David Thorpe Photography

Professional Pix

Pictures for Money

Here in hospital is Paul 'Gazza' Gascoigne. No, that's not a glass of booze in his hand, it's Luzozade.

I worked with him and his wife Cheryl many times for buy-ups for the paper. He was an ill mannered and ungracious bloke at the best of times and I never looked forward to seeing him. He liked me but on one basis only. Because I worked fast. I have to say that that was partly because the quicker I was out of his way the better from my point of view too.

I went to see him in Rome when he was playing for Lazio. I know nothing about football, I am afraid. He was in his home there and he seemed like a little lost boy. He did not and never was going to learn any Italian. The house was empty and featureless. I came away actually feeling sorry for him. Luckily he'd behaved fairly unpleasantly so the feeling quickly faded. Gone by the time I'd reached his garden gate, in fact.

People like Gazza get thoroughly spoiled. You end up in a position where someone has been paid a mass of money to do something and then when you arrive, they refuse to do it. You end up trying to persuade them. You tell the office what is going on and they say, he's got to do it, he's signed a contract.

My feeling is, they just like to be the centre of attention, so they're making you jump through hoops to make themselves feel good. What I always noted was that the bigger the star, the more likely they were to be civilized. Usually. The office ought to read them the riot act, really. But they won't because their jobs depend on these unstable personalities co-operating, paid or not, and they are on the line every week.

The things that I miss least about my job are celebrity egos and travel. I had an enormous row with a daft cow of an actress in the studio once. She refused to be made up. We argued for two hours and eventually she agreed. After taking the pix I took her for lunch. I asked her why she'd been so awkward. "You have to make your mark", she said.

She was a new star in a big TV production. I never heard of her again. Presumably she was just too bloody to work with. I can't say I'm sorry.