; at 1,122 pages of anorexic type, it would take as long to digest slowly – which is what he expects.

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Those £1,000 a minute questions

Evening Standard | 15 Oct 1991

Cameras flash and the fashion world applauds while eating cheese straws and drinking Lanson champagne. These are the British Fashion Awards – the Oscars of the designer rag trade.

It is all taking place in the tented world of the Duke of York’s barracks. The audience wears black and glitter and off-the-shoulder creations and looks as if it could swap places with the catwalk folk.

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Consulting the Bron thesaurus

Evening Standard | 11 Oct 1991

Gentle, genteel, benevolent and tolerant bon viveur cum Literary Review editor and author of Will This Do? Or snarling, snobbish, splenetic, racist, sexist, sadistic erstwhile Private Eye and current Telegraph columnist? Bron, Brontosaurus and Auberon Waugh are sitting in the same armchair in his Academy Club in Soho, to which members serving prison sentences don’t have to pay their subscriptions and wherein he hopes to provide refuge from insufferable bores.

He has given up smoking because he couldn’t get up the stairs; so now he has a buck’s fizz in his hand and a review of his book, which elicits a great sigh.

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Minogue: a study in insecurity

Evening Standard | 7 Oct 1991

Kylie Minogue has a very determined handshake. The pocket sex bomb – 5ft 1in and one of Australia’s biggest exports – stands up with out-of-bed hair and exerts a surprising pressure on the hand. Surprising in view of the fact that she is just about to talk about her nervous breakdowns. She has had two, the first in 1988, the second shortly after – both at the height of her popularity.

‘I don’t normally talk about them. When I think about it, it was quite amazing that I was just 20, and to have had so much stress and to have been in that kind of position, it angers me. There were so many people just thinking about themselves and really only thinking of me as a product, not a person. They’d forgotten that I had to go home to sleep and eat and to be able to think properly.’

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Caroline’s favourite articles from 1991

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