'Lisa B, I am assured, is Britain's most beautiful and wonderful woman'

DICKIE FANTASTIC on the schmooze
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The Independent Culture
It is Wednesday, Mayfair, and a dozen burly paparazzi are screaming at a beautiful young lady in a pink dress. Her name is Lisa B and she is a jack of many glamorous trades - model, actress, pop star, and a girlfriend to a fabulous aristocrat nobody can quite remember the name of. Lisa B is one of that curious breed of well-to-do town-house youngsters struggling to become famous for being famous, struggling to be recognised across the globe as some form of exciting entity. An aspiring high-class starlet, Lisa B is, in fact, a starlet-let. And now - and the reason why we're all here - Lisa B is a restaurateur, too.

Today is the luncheon launch of her latest venture - Sedona, an elite eatery on New Burlington Street for the great and the just okay. And the paparazzi, consequently, are swarming.

"Lisa," shouts one. "This way. Open the champagne."

It had been decided earlier by Lisa, Lisa's people and the various paparazzi that this is how she'll pose - with a bottle of champagne in one hand, and a glass in the other. She simply won't, however, shake up the champagne bottle and let the liquid fly across the pavement. That's so cheap, and Lisa has made it absolutely clear that it won't be happening today. So imagine her surprise when the photographers start screaming, "Shake the bottle. Shake the bottle."

"No," says Lisa firmly.

"Oh," says one man. "Go on."

"No," says Lisa.

"Why?" whine three photographers. "Why? It'll look great."

And Lisa B shakes the champagne bottle.

Later, over lunch at Sedona's, I am told - by a model friend of Lisa's - that Ms B is Britain's most beautiful and wonderful woman.

"Really?" I ask. "In the whole of Britain?"

"You must realise," says the young lady, who wishes to remain anonymous, "that I wouldn't say something like that lightly. I'm a model, too, and to admit that Lisa is more beautiful than me is quite a..." she pauses, "quite a thing. Would you like to see my portfolio?"

"It must have been embarrassing to have been naked in the middle of a forest," I ask her five minutes later. "Not to mention hazardous."

"I'm a professional," she replies. "Anyway, they had some boy cleaning up all the pine-needles before me. Work experience, I think."

"Naked in the desert, too," I suggest, "might have been risky."

"Very soft sand," she replies.

"Sand crabs?" I ask.

"They probably had some boy cleaning them up, too," she says. "I don't remember. They were all lovely, anyway. All lovely boys."

Around me, the party is in full swing. There are at least 18 of us standing around, smiling into space, avoiding eye contact, hoping nothing bad happens. Lisa flits across the room thanking us, gazing over the tops of our heads. She is uncommonly tall and I find myself chatting away urbanely to her shoulder blades.

"How has the day gone?" I ask.

"I'm terribly busy," she replies. "I've got so much on, so many job offers, that I simply don't have any time for a social life."

"And do you think today is a success?" I ask. "The food is certainly very good."

"Everything's absolutely frantic in my career at the moment," she replies. "I'm very much in demand and the phone doesn't stop ringing."

"And today?" I ask.

"Oh," she replies, staring oddly into the distance for a moment. "Oh!" she says. "Bye then."

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