Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Blonde Is Not Just for Christmas; Record Deals and TV Shows Are All Very Well, but You're Nobody until You've Got Your Own Calendar

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Blonde Is Not Just for Christmas; Record Deals and TV Shows Are All Very Well, but You're Nobody until You've Got Your Own Calendar

Article excerpt

Byline: LAURA CRAIK

CAT Deeley: lovely girl. Everyone says so. Certainly she's one third of the reason I bother getting out of bed to watch SM:TV Live on a Saturday morning. In the fug of blonde TV presenters clouding my weekend channelhopping, Cat Deeley stands alone as actually being good at her job.

There are signs of intelligence behind the regulation blonde streaks and crystal-pink lipgloss.

It was with some consternation, then, that I spotted her in the pages of OK!, posing in a cropped T-shirt and, er, a tiny sky-blue ballet tutu.

Her face was all wrinkled up in the manner of a baby who has just smelled its first bad smell, and her hair was coiled in Princess Leia plaits. What was going on? Usually, Cat has more respect for her tweenie fan club than to ape their personal style. She leaves that sort of gimmickry to the pop princesses whom she interviews.

That was before someone convinced her to do a Cat Deeley calendar. Yes, Miss Deeley has now joined the ranks of such timehonoured pinups as Madonna, Britney, Buffy, Kylie and Caprice to become a fixture in your stocking this Christmas. Other celebrities should take note. There are many ways to measure fame, but none so reliable as a Danilo calendar.

Danilo has been selling calendars for 25 years. Billing itself as "Europe's Leading Licensed Calendar Publisher", it is responsible for making thousands of people happy each Christmas. The price of this happiness? Between [pound]3.99 and [pound]5.99.

It is thanks to Danilo's unique philosophy that prices are kept so low. Not for Danilo the costly shoots which pander to a celebrity's ego.

Oh no. "Some photographers are absolutely brilliant but could be far too expensive for our budget and might want to take, you know, three days to do a shoot. Which unfortunately is completely costprohibitive for us," says Danilo's Jenny Halsall. "Most people are astonished that we can actually do a really good calendar in one day. That's 13 shots, you know."

This philosophy goes some way to explaining the somewhat distinctive look of a Danilo calendar. It's like a relic from another time, untouched by the hand of modern design.

Random graphics - swirls, lines, hieroglyphics - dart across pages, as does the star's autograph, or a cute little message, or both.

Everyone is harshly lit and orange.

But none of it matters. Who cares about aesthetics? It's a calendar. It's for putting on walls and lusting over.

This is a little unfair. While the Caprice calendar features Caprice spilling out of various bikinis in the Caribbean, other stars are more modest. In February, Cat Deeley merely peeps from under a fluffy jumper (although in May, you get to see her in pants). But, generally, she is careful to conform to the cutesy-but-not-too-sexually-threatening mode of pinup. …

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