Some Mothers Do Have 'Em; They Are Household Names, Living a Lucrative Life in the Celebrity Fast Lane, Pursued by Admirers Wherever They Go. but We Asked the Mums of Lisa Riley, James `Hunter' Crossley and Jarvis Cocker What Their Famous Offspring Are Really like. Here They Reveal All to Sally Morgan

By Morgan, Sally | The Mirror (London, England), November 21, 1998 | Go to article overview
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Some Mothers Do Have 'Em; They Are Household Names, Living a Lucrative Life in the Celebrity Fast Lane, Pursued by Admirers Wherever They Go. but We Asked the Mums of Lisa Riley, James `Hunter' Crossley and Jarvis Cocker What Their Famous Offspring Are Really like. Here They Reveal All to Sally Morgan


Morgan, Sally, The Mirror (London, England)


Christine Connolly is the mother behind the coolest, wittiest pop star in Britain - Pulp's Jarvis Cocker. Christine, 56, lives in a 16th century cottage in Worksop, Notts, with Derek, her husband of nine years. Here she remembers the humble beginnings of her 35-year-old celebrity son.

When I gave birth to Jarvis I was 21, an art student, and married to a talented musician called Mack Cocker. Jarvis wasn't planned, but he was a lovely accident. Three years after that, we had a daughter.

When Jarvis was seven years old, I woke up to find that Mack had deserted us. I was totally devastated, as you can imagine, being left with two young children to bring up.

It put me off men for a while, I can tell you, but I never tried to turn my kids against their father. Jarvis takes after Mack, a highly intelligent musician, but there's a lot of me in him, too.

Although Jarvis ate like a horse when he was living at home, he was always tall and skinny. At school he got picked on because of his height and intelligence, but he managed to diffuse situations with his razor-sharp wit.

Jarvis told me that his ambition was to become a brain surgeon because he wanted to delve around in people's brains. He turned out to be too squeamish for that particular job. When he was 12 he saw a film at school about the birth of a baby and passed out.

Jarvis found his true vocation after I bought him an electric guitar, which he used to practise in his bedroom. By his mid-teens he'd formed Pulp.

It might seem strange to some people that I am a staunch Tory supporter when Jarvis has opposite leanings. I must admit, I admired Thatcher during her first two terms as Prime Minister. She did a lot of good for the country and for women, and I wish I had her stamina. Then she became a megalomaniac and shouldn't have stood for a third term.

Unlike Mrs Thatcher, I'm only interested in getting involved in politics on a local level. When I stood for the local parish council seat earlier this year I lost by just a single vote.

I raised Jarvis on Tory values that, if you've worked hard all your life, you want to keep what you've earned. I'm also a firm believer in discipline. Why people vandalise where they live, such as some of the council estates I've seen in Sheffield, beggars belief.

I'm very maternal and love domesticity. Even though Jarvis has grown up, I still worry about him. I love it when he pays us a visit, especially if the whole family, including my two grandchildren, are there as well.

Jarvis gets rather embarrassed if I talk about him too much. He's quite a private person really. I also think he is a unique individual. I remember when his Hillman Imp conked out, for example, he had it squashed into a little cube and now uses it as a coffee table.

When he showed me what he'd done to his little car I told him he must be mental and that he should have sold it instead. But now I suppose he can say he used to drive his coffee table to work.

Larger-than-life Lisa Riley made her name as formidable Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale. Since she recently took over presenting ITV's You've Been Framed from Jeremy Beadle, it has become the top entertainment show on TV. Here, her mum Cath, 44, a quality control executive for the travel company Airtours, reveals all about her 22-year-old daughter.

I knew Lisa would become famous from the day she started ballet classes at the age of four - she was quite petite and used to walk everywhere on tiptoe.

After she achieved 99 per cent in her ballet exam at the Green Mount school in Bury, Lancashire, she told me she wanted to become a dancer when she grew up.

Lisa was five when we moved to Canada. My husband Terry, a printer, had been posted there for a job and it was here that Lisa discovered Annie the movie. Her screen idol was Audrey Hepburn and she adored Mary Poppins. She wanted to be an entertainer, too.

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Some Mothers Do Have 'Em; They Are Household Names, Living a Lucrative Life in the Celebrity Fast Lane, Pursued by Admirers Wherever They Go. but We Asked the Mums of Lisa Riley, James `Hunter' Crossley and Jarvis Cocker What Their Famous Offspring Are Really like. Here They Reveal All to Sally Morgan
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