I’m in fashion for never buying clothes… it’s the Blue Peter in me – The Sun

I WAS on ITV’s Loose Women this week and people seem to have picked up on one thing – that  I haven’t bought any clothes since I left Blue Peter in 2008.

Yep, for more than ten years now. Am I mad? Actually, I think I’m pretty sane, although I may be biased.

I’ll explain my reasoning.

My abstinence from clothes shopping is no big secret. I’ve mentioned it many times before but I guess in these times of impending climate doom it’s trendier now. The irony, not buying clothes is in fashion.

It’s a bit like feminism.

That used to be “those bra-burning crazy women”  but now it’s OK. Cool, in fact. Probably because we live in a much more “woke” society.

It must be my Blue Peter upbringing. After all, I’m always saying Blue Peter was woke before woke was a thing — the appeals, growing produce in the greenhouse, making things, inclusivity, diversity. It was ahead of the game!

Often we overcomplicate matters, overlooking the easy option. Take not buying more clothes, for example. It has so many advantages . . .

❶ Keeping your old clothes is a good incentive to stick to the same weight. I pretty much stopped growing by age 14 so everything I’ve owned since then still fits. Plus I don’t really wear tight clothes either, so fluctuating by a few pounds here and there is OK.

❷ I’m pretty lazy and the thought of having to go shopping for clothes feels like a big effort. Even buying online is hard work.

What to buy? Will it fit? How do I return it? What a hassle. When I was younger, I liked to shop with friends. But that novelty wore off long ago.

Now, as a mum, when I see friends all I want is to have good conversations.

❸ Not being fashionable is liberating. You don’t have to hang out with people who judge you on what you wear. You can hang out with people that like you for you. When people glance me up and down to check out my rags, I have a secret sense of satisfaction that I no longer worry what they’re thinking.

❹ It’s way cheaper to not buy stuff. Think of all the money you’ll save.

❺ I won’t bang on about it but clothes, consumer goods and stuff in general in our society are becoming too dis­pos­able and our Earth can’t cope. We are having to get rid of all of it in landfill and it’s just not sustainable. It’s killing the planet.

So it’s a no-brainer.

The other day I was with a couple of like-minded friends and one commented on the other’s top.

The other replied:  “It’s five years old from H&M.” The first laughed, then said: “Mine’s seven years old from Florence And Fred, so there.”

Maybe one day we will live in a world where people will judge on how OLD clothes are, rather than how new.

So we’ll get to the point where something being “so last year” is a compliment.

Say holo to an idol

WHITNEY HOUSTON returned to our shores on Tuesday, hitting the stage in Sheffield in the opening leg of her  UK tour.

When I say “return”, she hasn’t come back from the afterlife but is performing in the form of a hologram. How Black Mirror.

Apparently it’s the next big thing, with all manner of stars being resurrected,  holographically speaking, to entertain us.

But why stop at Elvis or Marilyn? The show’s organisers say: “A lot of artists get tired of the road at some point, where they have to go and touch their audiences to earn a living. Whereas if they can create a hologram, they can  still have a life where they can go to weddings or enjoy baby showers but still have their music kept alive.”

Lucky them. Not only can they perform simultaneously around the globe, multiplying revenue streams, but they will also always be pitch-perfect and look flawless. Better still, they can even be relaxing at home all along. Rock ’n’ roll.


IT is World Book Day next Thursday.

Hundreds of children will be going to school dressed as the likes of Harry Potter, Pippi Long­stocking, pictured, or some other children’s book character.

Caution: Don’t forget and let your kid be the one who  turns up in full school uniform crying. Not a good look.

There’s always something to remember in the school calender as a parent. Our class WhatsApp group always has notifications pinging up. But World Book Day  is important. Studies show the more children read when young, the better they will do in life. And  books provoke empathy and altruism.

If you’re stuck for ideas, a really good book (by me!)  Cookie And The Most Annoy­ing Boy In The World came out in paperback last week.

Cookie just wears a white T-shirt and black trousers, easy. And as for the Most Annoying Boy In The World, if you have sons anything like mine, just send them in as is.

Bugged by fears of virus

I’M back there again . . .  worrying about the  1995 film Outbreak becoming a reality.

That film struck a chord, one that comes into my head whenever we are on the possible verge of a pandemic.

The 2011 film Contagion may be a more recent parallel but what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been here before.

Swine flu, bird flu, Ebola, Mers . . . they’ve all been the lead story in the news at different points in my life and every time, I wonder whether this will be Outbreak.

Following the mad cow disease scare of the Eighties, I was convinced for years all those burgers I’d eaten in my youth would come back to haunt me after the supposed incubation period. They didn’t.

Then there was the  Y2K bug, when all of the internet was going to break down, resulting in cyber chaos. It never happened. Phew.

As for stockpiling Tamiflu for Sars . . . I didn’t. Luckily, I’ve made it this far. But surely, statistically, this just means the coronavirus may be the biggie.

I guess the bright side is many people have already been stockpiling for Brexit.

In the meantime, please wash your hands, everyone, and stop sneezing in public.


A SURVEY by the website This Girl Can found75 per centof women want to do more exercise.

And that’s not down to laziness. Institutionalied barriers, such as being responsible for the bulk of childcare, body confidence and fear of judgment are all factors contributing to women feeling they can’t.

Hey, we’re in 2020, when holograms can do world tours. Come on, ladies – and men. It’s time for change.

Next Saturday, March 7, This Girl Can is  holding a pre-International Women’s Day Park Run, a massive event inclusive of all and a fun day out.

You don’t have to train, you don’t have to finish, you can do it with mates or the kids,  so why not?

Learn more and sign up at thisgirlcan.co.uk.

Green and not greed

HURRAH – the Heathrow expansion is illegal.

I would say that. I live on the flightpath.

Boris Johnson should be saying it too.

His constituency is down the road from me, also on the flightpath.

He should be elated. He has spoken against a third runway, presumably in the name of representing his constituents.

But big business obviously wants it.

Hmmmm. Is he now tormented by a conflict of interest?

Even if I didn’t live where I do, I would be pleased. This is a victory for planet Earth.

Governments have to start putting their money where their mouths are.

You can’t say we’ll be carbon neutral by 2050  then stick a new runway on the second-busiest airport in the world for international passenger traffic.

I’m experiencing the same hypocrisy on a smaller scale. I’m fighting an existing prep school moving site to a local community open space, a protected green field.

The school wants to sell its buildings in a lucrative private housing deal.

The plan conflicts with my local council’s declaration of a climate emergency and its vow to save playing fields and boost the amount of affordable housing.

It’s happening everywhere –  and we’ve got to hold our leaders to account.

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