FROM RAGS TO RICHES
by Keith Harris
Strange how some people cannot stomach the truth and would lie to conceal it. The editor of this website and this article added material relating to Hurley’s rise to fame, on the Wilkipedia website. All references to this information, which linked to this article, have been deleted from Wilkipedia by the so-called site ‘editors’.
It is rare for the society and celebrity mags to bring out any edition that doesn't contain something about Liz Hurley. Yet few of any items yet published about the English model turned actress tell anything of her background. Just where did this woman come from and how did she make her way to superstardom?
You won't find the reality of Liz’s rise to stardom in any of the society or entertainment publications, or in many locations on the Internet including Wilkepedia, unless you type Elizabeth Hurley Winchester into your search. You will however find it here.
Certainly back in 1988 any thoughts of fame, riches, catwalk modelling and movie star celebrity status were probably as far removed from Liz Hurley's daily life as Pluto from the sun. Her dreams in those days were widening from her early thoughts of becoming a dancer.
In those warm summer swelter days the young Liz would often be seen tarrying on the steps of The Buttercross monument in the pedestrianised precinct of Winchester city in Hampshire, England, where she spent time as a youngster with her grandmother. She was also attending college at Basingstoke at the time.
In those days of '88, she still sported punk clothes and blended with the New Age Travellers who clustered around the base of the monument and sat in the grounds of nearby Winchester Cathedral.
Among other things, Winchester is famous for its annual Hat Fair, the longest running street theatre extravaganza in Europe. It attracts professional and amateur street performers and musicians from all over the globe for its three-day duration, thanks to Jonathan Kay, who moved the Hat Fair from its non-starting point in London to Winchester, where it took off with gusto. The city is hardly mentioned when it comes on down to one of its better known star protégés, Liz Hurley.
The local newspaper, the Winchester Extra, had teamed up with a modelling agency, hairdressing firm and fashion chain to run an annual Face Of The Year contest.. Liz entered the contest.
There was little cost involved for the competitors, who received a free make-over and hair styling courtesy of Guy Kremer, international hairdresser of the year award winner for several years running. Clothing was also provided by local businessesall each entrant required was themself.
Yet its funny how some folk will choose to forget the reality of their past. Its odd too how some will also try to climb aboard a bandwagon of their own make believe.
On the day of the contest she was unrecognisable from the girl who'd appeared almost a street urchin in the city streets. Despite stiff competition from over a dozen original entrants Liz made it into the final and then swept first prize with ease.
Part of the winnings was a year's modelling contract with a top London agency and from that moment there was no going back.
I joined the newspaper the year afer Liz scopped the prize but it was not until over two years later that I discovered how she had herself been discovered. My work at the news office kept me busy and although I walked past a framed photograph on the wall of the reception area, I never took a really close look at it and no-one in the building told me about it.
When one day I finally took a closer look at the picture, it proved to be the first second and third prize winners of the contest, with Liz in the centre receiving first prize. It was her first big break in the world.
The newspaper had never followed up on their discovery. Successive journalists had come and gone and it just slipped by.
In 1994 I contacted Liz's London-based agency with a view to compiling such a follow up story. As the paper's chief reporter I decided it was time to call in the count.
It proved a difficult task to begin. At first, her agency was somewhat unhelpful, almost obstructive in its response. Liz, they said, was in New York working on a new film and was "too busy to be interviewed".
A week later I called again and met with the same response except that this time I was told they'd let her know of my request. Several weeks then went by with no word back and getting miffed I called the agency again. No, they'd not contacted Liz, she was too busy and anyway wouldn't want to be interviewed, was the narcissistic response.
War had been declared. Here I was trying to put together a local girl makes good story for the newspaper that launched her into the big time only to meet pompous individuals who were too busy admiring themselves in the gilt mirrors probably made possible by the very success of their sibling.
"Listen," I quietly explained. "If you don't get me an interview with Liz and pretty quick too, I'm gonna write a story about just how damned unhelpful you are in recognising that if it were not for a certain local newspaper you wouldn't even be her agent."
This initial sabre rattle worked and a few weeks later an appointment date was arranged for May, 1995.
I quit the newspaper and England in April the same year. So Liz, I didn't forget. We just ain't had chance to meet is all.
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