Ifteen and py living lin. Then her died …
Ostrup on the tragedy that turned her ow it changed her. By Louise Gannon
George and they would stay up working and drinking. I’ve put the hours in and trained myself up, so now I can get in a couple of hours talking and drinking before going to bed. I’ve turned down hundreds of work offers because I don’t want to be stereotyped. Blondes can have brains just as beautiful women can have brains and be successful. People have asked me why I don’t just change my hair colour if I feel so strongly about it, but that is absolutely my point. Why should I do that just because of other people’s misguided opinions? I’m always up for a fight. I can’t bear injustice, and whether it’s about poverty or being a blonde stereotype or the position of older women in television I will have my say. I have never been any good at taking things lying down. The other day a car bumped into my bike with my daughter on the back. I was straight off and raging at the driver. Then a little voice piped up, ‘Leave him alone, Mum.’ My daughter felt sorry for him. Mariella’s father, originally from Norway, was once the foreign editor of the Irish Times. The
family was living in Kilmacanogue when he
died at the age of 44 Simple Minds tricked me into being naked in front of them. When I was 17 I was sent to an old farmhouse in Wales where Simple Minds were recording. In the evening I asked where I could have a bath and they told me the best bathroom was down this corridor with a big frosted window. When I came out they were all laughing – the window was seethrough and I’d been conned. I worked in the music business in one of its most decadent periods. That’s when it really did have a license to print money. I was at all the parties with all the big stars of the day, but I would be the sensible, boring one rushing about saying: ‘I don’t think you should have another one of those’ or ‘Let’s get you home now.’ I had this absolute need to show that I could always stay in control. Glastonbury terrifies me. I mean, what do you wear? How cool do you have to be? It’s all too much. I’ve done a lot of music festivals in my time and I’m happy to no longer go. It’s all very different at the Hay- on-Wye literary festival. You get old, young, parents, teenagers, kids, ladies from Bloomsbury mixed with grungy students. It’s what a real festival should be. I’m not a snob about books, but I have not read one of Katie Price’s. I tend to read books by authors who write their own. I get through six books a month. I can’t go to sleep unless I have read – even if it’s just a couple of pages. Books can be a great form of escapism – they can educate you, help you and give you something to talk about. Bob Geldof stole my desk at Live Aid. I volunteered to work on both Live Aid and Band Aid and at some point Bob decided he’d share my desk. He’d sit there bullying the biggest names in music and I’d be wondering whether I’d get my phone back. It was an incredible time. I remember turning up at studios in West London early on a Saturday to get things ready for the musicians who were coming in to record Do They Know It’s Christmas? No one knew what would happen or who would turn up. Then the doors opened and in shuffled Duran Duran, George Michael, Sting... It was amazing. Rock stars and authors are very different. The biggest distinction is that authors spend an awful lot of time thinking about interesting things to say. While a lot of rock stars don’t actually spend any time thinking at all. I am going to be an incredibly irresponsible 60-year- old. I’m going to buy myself a sports car, drive around with my hair blowing in the wind and embrace every frivolous experience with gusto. Regret is the most wasted emotion. In a different world, I would have become a foreign correspondent, but I didn’t. My life turned out like this and I’m happy.