“There are so many misconceptions about me,” says Billion $$ Girl Tamara Ecclestone, as she introduces her new show – but I’m not convinced.
The way I see it, there are two types of people in the world. The first, and they number in their billions, have no conceptions about Tamara at all. The second would, if pushed, make many correct assumptions about a socialite heiress who has decided to film a series about herself for Channel 5.
They might guess, for instance, that she spends much of her time and money in expensive south west London salons, getting her hair straightened and juggling pedicures with planning parties.
With a bit more encouragement, they might conceivably wonder if she was not, in fact, the owner of several yappy pooches that she takes to Harrods for similar beauty treatments, such as having their toe-nails (sorry, claws) painted or getting blueberry facials and dog reiki.
They would probably be joking when they suggested that Tamara and her sister spend their afternoons shopping for tiaras, but they’d be right. True, they would never have guessed that she has a dedicated stylist apparently living in her walk-in wardrobe, like a little closet elf. So score one for Tamara there.
I guarantee, though, that no one has been operating under such misconceptions as “Tamara Ecclestone is an incredibly down-to-earth person with a lot to say and a wisdom that belies her meagre years.”
If Tamara had any such wisdom, she would have realised that the point of a Channel 5 series about her is to make her look like the kind of “pointless, spoilt, vacuous person” she says she is not, but is.
Channel 5 don’t have to work too hard to achieve this. They have to own some cameras, switch them on and point them at Tamara. They are thereby able to capture her as she wanders around her massive flat (“in one of London’s poshest postcodes”) with its luxury kitchen, many bedrooms and swimming pool, moaning about how it’s too small, before showing us her vast collection of 25-grand-a-pop Birkin handbags.
“Some people collect vintage cars, some people collect art, I collect handbags.” (I know what she means – I collect vintage cars.)
It’s around this point that my girlfriend leans over and whispers to me, “The cat says we must kill Tamara.”
But wait, there’s more to Tamara than first meets the eye. She’s the new face, and body, of Ultimo lingerie. She is keen to build her own business empire. The daughter of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone wants to “get out of her father’s shadow” – not a difficult task, you’d think, since Bernie is only five foot two high – by launching a perfume called… Formula One.
In fact, Tamara is all set to go on QVC to tout a new range of hair-care products when tragedy strikes and she is admitted to hospital. At which point, things get a bit serious and I can no longer legitimately make fun of her.
You see, Tamara has a spot. Well, not really a spot, but there is a definite reddish blotch on her chin. The doctor gives her a cortisone injection – like injured footballers or arthritis sufferers get – but says he could also fit her in for “that new treatment”, which, let’s face it, is probably free because, first and foremost, he’s a healer.
Tamara is keen but she’d have to undergo the procedure right now, which would mean missing her appointment with QVC. She phones her agent: “What would you do?” We can’t hear the other side of the conversation but “I’d get my arse over to QVC, now!” seems to be the general gist.
“I want to stay here, but I’m leaving because ultimately my career is more important than a spot,” says Tamara, bravely, immediately winning our respect and admiration.
It’s good that she’s attempting to make her own way in the world, while being a billionheiress. But unlike, say, Katie Price, Tamara is not going to find many people arguing that if you look past her airhead façade you’ll find a sharp business brain. No one is going to be citing her success in transforming herself into a brand as a case study in a media degree.
It’s hard to know what Tamara expects us to think of her – other than what we already thought, or nothing.
Tamara Ecclestone: Billion $$ Girl starts on Friday 4 November at 10:30pm on Channel 5