How to survive the celebrity social whirl

My dad did gossip columns in the Sixties, and he advised me to have an empty champagne flute and quarter bottle of champagne in your bag, so if you’re walking past a party just pretend you’ve been outside.

So much of it is confidence – especially if you’re dressed up to look the part. It always pays to have an emergency kit full of glam clothes at work.

Once in – invited or not – the first thing to do is to get into the vibe of the party, so get a drink. If there are photographers or PRs ask them who’s there already and find out if anyone has made any demands.

Do a mixture of lurking and pouncing – half the fun of it is trying to dodge the security.

Talking to complete strangers: some people take the aggressive approach, but I always thought you should cripple them with kindness.

Women’s toilets are a good place – you can get people while they’re doing their make-up or washing their hands, and try some girly bonding.

Definitely head towards the drunkards – that’s when their guard is down. Celeb-wise, by that late in the night their PRs have usually gone home. If they don’t have people protecting them, they will say pretty much anything.

You have to have a hardy constitution, otherwise, don’t drink. Definitely don’t drink so much that you lose all capabilities: no one wants to see a sprawled, vomiting journalist on the floor.

Hangovers are vicious but you still have a job to do. A plastic bag on the way to work on the tube is always really handy if there’s an emergency.

I also wouldn’t recommend pulling at a party that you’re covering, but if you do, insist on doing it later on in the night (when you’ve got your stories) and do it away in a corner, not in full view of everyone else.

Interview by Rachael Gallagher

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