In my recent show The Sound of a Social Climbing Nun, I said: ‘In the eighties, people didn’t always make the right choices,’ and put up the above picture on the screen.
I almost cut that from the show, because it wasn’t about Julie Andrews or The Sound of Music and was more of an in-joke for people who know me, who admittedly did make up a fair proportion of the audience.
I kept it in for the first preview, because I worried I was being a bit smart-alecky about some of Julie’s questionable career choices (like the striptease and going topless) and thought I should be a bit humble and show that I could mistakes as well. It was the worst picture I could find.I put some dramatic music with it.
I also thought it would get a good reaction, but said I’d ditch it if it didn’t.
Well it got big, big laughs, and again the next night, and every night after that.
I bleached my hair on 1 April 1987.
What I wrote in my diary (with the name of my accomplice changed to ‘Frank’)
Today was Prosh Day, and I met up with Frank. The Paper was good, but things were so quiet and dull. After much deliberation, I bought a Hair Lightener Kit from the Pharmacy. The Uni Hairdresser was too expensive and only lightened bits of the hair. Frank had the car, so I and he went home to his place and did the deed. [#Editorial note: I probably could have phrased this sentence better. The ‘deed’ was bleaching my hair, nothing else!]
It happened whilst watching The Midday Show. Five to twelve I was normal. Five to twelve, I was normal. Five to one, I wasn’t. My hair was bright yellow!
From the age of about ten, I could recite the names and dates of every English monarch since 1042, but I entered Uni thinking that bleached hair just faded away in a few weeks and didn’t have to grow out.
On 11 April 1987, I turned 18.
Actually, it looks kind of cute.
I kind of hammed it up after that:
In retrospect, this is probably the best ever photo of my hair, taken earlier in the year:
By my nineteenth birthday, I was beginning to notice a recession, not of an economic type. Mum assured me I had a widow’s peak, but it was starting to look like a peninsula…