Anais: 'I was never going to be that girl who was really skinny and super beautiful... so I've always won over boys and friends with my personality'
Funny, intelligent and making waves in the world of fashion, there's more to Anaïs Gallagher than her famous parents. Noel's girl talks to Laura Craik.
As celebrity offspring go, Anaïs Gallagher is boss, which is a relief because Noel Gallagher is boss, and I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of Meg Matthews. With her clipped English accent, Anaïs' presentation is pure Bedales (her former school), but her eyebrows are pure Noel. So is her humour, which is dry and something of a calling card, marking her out from all the other celebrity model offspring who seem to multiply by the day.
"Ever since I was four, on all my old school reports it says: 'Anaïs needs to stop being the class clown,'" she says.
"That's me. I realised I wasn't the girl who was really skinny and super beautiful. There were girls in my school who'd walk in the room and you'd be, 'Oh. My. God'. I was never going to be that one. So I've always won friends and boys and everybody over with my personality. I would like to think I'm pretty funny."
It's a mark of many London teenagers that they're 17-going-on-47, at once worldly and naive, and Anaïs is one such creature. She's clearly ambitious, signing with Select Model Management aged 12 and presenting her first TV show at 14. She no longer presents, dismissing it with an "it was too easy". She is currently the face of Reebok ("which is kind of funny because my dad's inherently Adidas - it's the clash of the shoe brands") and a brand ambassador for Mulberry.
"I love Mulberry!" she enthuses. "I'm proudly British, and really proud I'm associated with such an inherently British brand." It's a neat fit - Anaïs is also a keen rider. "I love it. It's funny: people always assume when you ride from a young age that your parents ride. My parents don't ride." And it's true: I can't see Meg or Noel on a horse.
Being a teenager is really hard, she says, because you're given certain adult responsibilities without being given the respect of an adult. "You're treated like a child. My parents like to use the 'Anaïs, you're just 17', and then 'Anaïs, you're 17 now'". Nor does she like the assumption that teenagers are addicted to their phones.
"I'm not addicted to my phone," she says, clutching it in her hand - although to be fair, she doesn't check it once during our interview, which is more than some adults manage. She recently called Kate Moss - Meg's long-time friend and former Primrose Hill Set party companion - her "second mum" on Instagram: what's their relationship like? "She's hilarious - one of the funniest people I know. She is the most loving, motherly figure. She texts me at least once a week. It's a good relationship because she's not my mum. She sneaks me out so we can go out together, and she makes really good peanut butter on toast."
The idea of Kate Moss sneaking out a 17-year-old girl might fill most parents with fear, but Anaïs has her head screwed on, and her parents seem to know it.
Does she have a rebellious streak? "Yes, I do. But you can't really rebel against my parents because they're really tolerant. My friends will be over and say, 'Anaïs, there's a party tonight, are you coming?' and mum's like, 'Oh yes, go!' and I'm like, 'I might just stay in with my dog and watch Netflix'. And she'll force me to go to a party because she thinks I'm wasting my teenage years.
"But I'm not. I just like staying at home watching TV. As you get older, it's hard not to test the boundaries. Especially with mothers and daughters. I'm definitely a daddy's girl - if he tells me not to do something, I won't do it. But with my mum, she tells me not to do something and I question it. She finds that quite frustrating."
Would she say Meg is a momager? Primrose Hill's answer to Kris Jenner? "She is a momager," she laughs. "But I wouldn't want anybody else to be my manager. I trust her opinion. She's the best."
She still lives at home with her mum in Primrose Hill, saying: "I want to move out, but I'm reminded by my parents that I wouldn't be able to cope. I've got a fear of the oven. I like to pretend that I don't know how to use the dishwasher so I don't have to. And I know the amount of times I'd be there (at home) anyway, there's just no point. Plus it's cheaper."
Cost might seem an irrelevance when your dad was in one of the most successful bands of all time - Oasis' (What's The Story) Morning Glory is still the fifth biggest-selling album in the UK - and has a net worth estimated at £48m, but most celebrity offspring worry about money, albeit not in a "will I make the rent this month" way.
No tears will ever be shed over rich kids whose only problem is that they want to make their own way in life, yet to them, the struggle is real. "It's very hard trying to find your own way, dealing with people saying you're only doing it because of your parents," agrees Anaïs.
"I've had stuff written about me since the moment I was born. When I was younger, I'd never done anything to deserve the amount of attention that I got. It's not like I was a singer or had any significant talent. It was just because I was the child of my dad. So I have to respect that, in a way. I can't do anything too crazy or say anything too crazy because it's going to reflect back onto my dad. I don't want to speak my mind too much."
Surely outspoken Noel, of all people, would understand? "Yes, obviously. But I wouldn't want people thinking he's a really bad parent, because he's not - he's a really good parent. But that's (not) how the media would portray it. So you have to be careful. People think there's this huge team around me telling me what to say. Trust me, there's not. I get told off quite a lot for speaking my mind too much on social media."
She adores her dad, even if his gigs used to be a trial for her. "He doesn't give a f*** about what anybody thinks of him or says of him, and will always say what's on his mind and I admire him so much for that," she says fervently. "People are like: 'What's it like having a famous dad and being in the spotlight?' It's all I've known. Do I remember when they played Wembley Stadium? My only memory was getting really upset that they didn't put any Cadbury Chocolate Buttons in the dressing room. It's only now, as I've got older and understand the scale of things, that I almost tear up seeing my dad play on stage. Now, I go and see my dad and pop over to his studio and say, 'I'm so proud of you'. But when I was younger I was literally like: 'It's so embarrassing, dad. Stop singing.'"
Was he tolerant of the mandatory tween Dodgy Boyband phase? "No. Never. But I'm glad, because now I have good taste in music. My taste is identical to my dad's. I'm a diehard David Bowie fan. I love The Beatles, I love The Smiths, my dad's music ... anything that's made with real instruments. I don't listen to anything that's on the radio and I doubt that anything on a playlist of mine is from the last 20 years. My knowledge of music has always been good because I think my dad would disown me if it wasn't.
"What I take from my dad is my taste in music, his sense of humour, his no-bulls*** kind of attitude, and then from my mum I take her energy and positive outlook on life. She's high as a kite all the time - not in that way, obviously," she says, looking alarmed.
Meg and Noel have done a good job in raising someone so level-headed, for Lord knows how horrendous it must be growing up labelled as a 'Brit Brat', as one tabloid called her.
"I was laughing the other day with my friend - obviously mentioning no names - who is also the child of a celebrity, about headlines and how ridiculous they are. With my friend it's always 'so and so's lookalike son', and with me they always use a lyric of my dad's. Like 'Don't Look Back In Anger… Anaïs Gallagher Seen Giving Dirty Looks.'"
She and Brooklyn Beckham are frequently papped together, along with Sonia Ben Ammar (Brooklyn's ex-girlfriend) and their mutual friend, Rocco Ritchie, all of whom attend the same sixth-form college in Belsize Park. "There is this big misconception that we're all friends, that we're all this crew… and it's actually true," she says, with a deadpan delivery that's pure Noel. "People must be thinking, 'they don't all know each other', but we do all know each other and we are actually all friends. Obviously we're all teenagers, so we fall out, but I'd always support them through everything."
I give her a questioning look. "I'm not dating either of them, no," she says emphatically. "Me and Brooklyn, people like to pick up on because we're seen out together quite a lot. And because we're such good friends, they like to capture photos where we're hugging. No - we're like brother and sister. We have a really good relationship. I like to help him out with girls."
So there you go. If young Brooklyn ends up with someone nice, David and Victoria may well have Anaïs to thank for it. I can't imagine him in safer hands.