Why Are They Famous ? - Gloria Hunniford

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Main Claim: Middle-of-the-road empress of blarney. Like a blonde Terry Wogan, Gloria's brand of smoothly polished populism has secured her a steady niche in soft broadcasting. A way with a dazzling smile, a smooth phrase, and a housewife-pleasing genius for light entertainment make her the consummate professional. Now Gloria has married at the ripe old age of 58-but-you'd-never-guess-it, wedding some millionaire crimper fellow. Gloria surprised us all by arriving in a horse-drawn carriage. James Galway played Danny Boy, and Cliff Richard read the lesson. You get the picture, readers. "I feel wonderful, absolutely on top on the world," said Gloria. New husband: "I found a woman with beauty, brains and a soul."

Appearance: Bouffed, frosted, sideburned hair-don't.

Queen of the Screen: Part frou-frou frock addict, part salt-of-the-earth dearie, Gloria is glamorous granny in a million lounges. Now presenting Open House on Channel 5, she has spent two decades popping up with alarming regularity on television and radio, at premieres, in Littlewoods catalogues, and in the more oleaginous variety of celebrity magazine. Anywhere equipped with camera or mike, to be precise. Known as the Honeybun, our heroine is given to Queen Mother-style showing off, dazzling and twinkling at her populace, decked in frippery. The bouffant tribute to the blow dryer that is the jewel in Gloria's crown appears to expand with her every year. Perhaps marriage to a hairdresser will tame her predilection for the plenty- of-volume school of coiffeur. And then again, perhaps it will not.

Glory Be: Born in County Down, Gloria left school for a singing career in Canada, then became a BBC production assistant in Belfast, and a local radio broadcaster. She was over 40 when she got her first series on national radio. She married cameraman Don Keating, and had three children, before divorcing in 1985. Gloria is well-known mother to the mini-Gloria that is blonde, sparkly TV presenter Caron Keating.

Home Girl: Our heroine resides in half a million quids' worth of neo- Georgian pile near Sevenoaks. Well, of course she does. She collects Royal Doulton, and has shared her pad for 18 months with Stephen Way, now her husband, following a brief alliance with a toyboy, if one may sanction such terminology.

Fame Prospects: A crooning-and-hoofing style Gloria would go down well with the grannies: perhaps some Riverdance-influenced hopping and tapping, with the odd spot of lyrical balladeering at Christmas. Otherwise watch out for voluble blonde grandchildren.