Hello! & Me: Jilly Cooper

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The Independent Online

I've been Hello!'ed, as you might say, a few times and it has always been a lovely and wonderful experience. When I became a grandmother for the first time, they photographed my daughter Emily and her husband Adam and my grandson Patrick on my lawn. I was terribly excited to be paid for just one very jolly day's work.

Another time, they came to see us at Christmas. They tried to ponce up the house a bit with furniture and flowers as it can be a bit of a tip. We had a giggle because they had just done Zara Phillips and her partner and we got a tenth of the money they did.

You can trust Hello! and they can be very generous. They're great, if you ask me, a force for good over the years.

I remember years ago a friend's mother said I should be careful not to get my picture in Hello! when one of my books was finally published. At that time, I think, some looked down on it, but now everybody reads it and loves it.

The only thing they sometimes do is put a bit too much make-up on you. You have to be careful they don't make you look like an absolute whore. They like people to look beautiful, but in their style – which isn't necessarily the same as yours. They can turn you into a bit of a Posh and Becks. But it's fun and a joke, and you get paid for very little work. It's all jolly nice.

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