I found myself feeling incredibly sad about Tara Palmer Tomkinson’s death. I saw a photograph of her a few weeks ago wearing a terrible wig (nobody wears a wig like that for fun) and looking really unwell - having lost all the subcutaneous fat from her face, she looked haunted - despite the party clothes and big smile. She was a strange one - it’s pretty clear she suffered from a form of manic depression - she’s talked about it herself and had the kind of addictive personal and desperate need to please and be part of something that I recognise from my mother. She just wanted to be liked. I don’t have any problem with her being rich and connected, that’s just as much of an accident of birth as being born poor. She was always ‘doing’ something. I particularly remember her on TV a few years ago - presenting her new career as a singer/songwriter. She wasn’t too bad, played the piano well, the song was OK, as were her voice. The video was mildly entertaining but uninspired, she talked about it with pride and some satisfaction but clearly knew it was just ‘ok’ and she was no great talent. I had the impression that she was always trying to do something for herself, to make people like her for her own achievements and talents, even though she clearly had so little to offer..
Years ago she was on the Patrick Keilty show in Ireland and came on later than she had expected, gave a good interview and then pointed out that she had to leave because she’s miss her flight and was working in London the next morning. Keilty kept trying to make her stay and mocked her for needing to leave when she clearly didn’t need to work - and that’s the problem. She was either very, very photogenic - or looked like a complete car crash and that kept the gossip columns very happy. Obviously she was responsible for her own actions, as he could have retired to the country and painted landscapes - but people like her, with her problems - really don’t have anywhere else to go. We are what we are. One slight aside - and this is a bit oblique - another reason why I liked her, was that she was almost certainly the only woman of her generation who lived in the media, but refused to have her body ‘improved’ with silicone. It did her great credit. Sadly - I think I always knew she’d ‘never make old bones’ as my mother used to say. And even more sad, I doubt that she was ever happy, all the money in the world can’t fix that. For smeone who has spent their whole life - being ‘alive’… facing death must have been very hard.