Interviews

01/02/2014

All Of Me: Claire "from Steps" Richards


The best thing about this book is that it's a mercifully quick read. In the time it took my boyfriend to watch one disc of the directors cut of one of those Lord Of The Rings films, I'd finished over half of it. During these scant pages, Claire successfully paints herself as the dullest, most boring member of hyper-pop troupe Steps. While she was touring the world, living the popstar dream, she would sit in her hotel room moping about her boyfriend (who was married and had a kid). Almost entirely humourless, she peppers every other sentence with my least favourite form of punctuation, the exclamation mark! They're sprayed all over the text, matching the tone which is part defensive whine, part tabloid camp. It's actually astounding the way she barely takes any responsibility, as if everyone should automatically understand and have sympathy for her condition, which is "what I'm like with confrontation". There are no new details to be found in the book, unless you have a personal investment in her two marriages. All the Steps gossip you could've got from watching their reunion show, aside the odd detail. In Claires version, the band split up over one of the backing dancers wearing a silver Gucci necklace. She offers barely any assessment of her bandmates, and her euphemistic references to 'not really' having sex are hilarious (so your imagination is left to run wild; hand jobs, blow jobs, all possible) and her fairytale sexuality only leaves room for an indiscretion with Dane Bowers. And a missed connection with Peter Andre.

Final aside and strange similarity to Louise Wener of Sleeper - they both wrote in to Jim'll Fix It. If there is an archive of letters send to Jimmy Saville, and there surely isn't, it would be great to dig out all those famous entries. I think I once drafted a letter to be on The Crystal Maze, but doubt I sent it.