Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Nancy Dell'Olio: The light of a firefly

Nancy! Darling! I just love the book! I’ve not read it and don’t plan to – but I just adore the fact you have, or someone has, written it!

Do read it, my glancing queens, it’s called My Beautiful Game and the Nancy in question is Nancy Dell’Olio – or Nancy Of The Oil as erstwhile love rival Ulrika Jonsson calls her – or La Dame Nera (The Dark Lady) as the Italians call her - the on-off girlfriend of Sven Goran doodah.

Like Kate Moss, Pete Doherty, Roman Abramovich and Princess Michael of Kent’s son Lord Frederick Windsor, she’s not someone you normally get to hear; you just see her, in the papers – tabloids usually – smiling to and from parties in fireworks attire. She and they are celebrity stills, print versions of silent movie stars.

Then she popped up on TV this morning to talk about her book and what a son et lumiere she puts on: even her deep brown hues look dayglo: an epidermal radiance glosses the face paint, so that I imagine her as a lacquered lantern casting colours on anyone in her proximity – no wonder Sven looks orange by her side. This light is not the nimbus of the saints but the luminescence of a firefly, a bright, buzzy ephemeral creature, though this one is not easily swatted. She will make a delightful retro ornament in the bathroom when the natural wattage falters and she needs plugging into the grid.

Now, what does Nancy sound like? – I can tell you’re on tenterhooks. She doesn’t sound Italian, much. It’s hard to decide on the provenance of the accent. She was raised in New York, she lives in Italy, she's often in the UK; and as Euro Trash can probably order a croissant in eight different languages. The result sounds like a speeded up impersonation of a G8 summit or Finnegan’s Wake, in a high, pink lipped register. Her eventual burial place will be a challenge: where will her cadaver belong? Her heart in Italia, her head in New York and (perhaps) her loins in Sweden (in a reverse of the present situation). The carbon trail of her global funeral cortege shall be immense.

What she actually said this morning is not clear. She said something about putting her side of things in her gorgeous book. Yet she’s done nothing but put her side of things since this international law trained figure discovered the deep treasure troves of Britain’s confessional tabloids (and paparazzi). She mentioned something about the “power of forgiveness” in relation to Sven’s habit of fucking anyone who looks like her (post-Ulrika), and I applaud this pragmatism. Asked about the shocking red cat suit she wore to No 10 she kinda said that its purpose was to attract attention, all was a game. I suspect Sven is up there with the red cat suit.

All in all I was mightily impressed by Nancy, she did not disappoint. Like a true Hollywood star she has entered the celestial stage of celebrity survival where every public word and gesture is intended to disguise true feeling or intent and finds its part in the strategy of unruffled, worldly loftiness; the Christ pose of Angelina Jolie, say – the adoption of a good cause (or just an adoption) is helpful here.

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