Heavenly Holly; Model at 12, Soap Star at 16 and Pop Star by 19. Precocity - and a Model's Body - Are Not Attributes Ms Valance Lacks

By Sweet, Matthew | The Evening Standard (London, England), June 20, 2003 | Go to article overview

Heavenly Holly; Model at 12, Soap Star at 16 and Pop Star by 19. Precocity - and a Model's Body - Are Not Attributes Ms Valance Lacks


Sweet, Matthew, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: MATTHEW SWEET

Holly Valance is no longer a teenager. 'No!' she wails, as if she could have done something about it. ' Nineteen was always where I aimed to stay at, but it just didn't happen. I have to start taking more responsibility-Now I'm 20 I feel like, "C'mon, Holly, get your stuff together."' Dispassionate observers might suggest she's done that already.

Model at 12, soap star at 16, occupant of the number-one spot at 19 - with the preposterously catchy 'Kiss Kiss' - precocity is not a quality she lacks.

Orson Welles, the slouch, was 26 when he shot Citizen Kane. And he didn't come top of a single FHM readers' poll.

Valance was born in Melbourne, the product of a union between an English model and a Yugoslav jazz guitarist, and, as her sisters are called Coco Melody and Olympia Montana, can count herself as having had a lucky escape.

(She is also, she claims, a distant relative of Benny Hill.) Her mother and sisters are frequent visitors to her new flat overlooking Hyde Park - as is her boyfriend, Peter Ververis, a 22-year-old marketing graduate she first met a decade ago.

When she was 16 she skipped her last year of school and ran away to join the Neighbours circus, a beneficiary of the show's late-Nineties policy of filling itself with models in school uniform. Her character, the scatty Flick Scully, was a Ramsay Street resident for three years - during which time, for reasons that are disappointingly prosaic, Valance earned the onset nicknames of Grunter and Scrubber.

'But it's not like I quit school to go and smoke dope with my boyfriend in a park. I had a pretty wonderful opportunity and I took it with both hands.

I've no regrets. I'd love to have that piece of paper which says I've completed my highschool education, but at this stage it's not interfering with the work that I do.' And Neighbours, she argues, was a perfect primer for her life today - much of which consists of gyrating in stadia and accepting Hello Kitty! presents from teenagers at Japanese airports. 'I'm used to photo shoots,' she says, 'being in front of cameras, signing autographs. …

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