Friday 18 January 2019

Anna Nolan: Don't trample on dreams of teen girls, Christine, just because you've got it all

Young girls's dreams have always been filled with fairy tale endings -- a prince galloping on a white horse, to take you away to the castle on the hill, or a big white wedding in a small country church, with doves flapping around the steeple.

These innocent dreams are how a 10-year-old sees her future, before the harsh reality of life starts to fall in around her. They are innocent, pure dreams that make a child feel safe and loved.


Christine Bleakley has it all. The million-pound television contract, the beautiful looks and the handsome footballer boyfriend. It's a modern day fairy tale that any young girl would aspire to. So when Christine writes about the despair she feels when she reads survey results that highlight the fact that many young girls want to be WAGS, be famous or marry someone famous, it surprises me that she is surprised.


Of course, I agree that the lack of ambition in young girls is something that needs to be addressed -- and that isn't confined to Britain either. But sorry. Christine, you're not really the one that should be telling us this.

You're already successful and your fame or celebrity put you in a place where you could coincidentally meet your famous footballer partner.

It's like the bitter old indie musicians who like to berate X Factor hopefuls. I am always annoyed when established musicians belittle any young singer who has tried to make it on this big talent show.

Again, we know that it is a quick-fire way to fame, we know that it is manipulation of the highest order, but for God's sake, let the young contestants have their dreams to be the best singer in the world.

Very few people have the opportunity to become rich and successful, and aspiring to be a WAG is tragic.

But the fact is that if I had been asked when I was young what I would like to be when I grow up, I would have said a film star or live in a big house, and have horses, and watch television all day and party in my ball gown all night.

Why, as a young teenager, would I write in a survey that when I grow up I would like to be an administrator in the local council, or a lollipop lady? Both fine jobs, but not really the stuff of childhood dreams.


No doubt, Christine Bleakley has worked to get to where she is, but, in fairness, where she is turns out to be somewhere you don't have to try and find a rich and successful boyfriend.

For 99.99pc of the rest of the population, it's pretty much impossible. WAGs, princesses, movie stars, rock stars.

It's okay to dream, Christine, and maybe even be like you one day.

At 16 she's played a rape victim and now a murderer -- but I do not fear for our Saoirse

HOW does Saoirse Ronan do it? The big sister in me wants to worry about 16-year-old Saoirse and I'm agog at the grisly roles she has so successfully wrestled onto the screen -- most recently as a cold-hearted teen assassin in Hanna (below), soon to hit cinemas.

Thankfully, my fears are groundless because the Oscar-nominated star evidently has great parents and a wonderful support network. How else could someone her age have so successfully played a pathological liar, then a rape and murder victim?

And not only has she survived psychologically intact but has blossomed into a lovely and down-to-earth young woman.

I remember watching her on The Late Late and expecting a 'child star' -- you know the type, they've learned what to say, talk about their 'craft' and the 'joy of reading a good script'. But no, Saoirse was none of that nonsense and you'd swear she had never stepped onto a film set in her life.

You hear so many stories of young stars going off the rails. Sure, only last week we had Miley Cyrus and her dad saying they'd take back all those years of screen stardom in an instant and that it ruined her family.

To be a star at a young age can bring pressures so big, it is difficult for many to survive it. Which is why it is so refreshing to see someone like Saoirse do so well and be so positive and realistic.

Saoirse has an exciting life ahead of her. She has been described recently as the new Meryl Streep. What a wonderful name to have attached to one of our country's brightest young stars. As long as she keeps her feet on the ground and her mind clear of movie star nonsense -- which I'm sure she will -- she will have one hell of a journey.

And in my big sisterly way, I'm immensely proud of her.

Fatal flaw in TV show Famous And Fearless

TELEVISION show titles should be straightforward. Wife Swap, The Dog Whisperer, All Ireland Talent Show, Vets On Call -- all do what they say on the can. Boom.

But take Channel Four's show Famous And Fearless -- completely misleading! There was no one famous, and certainly no fear-inducing feats. It was lame, boring and long. So no surprise that the show, hosted by Chris Evans, was axed. To promise an audience something and not deliver -- fatal mistake.

A true Transformation

THE final show of Operation Transformation is on tomorrow night. And wait until you see the beautiful outfits that our five leaders chose.

There are two pairs of shoes that I tried to steal when we were recording the show on Sunday, but stylist for the day Cathy O'Connor caught me red-handed!

Glamour and tears of joy are there in spades for the finale.

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