Why are they famous? The Smiths

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Indy Lifestyle Online
MAIN CLAIM: Um, Bill Wyman's one-time in-laws. The Smiths, now more famous than the droning Eighties band that were but pretenders to the august name, have forged a collective identity which far supersedes their connection with a letchy old Rolling Stone. Mandy Smith was the chronically under-aged girlfriend and momentary bride of Bill Wyman. Since their divorce, Mandy herself, mum Patsy, sister Nicola and assorted cousins have all piled into Hello! magazine with somewhat horrifying regularity. This week, it's Nicola's turn, sharing her pain at boyfriend Teddy Sheringham being spotted with a mystery blonde. Sisters, mothers and escorts of the famous-for-being-famous can be famous for f*** all too, you understand. Anyone else like a go?

APPEARANCE: Dull-eyed teen brides in suburban housing estate, dolled up for a second cousin's fourth wedding. Mandy, Nicola and Patsy Smith collectively veer from dubious glamour puss to pure scrubber in the flick of a photo session, a marriage of high heels with plasters. "Models wanted" hair streaks, mini skirts whatever the weather, and no-mirror lip liner. The result is the Smiths: gummy, doe eyed, trembling-lipped, tired baby dolls with a touch of steel.

LITTLE WOMEN: Mandy, 27, Nicola, 30, and Patsy, mother-aged, usually end up living together in north London, whatever their marital state, in a domestic haven referred to by neighbours as the House of Dolls. The Smiths. They love each other. They love each other, innit? This is usually the message that forms the basis of their interviews, since the Smiths' actual careers seem to follow no consistent pattern other than appearing in Hello! magazine. Somehow touchingly naive and brave, Mandy and Nicola could be seen as victims of an absentee snooker hall manager father, and a mother who didn't want Mandy "to end up marrying a local mechanic", and allowed her to live with Wyman while at school.

BOYS ON THE SIDE: After a "mystery" wasting illness that left her weighing five stone, Mandy wed footballer Pat van der Hauwe, while still living with Nicola and Patsy. The marriage crumbled. The House of Dolls rules.

FAME PROSPECTS: There's no doubt Mandy was abused and her continuing empty self-exposure in the press can hardly help. Mandy seems like a nice girl. She and her handmaidens should write a novel together, get a spot of family counselling and reinvent themselves out of the inevitably diminishing limelight as glamorous but essentially ordinary north Londoners. Good luck to you, girls.

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