Lisa Mary London
Faded soap star Gloria Grayson swaps banoffee pie for humble pie with a stint on reality TV. But her last ditch bid to salvage her celebrity backfires, when the ex-husband from hell is sprung on her in front of 10 million viewers.
Can Gloria win back A-list status, happy ever after and her Rear of the Year title? Reality is stranger than fiction!
Faded TV star Gloria Grayson has hit rock bottom. Sacked from her starring role in a top soap, divorced from hell-raising actor ‘Mad’ Tommy Mack, and obese from binge eating, her days as Britain’s sexiest blonde are well and truly over.
But her luck changes when cruel paparazzi photos relaunch her career, and she and her fat, feisty dog are booked to appear on TV’s Reality Rehab.
Gloria is incarcerated with an American psychotherapist, a rabble of D-list celebrities and umpteen cameras, then put on a starvation diet. But worse is to come, with the shock arrival of her alcoholic ex-husband.
Tears and tantrums ensue as the divorced couple’s therapy sessions take over the show, and ratings soar. The other celebrities are infuriated to be sidelined and Reality Rehab fast becomes The Tommy and Glo Show.
But Gloria and Tommy are hiding explosive secrets from each other and 10 million viewers – Reality is stranger than fiction!
I was thrilled to be asked by the author to read and review her new book Reality Rehab.
The main character Gloria Grayson, or GG as she is affectionately known by ex-husband Tommy, has hit hard times. Her career as an actor is in the doldrums, she is broke, single and the only thing rising for this star is the size of her waistline. She enters Reality Rehab to kick-start her career and conquer her addiction to junk food.
Gloria thinks she will have a cushy eight weeks getting paid for doing virtually nothing but the producers have other ideas and the outcome is hysterical.
I disliked Gloria immensely in the first few pages. She was everything you would expect from your typical D lister….. self-obsessed, arrogant and egotistical, but as the pages flew by I found myself warming to her and by the end I found myself punching the air and shouting “Go Glo!”
Poor Baby -Girl, Gloria’s pampered pooch doesn’t get away easily either, she is sent to boot camp and put on a diet. If that wasn’t enough she comes face to face with Gloria’s ex Tommy who she absolutely detests with a passion.
I loved the ‘Daily Post Online’ news cuttings which were dotted cleverly throughout the book, but most of all the reader’s comments made me choke on my coffee.
The characters have depth as well as comedy, each of the other celebrities has a story to tell. My favourite was AJ Day, uber- camp stylist to the stars, turned kleptomaniac.
The book is not just for lovers of reality tv because the writing is packed full of satire and irony. In fact, readers who dislike Big Brother and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here will enjoy this parody because it highlights the talentless ‘Get Rich Quick’ society.
Beautifully written, character driven and refreshingly unique, this page-turner was one of my favourite comedy reads of 2017.
Lisa Mary London went from Chief Reporter on a sleepy Cotswold newspaper to become Celebrity Producer on some of Britain’s best-loved TV shows. Her TV credits include An Audience with Ken Dodd, A BAFTA Tribute to Julie Walters, The British Comedy Awards and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! She’s worked with stars from Tony Curtis to Ant and Dec, and her debut novel Reality Rehab features around 200 famous names.
‘There’s never a dull moment when you’re working with the stars’, says Lisa. ‘One minute you’re sipping champagne with Pierce Brosnan, the next you’re standing in the Ladies’ minding Barbara Windsor’s handbag.’
Reality Rehab is based on her real life, behind-the-screen experiences as a Celebrity Producer. ‘I’ve met many old school stars like my book’s protagonist Gloria, who curse reality TV and think the cast of TOWIE should be stacking shelves at Tesco, not walking the red carpet.
‘She’s a cross between Diana Dors, Boadicea and Miss Piggy, a glorious, garrulous anti-heroine with bags of fattitude – Gloria puts the real in reality TV!’
Gloria’s petulant pooch Baby-Girl is closely based on the book’s cover star, Lisa’s beloved Maltese Dolly-Dog (says Lisa – ‘You couldn’t make her up’). Dolly-Dog won fame on ITV’s Loose Women when she married Sherrie Hewson’s Westie Charlie, in a ceremony officiated by John Barrowman (available on YouTube). The couple split acrimoniously and are currently fighting for custody of a chew toy.
A journalist by profession, Lisa has written for the Daily Mail and was briefly a News of the World reporter, but made her excuses and left before anyone was imprisoned for phone hacking.
‘Even if you have never seen reality TV you will be tickled by Lisa Mary London’s hilarious novel. Get ready to read it and weep with laughter. A great pick-me-up… A Bloody Mary of cheerful reads!’
Deborah Lawrenson, Bestselling Author
‘Could just be the funniest book of the decade’
Rajee Narinesingh, US Reality TV Star.
‘The perfect frothy but sharply satirical read – Great fun!’
Bee Jones, Glossed in a Good Book.