Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Joanna Briscoe: All she wants is a his'n'her loo...

No ticket to the Globes, the mansions are too small - Week One of Lady B's LA life has been trying

How many times do you think the pint-sized Victoria Adams of Goffs Oak, Herts, Gawd bless her, lolled against her valance and dreamt of posing in front of the Hollywood sign? Well little Vicky's dream went Technicolor last week as she started the arduous business of settling into her new home, now him indoors has dutifully signed the paperwork that will see them trousering a new fortune.

Victoria's first week in LA has been a round of highly orchestrated celebrity activity. She's working it. It almost looks like a spoof. In a pre-emptive strike six months before Becks is due to lift a foot, she's been viewing 35 desirable properties in a motorcade of blacked-out vehicles flanked by security guards and PRs, texting home images of Spanish-style villas for her husband to nod at.

Lady B has ruled out buying a 6,000-square-foot, £7.5 million mansion with Pacific views belonging to Lionel Richie and then Chris Evans and Billie Piper, because it's a bit too titchy for her. She's been asking J-Lo for advice on locations. According to an insider, the basics for the new Beckingham Palace include his'n'hers toilets and a nice little waterfall. In the meantime, she's trawling the hood for a school sufficiently special for her celebrity offspring, such as the exclusively exclusive Curtis School located on 27 acres in Bel Air.

She was allegedly affronted at her failure to secure an invitation to the Golden Globes, but made sure she was clocked at all the post-show parties. Los Angeles is probably mildly confused, wondering who on earth this strange-looking woman is who's acting like an A-lister, yet appears to be nothing more than a Spanish housewife. The breadwinner, meanwhile, has been hastily sidelined. For David Beckham, househusband, is shackled to the Madrid school run while she scouts, touts and pouts her way round LA. This is the opportunity Posh has been panting for.

Picture, if you will, the spider-sized lollipop trawling Rodeo, projecting her best sulky "leave me alone" expression at the photographers. Victoria is said to be rooting for a cameo in Desperate Housewives; she's been offered a Playboy photo shoot; she wishes to front a fashion show or record a duet with J-Lo. All of the above may well be a swill of lies, but Mrs B must stand a good chance of "repositioning" herself in a country which doesn't view her as the local freak or a washed-up pop star with a diet fixation.

"Anna Wintour threw a welcome lunch for her but no one knew who she was," says a "source" in Reveal magazine. Sarah Ivens, editor in chief of America's OK!magazine, is optimistic. "I think they could become Hollywood royalty if they play it right!" she says. "She's got very far in life (and made a lot of money) from making the most of what little she has. Americans will respond to that graft and determination. In the UK we might find it all a little theatrical but here in the US, I think they'll consider her aspirational and glamorous."

An ever-articulate Donald Trump said: "David's gonna do great in LA. He's a smart guy. He's got the package."

The list of Brits who've conquered Hollywood makes a motley, somewhat creepy crew. It's clearly a lottery. From Simon Cowell to Catherine Zeta-Jones to Joely Richardson to Jane Leeves (an unknown here who made it huge in Frasier). What's the common link? Luck, and an ability to take self-transformation to scary heights. Odd things happen to you if you uproot to LA. Minnie Driver, once a large-jawed geek of a girl, went all Malibu and emaciated and got engaged to Barbra Streisand's stepson. Helen Fielding, formerly an ordinary hack from Blighty, now looks decidedly facially airbrushed and gave birth at the cryogenic age of 48. Kate Beckinsale once slouched round clutching over-long sleeves, all fraggy hair and English pallor. Now she's an exponent of the tit job, plunge frock and huge curls.

Posh and her bloke are ripe for an attempt at cultural conquest. At first sight they seem perfect: a kind of digitally manipulated Barbie and Ken whose global branding and vaulting aspirations seem to have outgrown little Britain. But is Posh judging it right? Dolling up like a birthday present to eat with a dressed-down Katie Holmes at the Ivy is clearly a clanger. Using weirdy TomKat as an opening to the great and good seems just a little awry: the equivalent of coming here and chumming up with Myleene Klass as a way in to Kate Moss.

I predict that LA won't be taken in. Where's the talent? It's one-sided and fading. At heart, the Becks are slightly scuzzy Brits with estuarine accents and snaggly teeth. They may seem perfect Mulholland Drive material, but they'll come scurrying back to Hertfordshire on the quiet. There's a delicious and horrible inevitability to this. It's like watching a Greek tragedy full of hubris and nemesis and a chorus consisting of Heat, Closer and Now. LA is a different planet. Come crawling back to the rainy provinces where you belong, Vick, and do stop showing us up.

'Sleep With Me' is a novel by Joanna Briscoe (Bloomsbury)

Rowan Pelling is away