Sarah's heroes: The PM's wife has been making friends in surprising places.

Together they have trudged through mud at Glastonbury and dined at countless functions in aid of maternal health. But Sarah Brown has now sealed her unlikely friendship with Naomi Campbell by nominating the supermodel as her 21st-century heroine.

The Prime Minister's wife makes the surprising endorsement in next month's issue of Harper's Bazaar, because of Campbell's charity work.

Campbell is a global ambassador for the White Ribbon Alliance, of which Mrs Brown is a patron and which campaigns to make pregnancy and childbirth safer for women in developing countries. Mrs Brown says: "The Naomi Campbell I had heard about was beautiful, successful, a bit frightening, even a bit out of control. The Naomi Campbell I met was certainly beautiful, but also sincere, direct and impatient in a good way." Mrs Brown's friendship with the Streatham-born model is the most prominent in a string of celebrity alliances the PM's wife has created. On Friday evening, Mrs Brown hosted a party at Downing Street for fellow Twitterers – dubbed "downingtweet" – where guests were treated to a performance by the singer Beverley Knight.

In April this year Mrs Brown dined at the same table as Campbell and Paris Hilton at a function in aid of the African First Ladies Health Summit in Hollywood. After the event she posted on Twitter: "Loved Paris Hilton who I met last week in LA for the first time."

The January issue of Harper's Bazaar is on sale on 7 December

...and Gordon's heroes

But the PM himself prefers saviours to celebs, says Jane Merrick

On the eve of becoming Prime Minister in 2007, Gordon Brown declared that Britain was moving on from an age when "celebrity mattered". Attempting to draw a line in the minor-celebrity-obsessed sand, he said: "What I don't agree with is that the public is in love with trivia." So it is little surprise that his heroes, who took centre stage in his book on the subject, are a little different from his wife's. In his book Courage, Mr Brown praised Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Robert Kennedy and Aung San Suu Kyi.

He also paid tribute to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who took part in the German resistance against the Nazis; Cicely Saunders, the mother of the hospice movement; Edith Cavell, the British nurse who was executed for helping soldiers flee Belgium during the First World War; and Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish humanitarian who rescued Jews during the Second World War. At the Labour conference in 2006, Mr Brown claimed to be "more interested in the future of the Arctic Circle than the future of the Arctic Monkeys". However, last year he invited George Clooney to No 10 and spoke by phone to the Latin singer Shakira to launch a campaign for universal education.

Only last week, Mr Brown name-checked the actress Reese Witherspoon, who was speaking at an event for domestic violence victims. It was perhaps reassuring that Mr Brown conflated her with Renée Zellweger when he said: "I am very grateful that Renée Witherspoon is leading this campaign."

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: randstad education are curre...

Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: You must:- Speak English as a first lang...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: If you are a committed Te...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style