20 questions with writer, television personality and co-founder of Body Gossip Natasha Devon
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
I’m driven by a desire to make everything fair (and to silence the people who would have us believe that injustice can be explained by that irritating platitude – “life’s not fair”).
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
I nicked one from Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?
Two words: Michael Gove. I don’t think he was ever a young person. I think he emerged from a pod somewhere that manufactures fully grown elitist morons.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Running. When I was a child I used to run like an absolute idiot and not even care. Since the development of my almighty bosom – circa 1998 – I’m restricted to brisk walking lest I knock myself (or others in my path) out.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
I should preface this by saying that all my wealth is tied up in shoes. I’d swap them for an hour trapped in a lift with David Bowie.
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
It’s my observation that there’s a huge drug culture in the banking world. The only difference between your average banker and a junkie on the street is a private education, a pinstripe suit and a belief in their own invincibility. And they’re in charge of our money. Terrifying.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
I have to use a lot of public transport for my job (dashing around the country teaching self-esteem to teenagers). I spend about a quarter of my life on trains and I witness all the worst facets of the human condition: Women with a pushchairs struggling down staircases while great big burly men hustle past, people shoving someone on crutches out of the way in their haste to dismount and young people sitting while elderly people are made to stand. My personal pet hate, though, is people pushing onto the train before others have had time to get off. Nothing is that important or urgent that it justifies that degree of twattery. It strikes me that we can all be more charitable with our time and energy by spending five minutes a day making the effort to be nicer and the world would be a much better place. And it’s more spiritually rewarding than being cornered by a chugger.
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
It’s probably futile to attempt to resist the invasion of technology into our everyday lives. However, the rule should be that mobile phones never take precedence over real, three-dimensional human interaction.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
Sir Ken Robinson, David Bowie and Eddie Izzard. A holy intellect-musical-creative-genius trilogy of magnificence.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
It would be Nandos – a half chicken, extra spicy with Peri-Peri chips, and coleslaw. I have a theory that Nandos is the cornerstone of a truly utopian society – everyone from Beyonce to the bloke that just mugged you eats in there. It’s also delicious. I’d eat it al fresco somewhere with a view. My uncle has a rather magnificent veranda at his house in the Cotswolds that overlooks all the rural gorgeousness. I’d probably ask if I could go there.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
I tend to work on the basis that it’s always cocktail hour somewhere in the world.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
Tea. Martinis are vile and anyone who pretends to enjoy them is lying to appear more sophisticated and James Bond-like than they actually are.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
Those organised by Ruth Rogers, an actress who co-founded Body Gossip with me. She’s been my friend since school. Her parties invariably begin with quiche and intelligent discussion and descend into dancing barefoot on the patio to the Lion King soundtrack whilst wearing a comedy wig.
Who is the most positive person you know?
Grace Barrett: She’s an incredibly talented musician and one of my very best friends. She’s a little ray of relentlessly enthusiastic sunshine (with a gigantic Afro). Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with love for her I want to squish her into jam, spread her on toast and eat her.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Occasionally I’ll spend an entire day in bed watching True Blood box sets whilst biting the tops off Walnut Whips and sticking my tongue in the hole.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
I have three tattoos. The one on my upper back sums me up totally (although I couldn’t explain why). It’s a David Bowie lyric, written as if typed on an old-fashioned typewriter:
“My essays laying scattered on the floor fulfill their needs just by being there”.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
Oh, I don’t know. That’s a Y chromosome question.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
Despite being a card-carrying feminist, I really, really cannot bring myself to oppose The Sun’s ‘Page 3’.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
I don’t have a mantelpiece. I feel that’s a disappointing answer so I have envisaged a time when I might have a mantelpiece in the future and tried to imagine what I’d put on it. Probably my Cosmopolitan Ultimate Woman of the Year award and several thousand kirby grips.
Writer and television personality Natasha Deon is a co-director of the Body Gossip campaign. She was named one of Cosmopolitan’s Ultimate Women of the Year in 2012 and regularly writes for The Independent.
Follow her on Twitter @bodygossiptash
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