ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

“Im a superior being!”

Indeed you are. For you sport a woollen swank crown, and glide through the highways in a swish “limousine”. Holly Johnson reveals some inside tips on the ins and outs of modern pop stardom! “Lond live the king!” bellows Mike Soutar.

“Oooh, I like that!!” Holly Johnson, 28, is presently wearing a rather fetching woollen bonnet in the shape of a crown, and is parading it around the photographers studio for all to see. Suddenly his gaze alights upon a rather ornate gilt throne lurking in the corner of the room. “Oh I do like that!” he exclaims again. “Its lovely, isnt it? Can I have my picture taken on it?” and he plumps his behind on the plush red velveteen upholstery.

In actual fact, its more than merely “lovely” because this chair is the legendary pew upon which the winner of Miss World perched, tears a-brimming, many decades ago to receive her commemorative sash n tiara. Holly is terribly impressed with this. “I think I shall weep,” he says in the style of beauty queens of yore. “Then I shall kiss some babies and go off to alleviate suffering in the Third World…”

Alas, Holly is to be denied the pleasure of having his picture taken for the cover of Britains Brightest Pop Publication reposed upon this outstanding piece of furniture, for he is here today to wear an assortment of colourful outfits and answer the eternal question: “hat makes Holly Johnson Holly Johnson then, and can I be one too, please?” (or something!!)

“Ultimately Id say the thing that makes me me is that Im hard to ignore. The other thing is that Im never satisfied with the way things are, which is a bit unfortunate on my behalf hihihiii!!! I always want things to be better too. I feel like Im wasting my life if Im not doing something creative or constructive. And Im not always nice and friendly. Sometimes I can be a bit strange to people if Im not in a particularly good mood. Also, Im not a great socialite and, um, I buy my own groceries.” (??)

Sounds thoroughly intriguing, does it not? But purchasing groceries is only the tip of the iceberg when youre “being” Holly Johnson. For you must also desport yourself in lots of posh designer clothing, wax your flyaway curls into a super quaff, yodel loudly in the required alpine manner, and dance oddly. And not only that, bit in order to cut the mustard as todays modern pop personality you are also required to fulfil the following requirements. For instance…

You have to shop in snoot clothing emporiums!

“I shop in a variety of places really, not one in particular.

Wherever I am I like to go shopping — its one of my favourite occupations. Although I only really do it a lot when I have things to do like television promotion and photo sessions with people like Smash Hits. Thats when I can really go to town! I spend quite a lot of time in the Kings Road (trendy street in London where socks cost approximately £100 a pair, etc.). I also buy stuff from Vivienne Westwood whos my favourite designer at the moment. I occasionally get the odd thing made, like the crown Im wearing today.

“Ive bought tons of really horrendous items! Absolutely!! A number of times, especially when I was in Frankie Goes To Hollywood and we were doing TV all the time and shopping was a habit and a way of life. I would buy ridiculous things like a see-through yellow jacket and things that Ive never been able to wear since. I give some things away, but a lot of things I have stored in a room and I go through the rooms occasionally with friends and we laugh at the things I have worn.”

You have to avoid shopping trolleys!

“I like food shopping. I like to buy organic vegetables (i.e. vegetables grown without the use of nasty pesticides) whenever I can, although its not always practical, and anyway you have to got to the normal greengrocers to get these things. Im very big on sandwiches. I live off them quite a lot. If Im not eating sandwiches Im eating pizzas or pasta hahahaa!! (?) I very very rarely go to supermarkets and push a trolley about. Im a bit suspicious of supermarket vegetables anyway, because to me they look too pleasant and too pretty to be wholesome, i.e. very very orange carrots which are all very clean. (??)

“Im not a culinary whiz particularly. Sometimes I have dinner parties, yes, but I usually try to persuade a friend to cook hahahhahha!! Have I ever had a dinner party company in to do it for me? Oooh no! Haha!! I couldnt do that, it just seems so bourgeois to me. It sounds like the kind of thing that ladies in Laura Ashley dresses do, completely not my style!

You have to know pathetically little about fine wines!

“Oh. Well I dont drink very much but Ill occasionally have a glass of wine and dilute it with mineral water. Im not a great drinker of alcohol. I can sit a whole night with only one glass of wine and only have drunk half of it by the end of the night. I just hate how I feeling in the morning. I dont really like the wines anyway, they all taste like vinegar to me!”

You are required to swan off on holiday to posh islands in the sun!

“I dont go on holiday very often but twice Ive been to Barbados and I loved that a lot. Its hard to describe the atmosphere, its very laid back, its really quite idyllic. I sit around painting pictures or listen to the music and things. And I love the hot weather! Mmmm, its not really a holiday if its not sunny, is it? I do try not to overdo sunbathing because I dont take to the sun really well. Im not one of these people who go instantly brown and I do peel if Im not very very careful. I couldnt go in the sun at all until I was about 23 — it used to give me headaches and make me feel sick, but I got used to it now I can handle it. I have to use Sun Factor Eight, thats like the most powerful sun tan lotion, oh absolutely, yes.”

You have to snootle through the highways in a swish “limo”!

“My most common mode of transport is by taxi. I can drive, Ive passed my test and everything, but I choose not to. I dont have a car. I used to have a 1962 Sunbeam Rapier and it was really beautiful but not really safe with me on the road — I had a car crash years ago outside The Dorchester Hotel, two months after I passed my test.”

You have to read lots of hefty tomes!

“I have periods in which I read intensely for six months and then for the next six months I cant concentrate at all on a book.

Ive just started to read The Chronicles Of Narnia which is lovely — The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe and all that stuff. Its amazing. Its pure escapism, isnt it? Like when youre a kid. Did I ever have an invisible friend? No, I didnt have any invisible friends Im afraid. I didnt have many friends ever! Hahahahahahaaa!!”

You must staunchly avoid doing press-ups in the bathroom every morning!

“I dont go in for physical exercise at all. Oooh no. I like to walk… for shop to shop hihihihii!! Or you know, to the art gallery. I dont take any effort to keep in shape. I never was a particularly athletic person. I like watching gymnastic and things like that on TV, but Im purely voyeuristic as far as sport is concerned.”

You have to rant on about the systematic destruction of the tropical rain forests and so on!

“I hate the fact that London water is really dirty, and I hate the fact that people dump toxic waste near where other people live, and I hate the fact that theres a train full of nuclear waste that passes near my house at the dead of night. I hate things like that, it gets right up my nose!! Record companies annoy me sometimes, like when I ask them to have the record sleeve printed on re-cycled paper and they said ‘Oh yes, well look into that, and they never get back to me. But they also send me flowers which can be quite nice.”

You have to shun confectionery in case you become overly portly!

“Occasionally people give me chocolates as a gift, and Ill have a couple but Ill usually just pass then round sos I dont have to eat them all. I do like food, and I have periods where I get a bit strict about what I eat, but that generally lapses after a while. My weight does fluctuate but it doesnt really bother me that much. Im not that vain about it. You know, Im not a member of Bros and I dont see me as being a pin-up person. I like dressing up an awful lot, but Im not vain enough to just eat a lettuce leaf all day, or go on six mile jogs or have a personal trainer or things like that…”

You have to have your hair “dressed” in the comfort of your own abode!

“A lad called Ben, who works in a hairdressers in Islington called Diverse, I think, comes to my house and cuts my hair. I have been known to go to Vidal Sassoon as well, but, you know, I prefer to have my hair cut at home. The longer your hair is the more difficult it is to do in the mornings to make it look presentable, which I find is a total drag! Having had short hair for such a long time I find it easier to handle like this. Hair-care routine? Shampoo! I occasionally use conditioner but not very often. I do wash it every day and I know I shouldnt but its just a habit really.”

You have to listen to Radio 1 quite a lot sos you can hear your super pop smashes!

“I had a period of listening to Capital Radio (i.e. local London radio station) because it was the only one I knew where to find on the dial, but now Ive switched over to Radio 1. Neither of them are much good though, are they?”

You have to take great pains to read your horoscopes every day!

“I read my horoscopes religiously in newspapers. I feel theres more chance of them being true than anything else in the paper usually. Patric Walker always has very accurate predictions. I just read them partly out of fun and partly out of habit I suppose. Im Aquarius. Aquarians are superior being basically, and each ones different and its a bit of an exclusive club. Thats how we see ourselves. Am I a superior being? (Pause…) Oh yes, hahahahahaaaaa!!”

You have to own a crap tree!

“For three years Ive lived in a partially decorated three bedroom house with a very small garden. Im not a great gardener, no, although there are some flowers there and a Japanese cherry tree.

Which is quite nice for two weeks in April and looks very boring otherwise hnnnhnnn…”

You have to disregard your daily beauty “regime”!

“I dont really have a beauty routine. I try to get eight hours sleep. I dont drink very much and I dont spend lots of time in nightclubs. I have been known to have a mudpack after doing, like, telly shows where they bung lads of make-up on you, but its not a habitual thing. I enjoy good health, yeah, and Im keeping my fingers crossed when I say that. Ive only been into hospital once and that was to have four impacted wisdom teeth removed, and that was extremely unpleasant but I was only in for a day, thank heavens.”

And finally, you have to be a super pop star 24-hours a day!

Mmmmm… when people ask me for my autograph on the street for example, I dont know what they expect of me and I dont know how to behave particularly. I try to just smile and say, ‘Of course and ‘Can we do it quickly? and then I go about my business. It doesnt make me feel comfortable signing autographs, but I always do it if someone requests it. I never know what people expect of me. It really is quite bewildering.”