Your guide to the stars - some very odd ones: YORK ON ADS; No 63: ASTRO LOGERS

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The Independent Culture
WHICH is the more terrifying apparition, Mystic Meg or Russell Grant? Or is Patric Walker more your class of astrologer?

The News of the World, Sunday Mirror and Mail on Sunday are all promoting their astrologers on television. Meg and Rus- sell's commercials look like cheap, quickly shot affairs. Meg is made up very pale, like Angelica Huston in The Addams Family; she appears to have been shot through gauze and to have had her voice amplified via a Joe Meek, 1960s tin-can echo chamber to get that ghostly effect. I must say I've always wondered about Meg - I mean, whether she really existed, or whether she'd just been dreamed up on a dark night by a NoW staffer who'd got an actress in to pose for the byline picture. Now I'm no t so sure. It's her intonation that puzzles me, very genteel and, oddly, faintly reminiscent of the Home Secretary - as when she offers help with the "lotteree". Who could act that? Meg gives you a 24-page guide to your stars, some help with your love lif e and a pendant.

Russell's intonation is distinctive, too, a sort of North Circular camp. He has a proper sparkly outer-space backdrop and a six-month star-guide to your love life - Rus-sell's speciality is "love, life, loot and luck".

Russell is now beyond plump, he's cut his hair and it doesn't balance his chin anymore. What fascinating people are attract-ed into astrology. When exactly did Russell realise he had a gift?

The Mail on Sunday approach is altogether smarter: jokier, with higher production values. It's an elaborate conceit about a suburban nun donning a wetsuit and avoiding a wetting, all because she'd been warned by . . . "Patric Walker's star guide for 1995". Peter York Video supplied by Tellex, 071-490 1447.

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