Natasha Oakley - British Romance Author

Writer of tug-at-the-heartstrings, feel-good romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Why I hate reporters

The Saturday night 'Blind Date' was shown I went out with my friends - and it seems that Giles must have done the same with his friends because on the Wednesday morning I woke up in my London bedsit, turned on the radio and heard my name.

Rather surprisingly, it seemed I was on the front page of 'The Sun'. Giles had 'talked' about our date - though I'm not sure what date he was on.

Somewhere I'm sure I've still got the clipping, but the bit I remember is that Giles said I was 'boring' and talked about nothing but my cello. This is particularly interesting because I don't play an instrument of any sort whatsoever!!!

For those of you who don't live in the UK - 'The Sun' is one of our tabloid papers. I pulled on my jeans, ran down to the corner shop and, for the first and only time in my life, bought a copy. Then I phoned my Mum - who wasn't at all happy!! I understand she sent my Dad to their corner shop to buy a copy too. *g*

Fortunately, in the six months between recording the programme and it airing I'd left my job as a Recruitment Consultant, moved to London and started at Drama School. All of which meant it took them a day or so for any reporters to track me down. And, when they did, they had trouble recognising me because I'd grown my hair and returned (from a curly burgundy style) to something straight and brown.

Representatives of the tabloid press did, however, camp outside my parents' house and leave messages for me on the Webber Douglas notice board asking if I'd like to give my 'side' of the story and offering me money ...

Hmmm difficult choice that one!

The 'story' that wasn't a story rumbled on for about two weeks. It turned out that Giles is not fortunate in his friends. One of them had 'sold' the story.

Now, this is the thing that puzzles me - when I wrote 'A Family To Belong To' I made Kate Simmonds an 'jobbing' actress as opposed to the starry film sort, but was told to make her a reporter because actresses are seen as 'feckless' and aren't popular with romance readers.



  • At 12:47 am, Blogger Trish said…

    BOO HISS GILES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    How dare he!!!!

    And living in the UK means that journalists are universally acknowledged as being lowere than low! I'm stunned they were considered further up the food chain than actresses!!!

    We still love you!

    And I won't mention the cello you carry everywhere... promise...

  • At 1:20 am, Blogger allyblake said…

    How fabulous!!!

    To be on the front page of a tabloid and hounded for two weeks for a complete non-story! I've decided you've made the whole thing up. ;)

    As to why actresses are considered "feckless" - dunno really. That's like "footballers" being seen as married to their jobs, therefore unworthy heroes. Like billionaire businesmen would spend a heck of a lot of time at home!

  • At 1:54 am, Blogger Nicola Marsh said…

    Wow, Natasha!
    This is fabulous fodder for a story!

  • At 6:02 am, Anonymous Kate Hardy said…

    Front page on the Sun??? Blimey!

    Now you can have your revenge, and use bits of Giles's friend as the baddie in a book. First name here, surname there, sneaky disposition somewhere else...

    (And in defence of journos - some of us are OK. Those of us who write features for magazines and don't muckrake...)

  • At 6:38 am, Blogger Natasha said…

    Kate, I will allow only journalists who turn to romance writing! *g*

    Oh, and perhaps the one's I make up!!

  • At 5:08 pm, Blogger Liz Fielding said…

    What a creep! And absolutely what a story. And then what a publicity story -- I'm sure the Sun would love it!

    Where did you get your idea from Miss Oakley; The Sun...

  • At 5:18 pm, Blogger Natasha said…

    LOL Let's not tell them!!

  • At 6:21 pm, Anonymous Sharon J said…

    It's a shame it was The Sun. The Mirror's better because it attracts journalists who have learned to write words with more than one syllable.

  • At 7:27 pm, Blogger Natasha said…

    I made the 'News Of The World' too. Does that help??


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