Sunday, 3 October 2010

good golly miss molly

Well, it was 75p in 1978.  I found it lurking on my bedroom shelves, which was quite a miracle in itself as it meant that it had survived numerous moves, re-decorations and book culls.  Perhaps a certain sentimentality? (It was certainly the first really RUDE book that I read) Or a premonition?  Who knows.
All I do know is that I met Molly Parkin about 16 years ago when I was producing a long running afternoon TV show (Watercolour Challenge if you must know) and we had her on as the critic when we were filming in Wales. She terrified the director and swept across the Welsh hills in her home made turbans and cloaks.  I remember her being larger than life and good fun, but distracted and a little distant, Then she faded from the public eye.... that is till last week.
She has a new book out - her autobiography - Welcome to Mollywood, and I had the pleasure of re-connecting with her at The Shoreditch Literary Salon.
It was a filthy night out in London  (quite suitable for our Molly) - howling wind and torrential rain, and we thought that not many people would arrive.  How wrong we were.  We were full to bursting.  Positively heaving. Rammed. (See? I can't stop it.  Molly has this effect) and she hasn't changed at all.  Except.... she's got a whole lot more approachable, funnier, wittier and braver.  She still has the face of a 45 year old and still has the fabulous turbans (home made), the sweeping black velvet cloak lined with blue satin and stitched by herself.
If not fearless.
She told me that she had wanted to call her book 'The Paedophiles Daughter' but that she thought that no-one would want to buy it.
It's funny and and inspiring and truthful and very, very fearless.  Her father sexually abused her for years.  And it makes for harrowing and tearful reading.  She also told me in her light clear voice that she loved him and had forgiven him. 
Her love affair with James Robertson Justice, her life as a painter, writer, mother and author and more recently now as National Treasure.
She read the first chapter of her book which involves rodents making off with her toffee encrusted teeth - which she then whipped out and brandished about, much to the horrified delight of over 250 people who roared at her honesty and bravery.
She has designed the book cover jacket herself, and she wanted it to look like a slice of sunshine, and it does. (Not like the oh so seventies book above)
She then had a all too short half hours chat with Damian Barr.  We all loved her.  She is a star. As well as being a National Treasure.

No comments:

Post a Comment