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Dawn Collinson: Pals with a touch of star dust.

Byline: Dawn Collinson

DO you ever wonder, in less busy moments, which celebrities would make good mates?

I know at least half-a-dozen people who do, although to be fair they are all friends of mine so it could just be a very niche preoccupation.

But just in case the answer's no, here's how it works.

The celebrity in question has to fulfil a series of requirements, starting with their ability to fit snugly into your existing group without detrimentally altering the dynamics.

Criteria for this include looks - mustn't be threateningly gorgeous, but equally mustn't be so jaw-droopingly unsightly that they make babies cry. Plain is an absolute no no; enduringly pretty despite nearing sell-by is to be encouraged as empathy is always a sound basis for a friendship.

Must also be witty, intelligent and self-sufficient (by that I mean able t o financially support themselves, not grow own vegetables).

Must not be so self-obsessed and superficial that they would never leave the house without full make-up, so that rules out Liz Hurley and Dale Winton. Let me give you an example of good and bad celebrity chums.

Kate Garraway from GMTV would be an excellent one. She has all the positive qualities and is quite homely so would no doubt be excellent in a personal crisis and would probably bake flapjacks.

Emmerdale actress Patsy Kensit seems ideal fun friend material. She's had a chequered past and so would never be short of rock wife anecdotes, but equally she's inclined to put on weight which is never a bad thing. In someone else.

Similarly Kim Wilde has top pal potential thanks to three main assets: 1) She used to be every man's pin-up but is no longer a sex kitten and now a little chubby. Perfect.

2) She may well offer to do up your garden.

3) She could probably get you discount at Holland & Barrett.

I don't think you could ask much more than that.

Beware, though, the sneaky celebrity who appears to fit the bill, but then turns out to be wholly unsuitable.

I interviewed a comedienne recently who my friends and I were all agreed would be perfect for us. That was until she twice casually described someone using the C-word. Once a 'brainless c***' and the second a 'talentless c***'.

She has now been struck from our list in permanent marker, since she has demonstrated herself to be the kind of pal who would come to your family Christmas party and say 'f***wit' to your nan.

Equally Angelina Jolie was once very much on the plus side; who wouldn't want a beautiful, blood-lusting bi-sexual to make their little gang seem more exotic?

But now she's committed the cardinal friend sin of stealing a man who the whole world knew was taken. Now that's just bad form.

A falling star is one thing, and maybe even dodgy plastic surgery could be forgiven in a celebrity mate, but what you don't want is to come back from Tesco to a note saying 'gone to adopt a baby with your husband, not back soon
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 18, 2005
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