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My fabulous femme fatales from 2015


Frances Burscough

Frances Burscough

Frances Burscough

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind - here's my line-up of feisty femme fatales as reported on these pages over 2015, for the sake of Auld Lang Syne...


In this month we discovered just how pricey it can be to look like a million-dollar movie star. Gywneth Paltrow is 43, but she always manages to look like a natural, unspoilt, unaltered beauty.

In reality, it costs a small fortune in treatments to maintain that unspoilt look. It has been estimated that she spends something in the region of £14,000 a month on her beauty regime. This includes Reiki massage, intravenous vitamin therapy, lymphatic massage, thermage laser treatment, microdermabrasion, electronic muscle stimulation, oxygen mist treatments and stem cell facials. Add to that the haircuts and make-up appointments for every event and it's a wonder she gets any time at all to appear in front of a camera!


They say that hell has no fury like a woman scorned and never was it more clearly demonstrated than in the aftermath of the Celebrity Big Brother. It could have been a mini-series all in itself, watching the slanging match escalate between the two finalists, Katie Hopkins and Katie Price.

From the moment they were unleashed back into society at large the two had their claws out as the catfighting commenced with gusto. Katie H said her nemesis didn't deserve to win as all she ever did was "sit around in her pyjamas" and was "cheap, tacky and shallow". Seconds out, round two and Katie P returned with a swipe at her opponent's hygiene habits (or lack thereof).

But the stinking breath and sweaty armpits weren't enough to shut up Ms Price, who then went on to slag off her tasteless wardrobe. And that's from the woman who wears rubber catsuits and stilettos to show off her fake Double D's.


In March there was a whole lot of celebrity swinging going on. Taylor Swift ( exes: singer Joe Jonas, musician Harry Styles, actor Jake Gyllenhaal and singer John Mayer) began dating the award-winning global DJ producer Calvin Harris (exes: singer Ellis Goulding and singer Rita Ora).

Rihanna (exes: musician Jay Z, actor Shia LeBeouf, rapper Chris Brown, singer/actor Justin Timberlake) was rumoured to be dating the ultimate movie star mogul Leonardo DiCaprio (exes: actress Demi Moore, actress and supermodel Amber Valletta, supermodel Naomi Campbell, supermodel Gisele Bundchen and supermodel Bar Refaeli)

Kate Hudson the famous daughter of actress Goldie Hawn (exes: Chris Robinson of the band Black Crowes, Matt Bellamy of the band Muse, and movie star Owen Wilson) went on a date with the billion-selling singer songwriter and lead singer of Coldplay Chris Martin (exes: singer Natalie Imbruglia, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, presenter Alexa Chung and actress Jennifer Lawrence).


Madonna may be getting on a bit, but that's no excuse for letting her standards slip.

In April she performed a song with Taylor Swift and, although she was caked in make-up and wearing an outfit that was so complex and with so many straps and laces and buckles and zips that it must have taken ages to assemble, she still had one glaring fashion faux pas that (I think) ruined her whole look - black roots.

Everyone knows that going blonde and then staying that way is not easy for a naturally dark-haired person. Madonna's natural colour is black and so from the moment her stylist daubs on the peroxide there is going to be a certain amount of regrowth showing through. But Madonna doesn't seem to mind very much as there was at least two inches showing through while the rest of her blonde had turned that tell-tale shade of brassy yellow.

Ok, call me a bitch if you like, but when you're a megastar with more money that sense and with a whole platoon of stylists at your beck and call there really is no reason for it. Especially when you are considered to be a world-class style icon.


This month we welcomed a new royal baby into the upper echelons. Of course, as you might expect, wee Princess Charlotte was picture perfect, which is just as well as she's probably destined to become the most photographed girl in the world.

But with a mother like Kate, this shouldn't be too difficult to manage. Heck, if there has ever been a more photogenic and camera-ready mother than her, I've never seen one.

Unlike most post-partum mums (including me, back in the day) who leave hospital either bent double with back strain or shuffling like a zombie with bow legs or half-crippled with cramps, she sauntered out looking like she'd just spent a relaxing weekend at a health spa.


The willowy supermodel Kate Moss got herself into a spot of bother in June when she had to be escorted off an Easyjet plane from Turkey for causing a disruption during the flight. Well at least that what the airline said. But according to passengers there was very little disruption to speak of - in fact, many of the passengers were not even aware an incident had taken place until police were waiting on the tarmac upon arrival. But at least Kate saw the funny side of the whole pallaver and spent this week devising spoof re-enactments on YouTube and posting a running commentary on Twitter. Making the (tabloid) news headlines at this stage in her career is better than becoming a has-been.


I went to the press preview of Amy in July and I was traumatised. This was the feature-length documentary charting the rise and fall of the inimitable Amy Winehouse using actual footage taken throughout her brief and tumultuous life. It was brilliantly edited and put together so that you get a really clear understanding of the terrible pressures that such fame in the 21st century can put a person under.

I had always been a fan of her intriguing style and quirky looks, but had no idea how hard her life had become under such relentless scrutiny. It is made abundantly clear that the paparazzi hounded that poor girl to an early grave and were just as guilty as those spongers who simply used her to access the rock-star lifestyle and then left her alone when things went pear-shaped.


In August a newspaper claimed that sex with robots would become socially acceptable within our lifetime and will be considered "normal" within 50 years. According to Dr Helen Driscoll from the University of Sunderland, who is an expert in the psychology of physical relationships, developments in interactive motion-sensitive technology will become so advanced that robots will soon become far more effective at "doing it" than human partners.

"As virtual reality becomes more realistic and immersive and is able to mimic and even improve on the experience of sex with a human partner; it is conceivable that some will choose this in preference to sex with a less than perfect human being," she explained.


Katie Price took on a new challenge in September - to star in a pantomime. This was just the latest in a long line of self-promotional projects because so far she's been a model, both glamour and fashion; a reality TV star and host; she's starred in her own pornographic sex tape; she's published (courtesy of assorted ghost writers) five - yes, five - autobiographies; a novelist of 10 works of fiction and two series of children's books; she's recorded an album, two singles and has auditioned for the Eurovision Song Contest; she's launched her own fashion collection, lingerie collection and equestrian range; she's got her own haircare label which includes products and styling equipment and she's also produced and promoted three perfume collections.


In October I was less than impressed by From Darkness, starring Anne-Marie Duff. Not only was the plot so formulaic that it could have been patched together from every show on ITV Gold (that same old story where a world-weary ex-cop retreats to a remote village to put her traumatic past life behind her, but is tracked down and persuaded to return to the force to tackle an unsolved case against her better judgement and forced to confront her demons in the process), but her character was so flaky, edgy and hysterical with nerves that in the real world she wouldn't be able to say boo to a goose without having to undergo therapy afterwards.


There was a strange coincidence happening on television in November. The same actress appeared as the lead character in two different - and very brilliant - TV dramas on opposite telly channels. In Unforgotten, on ITV, Nicola Walker played the lead as DCI Cassie Stuart, a tough yet kind-hearted cop investigating the historic murder of a boy in the 1970s.

In the other drama, BBC's River, she played a murdered cop, Jackie 'Stevie' Stevens, who was helping in the investigation of her own murder by appearing as a ghost to her partner John River. If any of you remember Randall and Hopkirk Deceased in the 1970s then this was a bit like that, but without the humour.


Lucy Bronze, the 24-year-old footballer from Manchester City's women's team, was among the nominees at BBC's Sports Personality of the Year Awards. She looked super-elegant, in a long-sleeved lace shift dress worn with peep-toe ankle boots. I was cheeky enough to ask her how come she didn't have typical footballer's legs, because in her mini-dress they looked sleek and toned to perfection.

"Don't look! I have knobbly knees!" she replied. Believe me, she didn't.

Belfast Telegraph