Alice Douglas Is A Hero’s Hero: The World’s Worst Columnist Is Here To Entertain You
ALICE Douglas will now pander to every one of your prejudices. She will explain why you dislike toffs, pushy mums, Guardian readers, Daily Mail readers, modern parents, Guardian writers, other people’s children, reality TV, TV talent shows and humanity:
You may recall Alice as Lady Alice Douglas who in 2007, told Mail readers:
You kids just don’t know how to party
She wanted to tell us about her brill 16th birthday party:
At the time, my long-suffering mother, Ann, was married to the playwright Robert Bolt and living in Chiswick, West London. But she had kept a little house in Putney which had been hers before the marriage, and its style was her sole creation… I was a natural born punk. I embraced the whole philosophy even before I knew it had been invented.
Whoah, readers. Steady on with the laughter. Things are about to get even better. Lady Alice is now the Guardian’s plain Alice Douglas, and she wants to tell about her utterly brill kidzz.
One day in May this year, Hero, my 11-year-old daughter – a budding musician – decided to do a quick internet search for music competitions she could enter. Little did I know that within a matter of months this would lead to both Hero and her younger brother Tybalt appearing in separate television series before millions of people and immersing the whole family in the dizzying world of television talent shows.
See. Told you.
Hero went on to become a nightly fixture on Sky’s Must be the Music, performing alongside Dizzee Rascal, Sharleen Spiteri and Jamie Cullum in front of 13,000 people at Wembley Arena and a TV audience of millions, while Tybalt won the BBC series My Genius Idea with a device he invented after a friend from school was killed by a car while on his bike. The device warns car drivers on rural roads if there is a bike, horse or broken-down car round the next bend.
That afternoon on the computer, Hero didn’t just launch herself into living rooms all over the country – she took us with her.
What more on Tybalt?
He has even designed a mummy thermometer for me to wear to tell him how cross I’m getting. He gave it to me as a present and it fits neatly into my iPod armband.
When I press a button, it illuminates a series of red lights to show if I’m getting angry. One light is a bit cross and five means I am furious. He said to me: “At least I have some warning before your head pops off and you start screaming like a banshee.”
If you are still reading this you will enjoying it tremendously. It may be the most brill column you’ve read of 2010. It may also explain why newspaper columnists are no longer needed when we have blogs.
Hero, 14, “had won the under-14 and under-11 girls solos at the Chester music festival, but wanted to go further.”
Obviously it’s hard not to be amazed by your child’s talent, but it seems hers is obvious to other people.
They open the doors and she walks right in:
More recently, when Hero was recording some solos for a CD of hymns, a music producer who won an Ivor Novello award and has worked with many children, including Charlotte Church, told me that Hero was the most talented and professional child he had ever worked with.
Then Tybalt heard to BBC series about young investors:
“…I wasn’t sure he would make it through the audition because he isn’t very tolerant of processes.”
But he did it. And Hero did it. And the world is a richer place. Although, Hero did once cry after a show:
We sat on a speaker huddled together and her formidable spirit came through as she decided to focus on the achievement of making the final. She gave a tearful smile and reminded me that I had told her she would have to be thick-skinned if she wanted a career in music. She flashed a grin and skipped off to give her final interview.
If anyone has anything to share, please do so. The rest of you will be either howling with laughter or speechless…