Tina Turner: a big star, a very big star

DICKIE FANTASTIC on the schmooze

The Hyde Park Hotel is - of course - that most reticent and enigmatic of hushed luxury hotels. Very, very famous people stay here for that specific reason: Madonna, Pavarotti, etc. We know this because every time a very, very famous person checks in, the hotel sends out a press release to everyone from Tatler to Shoe and Leather News announcing (in a hushed and reticent manner), that a very, very famous person has chosen the Hyde Park Hotel because it is renowned for its hushed reticence.

Today, the big star is Tina Turner - a woman not famed for silent reserve, it is true (the press release announcing her forthcoming tour dates begins with the rather exciting promise: "See this woman live and believe that Titans still walk the earth"). Today, the Titan will walk the ballroom, at least, to a stage, where she will pose for the nation with a James Bond gun and a Lycra jogging sweater.

The room is packed with frenzied stringers, eagerly practising their Big Question: "How do you manage to keep so fit?"; "Are you delighted with your continuing appeal and how do you account for it?"; "You look delightful, as ever. How?" And so on. All these questions will be asked soon in the press conference, but first we are shown a compilation of Great Tina Moments - from the incontrovertibly fabulous "River Deep, Mountain High" times, through "Nutbush City Limits" to that rather startling moment in the early Eighties when she stopped looking like a regular human being and started looking like Aslan, the lion king of Narnia. And now, a very glamorous jogger-cum-drag-queen (Shirley Bassey meets Steve Ovett) takes the stage.

"Ooh," gasps the assembled throng. "Aah. How did you enjoy working in a Bond movie?"

"Great" says Tina, "although my favourite Bond is Sean Connery, so it would have been wonderful to work with him."

"Who's your favourite Bond?"

"Sean Connery," replies Tina.

"And who would your Bond be?"

"Um," replies Tina, "Sean Connery."

"I'm always too nervous to ask a question in these situations," admits a young lady to me from BBC Network Radio. "It's nerve-wracking, with all those people watching."

"Oh," I say, "I'm sure it'll be OK."

"And their questions are so banal," she continues.

"It's true," I say. And it is: questions and answers are being volleyed around like a tennis match between the Care Bear Bunch. I turn to the radio woman.

"You really should ask a question," I say. "It has to be better than all the others."

"That's the awful thing," she says, "it is much better. I've got a really interesting question."

"What is it?" I ask.

"Well," she replies, "everyone is just asking her about her looks, and her health and everything, but I want to really get to the nitty-gritty."

"Mmm?" I ask.

"I want to ask her if she feels that her artistic integrity is compromised by her commercial appeal."

"Ooh," I say.

"But I can't," she says. "I'm too shy."

In the end, however, it's all OK: someone else asks exactly the same question.

"Good question," says Tina Turner.

"Damn," says my friend. "Damn."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot has been cast to play Wonder Woman
Top Gear presenter James May appears to be struggling with his new-found free time
Arts and Entertainment
Kendrick Lamar at the Made in America Festival in Los Angeles last summer
Arts and Entertainment
'Marley & Me' with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Hamm (right) and John Slattery in the final series of Mad Men
Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor