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'Loveboat' launched!

News | 10/09/2021

“Lottery Loveboat” hit the shelves in e-format and paperback today.

Initial feedback from early readers has been great and very encouraging. We have coverage of our debut novel lined up in several publications. We have also secured a live interview on Tiffany Truscott's BBC Radio Cornwall show.

Just waiting for those first official reviews!

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A farewell toast to Margarita Pracatan

A lady as exotic as the cocktail she could have been named for

Working as a press officer at the BBC's Pebble Mill Studios in Birmingham in the late 1990s meant promoting some of the nation's best-loved programmes from the era - Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson, whom I always remember for his lovely manners, The Clothes Show with the edgily glamorous but completely charming and down-to-earth Caryn Franklin, and Can't Cook, Won't Cook with the irrepressible Ainsley Harriott who filled every room he was in with his laughter and personality.

I can't remember why Australian broadcaster Clive James was at the studios one particular day but I do remember feeling utterly terrified at being told to look after his companion, Margarita Pracatan, known for her flamboyant and highly comical musical turns on his chat show. From what I'd seen of her on the television, I thought she was completely bonkers and I wasn't even sure she understood English so it was with some trepidation I embarked on the standard studio tour with her.

I needn't have worried. She was certainly flamboyant, trailing down the sober corporate corridors of the BBC in her trademark feather boa and a velvet evening dress, full of loud laughter and asking endless questions in her heavily accented English, which was as wayward as her musical talent! But if she found the behind-the-scenes reality rather less exciting than the more-familiar on-stage spotlight, she didn't bat one of her heavily mascaraed eyelids. She was funny and charming and delighted everyone she met. She was even forgiven for wandering onto the set of Can't Cook, Won't Cook, delighting the studio audience who went wild when they realised who she was, completely disrupting the recording schedule.

And underneath the rather child-like gusto, there was a kind, warm and generous woman who was great fun to be with, bringing colour and  glamour to the most humdrum occasion and who, having found out I was heavily pregnant, not only presented me with her beautiful boa when we parted with hugs and kisses, but also found time to arrange for a bouquet of flowers to be delivered to me in the press office as a thank you the following day. 

The heavenly choir has a new star performer in its midst. God bless, Margarita.

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