Why Are They Famous? Lulu
Sunday 20 June 1999
Some Sixties belter who hasn't had a full-blown major hit in your lifetime. Well, almost. Lulu was a Sixties singing sensation, a carrot-topped yeller of ditties such as the Eurovision winner Boom Bang-a-Bang. This was in, ahem, 1969. Somehow, the sometime songstress pops up fairly regularly on screen and gossip pages. Now all those fame scraplets are going to be replaced by one juicy great chunk of the stuff as Lulu is set to take over Saturday night TV. Though she admits she hasn't done serious telly "for about 100 years", the acme of uncool is to star in the most bloodily fought-over ratings battleground. She is to host a variety show called Red Alert. A new Cilla Black is born. Like we need it.
Eighties hair. Cosmetic surgeon's celebrity wife. Stella McCartney meets Hazel O'Connor after a makeover. Ginger Spice meets Gail Porter's mum.
Born Marie MacDonald McLaughlin Lawrie, our heroine is a raspy-voiced Glaswegian who first had a hit single called Shout at the age of 14. She is now 50. Lulu, if we may be so familiar, grew up in a Glasgow tenement without a bathroom. Her musical career did not exactly colour either the Sixties or Seventies, but she had a surprise number one in 1993, and a number 44 in 1994. Lulu has also done the odd spot of acting and enjoyed a career as Freeman's mail-order catalogue's resident supermodel.
Lulu's big love is said to be her ex-husband, celebrity crimper John Frieda. Our heroine also married a Bee Gee (Maurice). Lulu is pals with "youngsters" Cher, Cilla Black, Elton John and Eric Clapton. Says an "insider" at the BBC: "She has a proven track record but her great talent has not been tapped in recent years."
Lulu's fortune is estimated at more than pounds 9m. She is working on a new album. That irritating lead singer of that maddening group Steps screws up her nose in exactly the same way as our heroine. Yes, it's about time for Lulu to give Terry Wogan, Cilla and Gloria Hunniford a run for their money. Best of British to you, Lulu. Or will that shortly be Dame Lulu?
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