You ask the questions (Such as: Tamara Beckwith, what exactly do you do?)

Tamara Beckwith, 28, was brought up in Richmond, Surrey. Her father, Peter Beckwith, is a property magnate and Tamara is the sole heiress of his fortune, estimated at pounds 40m. She was expelled from Cheltenham Ladies' College at 16, after falling pregnant with her daughter Anouska, now 12.

Tamara, often referred to as an "It girl", won a small part in the film An Ideal Husband, and is a presenter on Liberty Radio. She is currently dating Todd Taylor, a musician, and has a house in Los Angeles.

What are your views on your "It girl" tag?

Teresa Barken, St Albans

The It girl tag is so over its sell-by date, it almost deserves a government health warning. I never wanted it, never asked for it, can't seem to shake it.

What exactly do you do?

Paul Berry, Chislehurst, Kent

I like to think of myself as a jack of all trades. I love the fact that every day holds new challenges. I present on Liberty Radio with a fabulous girl called Clare Ashford. I write a couple of pieces a month on a freelance basis. Combine that with frequent bouts of modelling, TV presenting, and my secret love of acting, and I think I'm pretty damn lucky.

Why does your daughter live with your parents?

Su Lawrence, Hertfordshire

To set the record straight, Anouska does not live with my parents. Anouska and I spend a great deal of time with her grandparents because they have been instrumental in her upbringing and we are an unusually tight clan.

I was very young when I had Anouska and therefore my family have been our backbone. Anouska and I have our own home but we spend good quality time at my parents'.

Who is your ideal man?

Helen Garner, Tenby, S Wales

My ideal man would never exist - since he would have to be a chameleon, forever changing to suit my every whim. However, loyalty, a huge sense of humour, sensitivity, a macho streak and being interested in sports would be quite helpful. My man must also be able to hold my interest, so being aware of what goes on in the world is vital.

What is your beauty routine?

C Graves, London WC2

My make-up kit has not really evolved since my late teens - just less slap on! I'm truly now of the "less is more" school of thought. Bubble bath and moisturisers are my main drain. I prefer to do my beauty stuff at night - all the redness can then die down during slumber time. I'm pretty much out of the bath to out of the house in 20 minutes.

Have you ever turned up to a party wearing the same dress as someone else?

Lisa Holme, Harlow, Essex

I went to a party in Cannes for Elizabeth Taylor and wore a wacky leopard- print Dolce and Gabbana trouser suit. Turning around I spied a friend, Mrs Graff, in a matching outfit, only the kaftan version. We both had a good laugh about it.

What would you do if you discovered that your daughter was taking drugs?

Melissa Ashcroft, Salford

I hope that Anouska and I will have an open enough relationship where she will talk to me about anything. Drugs are everywhere - they have a huge knock-on effect. Education is the only real hope. Luckily, owing to our closeness in age I think I would be able to detect any early problems. Also she has seen a few situations that were caused as a direct result of drugs. Whatever the scenario, I'd stand by her.

Your most expensive item of clothing?

L Durak, Nottingham

Thankfully, I get to borrow many wonderful and exciting frocks. Also, I'm not addicted to Bond Street and Sloane Street. I am much more comfortable in jeans and T-shirts. However, I suppose it would have to be my special Anthony Price marabou dress and jacket, which was about pounds 2,500 - and that was "mates' rates".

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Andrea Bateman, Suffolk

Shoes are a huge weakness. I haven't thrown a pair out since I was 18. I even possess a pair of pink biker boots. The last count was in excess of 150.

What is the most influential book you have ever read?

J Port, Halifax, West Yorkshire

I read voraciously but I prefer to read for pleasure than for sheer education. I try to read two good books, then one trashy one - my reward.

A book that enlightened me of late was Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden - truly remarkable, and beautifully written. At the moment I am reading Lady Chatterley's Lover by DH Lawrence - quite challenging, but a true piece of history.

Don't you think that at the age of 12, your daughter is too young to go to beauty salons?

EF Scales, Knaresborough

My daughter is 12 and very girly. She had mastered the art of manicure, pedicure and creative hairstyles by about seven, so she doesn't need a salon. However, as a special treat in her holidays she comes with me to my beauty salon and has her hands and feet done while I have my nails done. Other treatments are not an option.

Sun tan - good or bad?

Mrs R Lloyd, Gloucestershire

The sun acts as a great healer for both the body and the soul. Everything in moderation is just fine. After all, what are we saving it all for? Most people look a zillion times better with a golden sprinkle.

Next Week

the comedian Johnny Vegas, followed by the film director and novelist Ken Russell

SEND YOUR questions to: You Ask the Questions, Features, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL (fax: 0171-293 2182, e-mail: yourquestions@, by noon Friday. The question we like best will win the sender a bottle of champagne

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