Caitlin Moran: How To Be Famous

Caitlin Moran is both a heroine and an obsession of mine. Similar in age and Midland experiences, Caitlin is frank and funny, talks about sex with aplomb, and is one of the only people who can make me laugh out loud and stand on my feet cheering at the same time. I was lucky enough to be on her ‘Raised By Wolves‘ tour a few years ago, and basically think she is a national treasure.

Two weeks ago she was back in the Midlands, Birmingham Town Hall to be exact, to promote her new book, a novel called ‘How to be Famous’, a book she insists is not semi autobiographical, but talks of a teenage girl working in the music press in London and finding both good and bad sex in the mid 1990s heyday of Britpop. In conversation with Labour MP Jess Phillips, another girl crush, and described by Moran as ‘one of only three people who get shit done.’ Caitlin talked about the book, her own teen years, and, of course, sex of all kinds.

 

 

Her first gig

I went to a Smashing Pumpkins gig, their first gig in the UK, at Edwards No8 (a legendary Birmingham venue, now sadly gone.)  I was wearing my special hat and a crucifix to look like a goth. I went down the front with my spiral notebook and then suddenly everyone started jumping. I thought this must be the special Smashing Pumpkins jumping song, like Oops upside your head where you all get on the floor and be a boat. But the jumping didn’t stop,  I had to fight my way out of the mosh pit.

On Money

I think you’re wealthy beyond belief if you can eat out at Pizza Express every night.

On the book

It’s basically a book about shagging, a bible to humping. Pornography is not sex, it’s someone’s job, they are working, and in many cases it is still about men who look like Burt Reynolds slapping a woman’s arse. Last time I got smacked on the arse it was by my dad when I taped over Yentl!

And then there was 50 shades. So much admin, I mean you have to find a millionaire, go to Halfords for cable ties…Meanwhile everyone out there is having real sex.

James Bond described a woman as having nipples like hazelnuts, but I’d only ever seen walnuts (Jess replied mine are like saucers.)

On Love Island

Love Island gives you a springboard to talk about sex. Like, if you ever see a man with Adam’s look on his face, just pick up your bag and leave. Eyal is just like a boy from the 90s who constantly listened to Redemption Song.

Celebrity Big Brother

I turned down celebrity Big Brother in less than a second. I would rather cut my own head off and kick it over a fence.

On needing bigger tampons

Find me something that looks like a badger!!!

About Growing Up in the Nineties

The early nineties were a great time to be a teen. Everybody smoked, it covered up the smell of sweat. It was legitimate to go out dressed in a nightie because of grunge. (Jess responded that she worries about her children growing up posh and turning into massive twats)

Madonna Justify My Love

I decided to try the sexy scene from Justify My Love where Madonna drips the candle wax onto her lover. I didn’t realise you had to drip it from a height in order to let it cool down…there were tears.

There were so many other funny moments, from Caitlin getting quite cross that there are lots of names for male ejaculation, but non at all for female wetness, and then asking for suggestions, with dripping like a fucked fridge winning the night. Another question from the audience asked Caitlin and Jess what they would say to their vagina’s, Jess bringing the house down with sorry!

The night was just a celebration of female wit and brilliance and I loved every minute of it. The book is fabulous, I read it in two days and had moments of both laugh out loud mirth and uneasiness. And, to top the night, we got to meet Jess on our way out.