Belfast Telegraph

Home Woman Life

All the best: Alison Clarke

The former Miss Northern Ireland (she won the title in 1982) owns and runs ACA model agency in Belfast and organises the annual beauty pageant. She is married to international golfer Darren Clarke and has two grown-up sons.

My best moment

It was November 1, 1990, the day I opened my own business and entered the big wide world of self-employment. It was a risk because I left a secure, pensioned job at a bank but I wanted to use talents that were my own, not those given to me by the bank.

My best song

I'm not very musical and I can never remember the words to songs or how the tune goes. One song that reminds me of a particular moment though is I've Got A Feeling by The Black-Eyed Peas. That was the song playing in the car when I was heading to the airport to go on my first date with Darren in 2009.

My best way to relax

I don't often get the chance to chill out so my favourite thing is a day where I have nothing to do, a day when I don't have to go anywhere, organise anything or speak to anyone. It's a day when there is nothing in my diary and I can just chill out at home and put my feet up.

My best buy

Nowadays I go for quality over quantity so my best buys tend to be bags and shoes. Darren buys me some wonderful gifts but when you save up and buy something for yourself you feel like you've really earned it. I love Jimmy Choos, Gucci, Chanel and Mulberry – I have a couple of Mulberry's Bayswater bags (left).

My best job

That would be the one I do now but it's also my worst job. I never really get away from it – even when I'm abroad on holiday I keep in touch with the office. I have a fantastic team who only contact me if something is urgent. Then again, I just have to know what's going on!

My best advice

Valerie, the office manager at ACA, is always dispensing advice to people. The one piece that I always think of that she gave me is 'To thine own self be true' – a quote from Shakespeare.

My best gift

I have had a lot of lovely ones like the little presents my sons have made me over the years. If I must choose one thing, though, I'm going to pick the five-carat engagement ring that Darren proposed to me with in December 2010. He chose it himself. I'd no indication that he was going to pop the question and it was such a lovely surprise. He even went down on one knee and handed me a red rose.

My best achievement

Raising two boys into such lovely young men and the fact that I have such good relationships with them. Stewart currently works for Invest NI in San Fransisco while Philip is in his final year at Manchester University.

My best movie

Again I'm not a big movie person but I love (right) Mamma Mia! The music and the storyline are brilliant and I just find the whole thing really entertaining. Surely that is the point of any film.

My best book

I like autobiographies so I enjoyed Alan Sugar's latest book for its insight into his business sense. I also really liked Gok Wan's Through Thick And Thin. At the moment I'm reading Rod Stewart's biography, Rod. They are all really different people but all very interesting in their own ways.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph