I was delighted to be invited to supermodel Daphne Selfe’s 90th birthday party at an open-air rooftop venue in Shaftesbury Avenue, the Century Club, just right for the hot, sunny weather.
Daphne is the world’s oldest working fashion model, she started her career in 1949 when she was 21 and has graced the pages of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair and many other influential fashion and lifestyle magazines since then. She has energy, grace and glamour which belie her years and credits it all to a regime of gardening, yoga and walking to keep young. A grandmother of four, Daphne is now far from alone in championing a life bursting with opportunity and glamour in later years.
I worked with her late husband, ATV Floor Manager Jim Smith, when I joined the company which was run by Great Britain’s greatest ever showman, the charismatic cigar smoking Lew Grade.
Starting as a Post Boy in the ATV Kingsway Mailing Room, I also worked some days in the studios on live shows as a Call Boy (Stage Assistant today) where Jim taught me a lot about studio discipline.
During a break, myself and another Post Boy, Pat Richards, were able to pose on a camera but it wasn’t until four years later that I made it into the camera department as a Camera Assistant which set me on a path that still continues.
At Daphne’s party I even got a cuddle with another guest, the lovely actress Vicki Michelle, best known for her role as Yvette Carte-Blanche in the great (and now not very PC) sitcom, ‘Allo ‘Allo!, which can be found on several Freeview channels.
Daphne is an inspiration to many and a real delight to be with, she featured in the July 1st Sunday Telegraph magazine, Stella: ‘I don’t do retiring’. Seeing her so full of energy I can well believe she never will retire!
Images by Chizuko Kimura