Ask any journalist if they’ve ever had an awkward encounter with a celebrity, and most will be able to tell you a pretty good story.
Maybe it’s the one about that time a singer they were supposed to interview showed up hungover and refused to talk to anyone, or a time they were made to wait for hours in a hotel room only for a reality TV star to turn up not knowing they had an interview planned, or the awkward celeb agent who tried to rewrite the interview questions and give them a 60 second slot with the celebrity.
Usually these awkward moments don’t make it into print, but this week Now Magazine published a hilarious encounter between TOWIE star Gemma Collins and Celeb Features Editor Hayley Minn.
The interview was supposed to be about to be Gemma’s new book, ‘The GC: How To Be A Diva’, but got derailed slightly when Gemma realised interviewer Hayley hadn’t read the book.
‘So you’re doing this interview without having done any research or read the book or anything?’
Luckily, the PR representative jumped in and explained to Gemma that the book had only been sent to some people, and it wasn’t available to buy yet, so Hayley really couldn’t have been expected to have read a book she doesn’t have.
Unfortunately Gemma felt that an interview about her new book really was pointless if the interviewer hadn’t had any access to the book.
This exchange, while hilarious, offers some interesting insight into the world of celebrity journalism. Gemma is totally right here – if you create a piece of work and someone wants to interview you about it, you would absolutely expect them to have read it or have some knowledge of what the book contains.
And Hayley is also not in the wrong – she’s been offered an opportunity to speak to Gemma Collins about her new book, she hasn’t been given a copy but in the process of interviewing would have been able to find out details of it from Gemma, and conduct an interview that would be interesting to the magazine’s readers, who she knows, enjoy reading about Gemma Collins. And as for why Gemma was unwilling to explain more about the book herself in the interview - well that's a question for another day...
The reality is – celebrity interviews are usually incredibly staged and far from authentic, it’s rushed conversation with someone you’ve never met before and the only topic of conversation is the project their working on – it’s like a bad speed date where you’ve been briefed by his best friend beforehand on what to say. Gemma and Hayley’s conversation is probably the most authentic celebrity interview you’ll read all year.
READ MORE: Meghan Markle's Favorite Books
The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
'I have long been obsessed with this book, and specifically with The Little Fox,' Meghan told her Tig readers. 'Even if I don't revisit the entire existential text (masked as a children's book), the chapter of The Little Fox unearths a truth in me that is always worth the check-in.' Having never read The Little Prince (more of a The Little Princess kind of person, really) I've resorted to a time-honoured means of literary analysis, Spark Notes, and still can't quite unpick what the Fox is all about. He does, however, tell the Prince that you can only truly see with your heart, not your eyes, which is a rather lovely sentiment. Let's just assume that her choice of a book about a Prince foreshadowed the fact that she'd one day… marry a Prince? Wait, come back…
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Based on ancient Toltec wisdom and promising to contain a code of conduct that should theoretically lead to freedom, happiness and love, Meghan was given a copy of The Four Agreements by her mother Doria when she was 13 years old. Per her Tig piece, she 'constantly circle[s] back to the Don Miguel Ruiz classic for the simplest ways to simplify your life,' and from her clever use of repetition, we can glean that Meghan loves simplicity; she was probably into Marie Kondo before it was a thing, you guys! The Agreements themselves actually sound like they have the potential to be pretty useful in Meghan's future life. First, there's 'be impeccable with your word,' fair advice given that everything the new royal says on the record has the power to generate its own news story. Then there's 'don't take anything personally' and 'don't make assumptions' – don't take Prince George's side-eye personally, and don't assume you have to dress in homage to Princess Diana – and 'always do your best.'
The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard
'Annoyed by your self-doubt and distractions? The noise that keeps you from reaching your potential? Okay, so yeah. Me too,' Meghan writes of the Motivation Manifesto, the second self-help book on her list and one which boasts the #content-worthy subtitle 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power. Author Burchard is a motivational speaker whose tag line is Live, Love, Matter, which we can imagine written in cursive on a Tig-friendly scatter cushion, and has a profile on Success.com, so we can only infer that he's a Very Successful Guy. What else can we learn from this choice, other than the fact that our Meghan is a goal-oriented individual? Perhaps that she would probably get on well with fictional character Alan Johnson from Peep Show.
The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
'Aspects of Taoism told through the characters of Winnie the Pooh – I mean, does it get better?' Meghan gets to the crux of The Tao of Pooh – an introduction to Taoist beliefs featuring the inhabitants of the 100 Acre Wood – far quicker and more succinctly than we ever could. Assumption made: Meghan is totally the friend who brings you a fridge magnet bearing (no pun intended) a deep slogan under a picture of Pooh walking into the distance, telling you 'I just thought of you when I saw it!'
Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson M.D
Meghan's third and final self-help tome purports to contain the World's Most Popular Management Method; according to her lost Tig feature, she first picked the book up as part of the required reading for an Industrial Engineering class at Northwestern University. Who Moved My Cheese is a parable in which – spoiler alert – the cheese represents everything you want to have in life. Has Meghan found the cheese? Yes – someone gave her a wedding cake sculpted from cheese back in January!