The death of Princess Diana was a watershed moment in the UK; a moment that many believe saw a shift in the British from a strong, proud and pragmatic people, to a mawkish anti-mob constantly looking for a shoulder to cry on as they were fed false hopes and given pseudo-sympathy by TV shows and Blair's New Labour. Since then, none have embodied the triteness of UK pop culture more than ex-glamour model, celebrity and British icon Jordan, aka Katie Price.
Born in 1978, in Brighton on the English South Coast, Price was an ordinary girl living an unremarkable life until she began appearing topless on page three of The Sun ‘newspaper’. A reasonably good looking young woman with a decent figure, Price decided to have breast implants to take her from a D cup to an F. Her resultant freakish appearance soon began to draw more attention from photographers’ lenses, and the glare of the camera flash soon became the glare of publicity.
The newly pumped-up Price embarked on a string of affairs with footballers such as Teddy Sheringham and Dwight Yorke (whose baby she gave birth to in 2002), and ephemeral pop stars Dane Bowers and Gareth Gates. In 2004 Price took part in ITV’s ‘reality’ TV show, I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, where she argued with former Sex Pistols’ singer John Lydon, and flirted with singer Peter Andre, who she went on to marry after the series.
Since the show Price has become a regular guest on trash TV, espousing her homespun lack of wisdom in her estuary nasal whine. It was also after I’m a Celebrity… that she completely dropped her modelling name ‘Jordan’ and switched to Katie Price, the name she used for her best-selling, ghost-written autobiography Being Jordan; which has been an inspiration for the bland and talentless all over the UK.
Recently, Price’s marriage to Andre has hit the rocks, with the couple respectively pouring out their hearts to various tabloids, while exploiting newer media in the forms of Facebook and Twitter. Price has also claimed she was raped by a celebrity, but dubiously refuses to name or press charges. Since the break-up, shameless self-publicist Price has become involved with British porn star and cage fighter Alex Reid.
At time of writing Price is back in the jungle for another series of I’m a Celebrity…, once again touting her wares of collagen, silicone, permatan and dim-wittedness. She is symptomatic of the UK today, engendering a belief among many that a lack of talent, looks and charisma need not be a bar to fame and fortune. Price is the champion of those who pedal dreams to a large swathe of the UK public who are almost intellectually incapable of having them. Deformed by plastic surgery into a grotesque, modern-day Barberella, absorbed in her own twisted sexual proclivities, ignorance and greed, Price’s juggernaut of fame is both starkly irresistible and unstoppable.
For good or ill, Katie Price is a UK icon.