I have a rather bad habit of starting posts, but never really getting around to finishing them. My drafts folder is, rather embarassingly, getting out of hand. Therefore, this week we’re devoting this post to three families which have lived in my drafts graveyard for rather too long.
Generally speaking with these posts, if the family in question has just two, or maybe three, children I tend to pair them up with another family. In the case of these three families, I never really found a ‘suitable’ match for them, so they stayed in the draft folder. Therefore, this post may seem a tad all over the place, bear with me.
This week the first two surnames really give no indication of which families we’re covering, since neither father is well-known, rather, it’s their wives to whom the British public are familiar. As for the third, it may be ringing bells in some people’s heads.
With our first mother, we’re returning to the subject of female comics, having previously covered both Mel Giedroyc and Jennifer Saunders. As it happens, this mother, Jo Brand (born Josephine Grace way back in 1957), made it onto The Observer’s 2003 list of the 50 funniest acts in British Comedy which is a pretty impressive achievement. Unlike Giedroyc or Saunders, Jo Brand is first and foremost a stand up comic. Her subject material is sometimes a source of controversy, but for me she is the epitome of British dry, cynical humour. It’s also worth noting that she came onto the scene in the 1980s after working for the previous decade as a psychiatric nurse.
Either way, in the early 2000s, she welcomed two daughters with her husband Bernie:
Both names are quite popular here in the UK right now – in 2010 both names were in the Top 100 in England&Wales, with Maisie being one of the biggest climbers inside the Top 100. I think both names are rather feminine, which is unexpected for me given that Jo Brand doesn’t seem the pink frills kind. Then again, we haven’t taken her husband’s tastes into account, which remain unknown given that he doesn’t work in showbusiness, so little in known about him.
Moving on, we have our second famed mother, who isn’t a comedienne. Rather, Vanessa Feltz is a broadcaster and currently occupies the early morning (5-6.30am) weekday slot at Radio 2 (the most popular radio station in Britain in terms of listeners). Some have labelled her the hardest-working female in broadcasting given her various commitments.
With her ex-husband Michael Kurer, she had two daughters born in the late 1980s:
Two names often seen as favourites on the name boards, and they are certainly splendid together.
Our third, and final mother is Mary Portas, a self-styled shopping expert. Her TV show Mary Queen of Shops followed her visiting various failing shops and basically showing them where they were going wrong and so forth.
With her ex-husband she had two children:
Whilst I haven’t been able to pin down the exact ages of her children, from what I can tell they were born in the early to mid 1990s. Given I grew up with plenty of children born in England during these years I can easily say that neither name is particularly popular for where I live, although my sister born in the mid-1990s reports that she has a friend with the middle name Verity. So there you go.