Saturday, April 29, 2006

Will the real Alexandra Frean please stand up?

Alexandra Frean sang breathy French vocals on the Blue Aeroplanes' Honey I, and, with only her sensuous voice to go by, I built up an impression of a sexy, stately, if slightly haughty, woman, all Paris fashions and full lips and dark eyes and Gallic shrugs.

Obviously, this is based on no evidence whatsoever, as the Blue Aeroplanes don't exactly hang out with Parisienne aristos, so it's at least as likely that Frean was a Bristol University Sociology student who'd learnt a passable accent during a gap year stint at the Montmartre branch of McDonalds, but my mind wanders where my mind likes to wander. Frean must surely be svelte and urbane and touched with a certain froideur.

So I'm reading Private Eye, a satirical magazine which likes to publish scurrilous rumours, and guess who pops up?

'Bizarre scenes on a recent press trip to South Africa arranged by Freeplay, the wind-up radio firm. Among the Fleet Street hacks in attendance was Ms Alexandra Frean, social affairs correspondent of the Times, who startled her hosts by continually taking photos of "Mrs Teddy-Weddy", her beloved cuddly toy, in various locations - on the hotel tortoise, next to some penguins, perching on the edge of Table Mountain, etc.

Most toe-curling of all was a visit to Robben Island, with a tour of the old jail led by a former prisoner. A solemn and serious occasion? Not, apparently, for Frean, who sat Mrs Teddy-Weddy in various poses (behind cell doors, behind bars, in the middle of the exercise-year et) - to the squirming embarrassment of fellow-hacks and horrified amazement of the tour guide.

All right, this could be a made up story (Private Eye regularly gets sued), and it could be there is more than one Alexandra Frean - though Frean isn't what I'd call a common surname. But they might be the same person. Could my cool, elegant chanteuse actually be someone who takes photos of Mrs Teddy-Weddy in Nelson Mandela's old prison? Oh, the disillusionment.

Though there is just the possibility that Frean, despite her teddy-bear habit, is nevertheless cultured and chic, and that inside every stylish bohemian there is a woman with a burning desire to snap her cuddly toys in famous places. I find it all strangely reassuring.


Blogger dick jones said...

Are these one & the same person? I think we should be told...

8:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes. It's the same person. Me. Only the Private Eye stuff is all wrong

7:56 pm  

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