BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Friday, 9 December 2005, 16:02 GMT
Faces of the week

Our regular look at some of the faces which have made the news this week. Above are CAROL THATCHER(main picture), with ANT AND DEC, PAUL GASCOIGNE, KING KONG and JOHN LENNON.


"Vote for Thatcher", screamed the Daily Mirror for the first, and probably only, time. And they did.

Carol Thatcher's accession to Queen of the Jungle on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here was not anticipated before the programme began. The bookies had her as a rank outsider.

But any preconceptions that she might be bossy or hectoring were soon dispelled. After two weeks of minimal hygiene, you could say she became a rank insider.

In that time, both the audience and her fellow contestants were won over by her jolly-hockey-sticks brand of derring-do.

Without a shred of vanity and with a large measure of good humour, she rolled up her shirtsleeves and got stuck in with the best of them. In fact, she was the best of them.

After being left dangling in her harness over a ravine when her car left the road, she was able to joke about it. Groping for those gold stars inside a box full of spiders, snakes and baby crocodiles didn't faze her.

Swimming across a lake with poisonous toads, snakes and furry bushrats on her head was a minor inconvenience.

Young Carol and Mark with mother, Margaret
The twins did not have a close family life
She ate a kangaroo's testicles with balsamic vinegar but without fuss.

Her only misdemeanour was not that she relieved herself in the middle of the night next to her bedside, but that she never admitted to it.

She had failed to clock the presence of an infra-red camera. A mere 10 million people watched her urinating.

It has been said that Carol's courage and fearlessness are qualities handed down to her by her mother. But being the only daughter of a former prime minister has had its drawbacks.

The demands of Margaret's political career and Denis's business life meant that twins Carol and Mark spent a great deal of time being cared for by a nanny.

Favoured child

Carol once remarked: "My mother was prone to calling me by her secretaries' names." Even on family holidays Margaret would spend hours attending to the red boxes that would arrive full of work.

Carol was sent off to boarding school at the age of nine. She graduated in law from University College London before training as a solicitor. But friends say that was mainly to please her parents. Her real love was journalism and she moved to Sydney to practise it.

Carol believed her twin brother Mark was the favoured child. "In comparison I was one-dimensional and dull," she once wrote.

In fact, Mark has never been a popular figure with the general public. His image was not improved by his recent financial role in a failed coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea.

However, when Carol returned to England in the mid-1980s, she began to establish her own identity as a witty and likeable broadcaster on TV-am and radio programmes like the BBC's Loose Ends.

Margaret and Carol at Wimbledon in 2004
Together at Wimbledon in 2004
By refusing to be drawn into any political arguments, she avoided fallout from her mother's many critics. Carol has become a stalwart of what she has called "airline literature", the articles you find in in-flight magazines.

This has meant lots of travelling on her own. She once cycled 100kms a day across Russia. No wonder the jungle was a breeze.

She has written biographies of tennis players John and Chris Lloyd, and the affectionate documentary she made about her father just before he died, entitled Below the Parapet, was well received by the critics. The subsequent book became a best-seller.

When questioned in the jungle about her private life, the shutters came down by way of, "Don't even go there."

When Jonathan Aitken ended a relationship with her, Margaret Thatcher was famously said to have remarked that she would never give a job to someone who made Carol cry. Other suitors have included the designer Tom Gilbey and the journalist Roger Alton. She currently lives in Klosters, Switzerland, with a ski-instructor named Marco Grass.

After her victory in the jungle, she said very publicly that she did not want to ring anyone. But, if the experiences of previous I'm a Celebrity... winners are anything to go by, Carol Thatcher's phone, or at least her agent's, may now be ringing off the hook.


Those chirpy Geordie chappies, Ant and Dec, are to interview the Prince of Wales and his sons, William and Harry. The occasion is a live special programme to mark the 30th anniversary of The Prince's Trust, set up to help disadvantaged young people. Ant and Dec are ambassadors for the Trust and said they were "thrilled" to be asked to present the programme. The interview will not be live, though, so as to avoid any "unexpected questions".


It's been a bad week for Paul Gascoigne. He was dismissed as manager of Kettering Town after only five weeks amid allegations that he has hit the bottle again. Hours later, he was arrested following an altercation with a photographer in Liverpool. Coming hot on the heels of George Best's death after years of alcohol abuse, aid is at hand. But the head of the Footballers' Association warned: "We can offer help, but ultimately it's down to the individual."


King Kong beat his chest and roared again as the much-anticipated new movie opened in London. Directed by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame, this simian spectacular is twice as long as the 1933 classic. According to one reviewer, "Everything the 1933 movie has, Jackson has - to the power of one hundred." Jackson has kept the original 1930s setting and the closing line that "Beauty killed the Beast".


Thousands of fans around the world have been marking the 25th anniversary of the death of John Lennon. In his native Liverpool, messages were tied to hundreds of balloons that were released to the strains of Give Peace a Chance. At Strawberry Fields, the area of New York's Central Park a stone's throw from Lennon's apartment outside which he was murdered, a vigil took place. Fans lit candles and observed a moment of silence.

Written by BBC News Profiles Unit's Bob Chaundy


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific