We all have a rough idea of what we want in a romantic partner. But have you ever thought about what qualities you seek out in your friends? I’ve been thinking recently about what the women in my life – my friends and those I just look up to from afar – have in common. They are gutsy and direct but never unkind. They make me laugh and often their humour is dark or slightly twisted, which only makes me love them more – because if you’re willing to share your most ‘inappropriate’ thoughts with me, then I know you trust me and, in turn, I will trust you.
The women I love are successful and brave but not fearless. They embrace opportunities and experiences, and push through the terror of any embarrassment or failing that might result from giving things a go. And that willingness to be vulnerable will make me want to share my fears with them, too. We will celebrate the highs and nurse each other through the lows – I find that wine helps with both of these. I love the women in my life who are still excited and wide-eyed about pockets of fun and glamour they might get from time to time. But they’re still relieved when the party ends and they get to go home to the ‘real’ people in their lives – family, partners, kids or pets.
One woman who embodies all of this and more is this issue’s cover star, Lorraine Kelly. I couldn’t claim to be in her inner circle, but I’ve been privileged over the years to have spent quite a bit of time sitting next to her on her famous TV sofa, often as a commentator on news and even doing the odd stint as a guest fashion presenter. And what you see of Lorraine on screen is what you get in real life. The warmth, vivacity and belly laughs are the real her. But there are other facets that perhaps aren’t so apparent when she’s beaming into your living room every morning. Her focus is laser. When something’s not right – even the tiniest detail, such as a picture they’re about to flash on screen from an Oscar-night party, which isn’t the best one she needs to illustrate a point – Lorraine is the one who notices. She has a dry, wicked sense of humour. Our occasional text chats prove she is as fond as I am of the odd salty word. We have, a few times, exchanged an eye-roll and smirk when a nearby celebrity guest is being a bit of a diva.
Lorraine is sweet, charming and vivacious, yes. She’s also really nice. But make no mistake, this woman is also nails (just google her name and Esther McVey). And it’s this whole package that’s kept her at the top of her game in the ferociously competitive universe of breakfast TV for 35 years. In fact, Lorraine embodies most of the qualities that make me respect and admire another woman. But what I value above all else is fearless honesty. And this is what you’ll find in Lorraine’s new book Shine. Part memoir, part life manual, it brings to life her successful highs, bruising lows and true heartbreak and I hope you enjoy your exclusive first look.
A few things I’m coveting this week
Move over, zebra print. We’re all about cows now. Dress, £145, kitristudio.com
Will be cosying up in this on my Cornish holiday. Jumper, £25.99, zara.com
Yes, I’m already planning Christmas outfits. Skirt, £245, Rixo, net-a-porter.com