Over the years I had discovered that a lot of celebrities could be prima donnas, demanding preferential treatment, but Tania wasn't at all big for her boots; instead she was effervescent, bursting with energy and very genuine. I had heard through my boss that far from being just the pretty blonde the papers made her out to be, she was a very bright cookie, and my first impression of her was of someone not only tall, skinny, blonde and gorgeous but also highly intelligent. She has been trying to wean the media off her "It" girl image, though she doesn't mind her Tracy Sunshine nickname - after all, what's wrong with brightening up people's days? One of the most attractive things about her is her lust for life; she's a genuinely happy person.
Tania hadn't had a PA until I arrived, so we took every day as it came. We speak all the time on the phone; my office is just round the corner from her house and it's important that I pass on the many calls she gets. I am the first point of contact for her associates and wide circle of friends, who soon learnt that I was Tania's personal PA rather than a stuffy assistant. She knows all kinds of people, from ordinary folk to royalty; her best friend, for example, is Princess Ghida of Jordan, with whom she went to school. She gives a lot of her time to charity and receives a huge number of invitations and requests.
I was also given the opportunity of helping with the co-ordination of the photoshoots for OK! magazine and Tania and I have developed a good routine together. Tania does the interviews while I assist on organising the models' hair and make-up, the photography, and negotiations with the PR companies. It can be like grown-up playtime, arranging all the dressing- up things and jewellery for the models, and it's my favourite part of the job.
It's satisfying to see the end result of something you have worked on, from the first phone call to the finished product. So often the people behind the scenes don't get credit for what they've done, and I was particularly pleased to be included in the credits; seeing my name in print really made me feel appreciated. I also enjoy going to the studio with Tania when she's filming, tapping on my lap-top in the corner while she's working.
The pace is usually crazy, but it's particularly manic at the moment because her Sky series, Basic Instincts, is being televised. The programme has been good for her because it gets her in touch with "real" people with extraordinary lives and habits, rather than the movie stars she interviews for OK! and Showbiz Weekly. She's been phoning me from the weirdest places; the other day she rang me from a torture club and said "I'm just having my toe sucked by a foot fetishist", and on another occasion she told me that she was with a man who liked dressing as a baby. Not everyone could pull it off.
She's rather independent, in a positive kind of way. When she was going through a particularly problematic pregnancy, for example, she didn't let anyone know about it apart from her close circle in case people tried to wrap her in cotton wool. It was only after Natasha was born that we all became aware of how serious her condition had been. She put a brave face on it, but I must admit I felt quite tearful with relief. Her parents live just down the road and her mother is always recommending chicken soup as the solution to everything. I feel quite drawn into her family life, and she has no qualms about breast-feeding Natasha in front of me. I haven't done any baby stuff; to be honest it makes me nervous, and besides, Tania's got a good nanny to do that. But I'm happy to do personal things for her, such as dropping a film in to Boots, for example.
Although we are buddies I don't feel that she is a "friend" in the normal sense of the word, because we have such different lifestyles and I am, after all, her employee.
However, she's generous to me in return and has taken me to a number of premieres, launches and dinners. I don't mind working on my own; my job is too busy for me to be crawling up the walls. Of course, the stress can mount, and the job is too confidential to be able to employ a temp, but Tania always remains level-headed and keeps me calm. If anyone flaps it will be me. At the end of each day we will have a good natter and iron out any problems. She's good at playing the devil's advocate. If I do something wrong I will joke with her: "I don't get any brownie points for that do I?" But she will acknowledge something I've done well.
I rarely tell people what I do, beyond being a PA, because I prefer to be low-key. Some people, on discovering who I work for, can be envious, and say, "but you are really just a PA, aren't you?" and I really don't want to justify my job to them. I suppose this is a glamorous job but it can also be hard work; Tania is on the go all the time and I often look at her diary and wonder just how she does it.
I think that were I to be head-hunted Tania would feel happy for me; any good employer wants the best for their staff if they are good at what they do, and there's no room for animosity. Tania just isn't like that; she genuinely loves life and wants others to be happy too. Life is too short to bear grudges.
Besides, if she were insincere I wouldn't be here, and not everyone's boss would buy them a top-of-the-range Gucci bag for their birthday, would they?Reuse content