PAUL YOUNG
Paul Young's old British passport spans his career as a pop star. It was issued in 1985 when things were really happening for him. He'd released his solo debut LP No Parlez in 1983 and had a number one hit with the single "Wherever I Lay My Hat".

Such was his popularity that his manager suggested he get himself a new passport to accommodate all the stamps he would acquire as his popularity grew throughout the world. Trips to Thailand, Japan, Australia, the United States and Europe followed. It was after a tour in Germany that Paul learnt to ski, one of his great passions. Despite goggles and a bobble hat, he was recognised wherever he went and fans wouldn't leave him alone. He says: "Kids were skiing backwards down the slopes videoing me trying to learn to ski. I really lost it at one point and started shouting and waving my ski poles at them."

Paul's 1986 stamps for Australia remind him of two concerts in Sydney that were riddled with bad luck. During his first performance, the stage was sticky with spilt drink and the power went off half way through the second number in front of 8,000 people. The second night was worse. Having asked for the stage to be cleaned, Paul found it like an ice-rink. He slid off, landed badly and damaged two ribs. He had to spend the remainder of the tour strapped up, taking painkillers, and had to travel in the constant company of a osteopath. Things did not improve when Paul and his girlfriend Stacey went to Antigua for a break after the tour. They hired four-wheel bikes, but Paul went over the handlebars and his four wheeler drove over him and cracked yet another rib. By 1987, with two further successful albums under his belt, the money was "flowing like a river," as Paul puts it. He says: "I got a bit reckless. I had a Porsche anda Ferrari, but no garage. I realised how stupid I was being and got rid of all that stuff."

Perhaps it was his marriage that year that calmed him down. Paul and Stacey eloped to New York, taking their new baby Levi with them. The stamps in Paul's passport show that almost as soon as they arrived in New York, they left again. Having got wind of their marriage plans, the world's press was hot on their heels, so the couple jumped on another plane to San Francisco. There they hired a car and drove to Lake Tahoe where they had a quiet wedding away from prying eyes. Paul prefers skiing holidays to any other type, but has not been since the birth of his two youngest children, Layla and Grady, who are too little to ski.

Paul has hit the slopes in Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy and the latter remains his favourite country. The reason? "Ooh. It's the food, the wine and the women," he says, adding quickly: "I am just an impartial observer now, but it's still a great place!"

ROSANNA GREENSTREET

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