Flak? It is Better Best Forgotten says Claire Richards
■ Steps star on coping with insults
CLAIRE Richards is warning celebs not to retaliate when they come under fire… as it can only make things worse.
She waded in after Loose Women presenter Stacey Solomon rejected an apology from Now magazine after it splashed her bikini snap on the cover and branded her ‘boring’, ‘desperate’ and ‘cheap’.
The Steps singer, who has spent a lot of time facing down speculation over her fluctuating weight, feels the best approach is to remain silent.
‘I’m not saying she [Stacey] is wrong, but by retaliating and feeding it, sometimes it does make it worse and prolongs it,’ explained the 41-year-old, going solo for the first time with her new single On My Own. ‘I would just want to ignore it… don’t give the satisfaction of a response.’
The Better Best Forgotten singer is thankful social media didn’t exist at the height of her fame.
‘Everything is so focused on appearance, which has got worse over the years, but I feel like social media has made it ten times worse,’ she said. ‘It’s easier for people to attack other people.
‘Especially women. Women are horrible to women. Back in the day if something was printed in a magazine you would see it or you wouldn’t, and that would be the end of it.
‘But people who don’t buy Now magazine have now seen that because it’s all over social media. It makes everything ten times bigger.’
Claire has never forgotten the advice she was given by music producer Pete Waterman. ‘He said to me, “Today’s news is tomorrow’s chip paper”,’ she added. ‘That always stayed with me because awful as it may have been on that day, it would have been forgotten about. It’s not that easy now.’
But she has no such worries these days. ‘I am really happy — personally, professionally. I’m over 40. I’ve finally got to a point where that kind of stuff doesn’t matter. It’s definitely passing the 40 mark. I don’t know why.
‘I was dreading it because I’m the youngest in the band. It’s almost like a switch went in my head and I thought, “I get it now”.’
And just because Claire has a solo single, it’s not the end of Steps, whose album Tears On The Dancefloor last year was only held off the No.1 spot by Ed Sheeran. ‘We are going to carry on and do another album,’ she said.
Author: Andrei Harmsworth