Inside story of celebrity fashion

The papers and telly couldn't get enough of Kate Moss last week, and all her fans who swamped Topshop to snap up her clothes. What's the big deal?

Celebrities turning their 'talents' to clothing is absolutely nothing new - if you can call nodding vaguely at a few drawings and samples, then signing on the dotted line and waiting for the cash to roll in 'talent'.

And besides, does anyone really think that Kate herself would wear this stuff? She's hardly your down-to-earth high street honey, is she? And that's why we all love her.

I think it's amazing how she's bounced back after the drugs stuff. It's not that long ago that everyone was nervously distancing themselves from her. Celebs have been endorsing clothes for donkey's years. Michael Jordan is one of my all-time favourites, his link with Nike trainers will stick in my mind forever. And if I ever get to the gym I'll definitely be donning that famous swoosh on my feet.

There's no doubt that a famous face helps shift a product... did you need more proof than that footage of scrums in Topshop? Plenty of those eager punters had their eye on a quick eBay killing, though, rather than unblinking adoration of Ms Moss.

Hours later, that hotly-coveted pansy print dress was selling for more than �100 on the internet auction site eBay, a nice mark-up on the �45 price tag. Kate's not the only one with retail to detail. Pop queen Madonna's given H&M a whole new air of couture glamour and, er, my mate Colleen is doing a grand job for Asda. The list goes on and on.

Kylie's knickers, anyone?

Another friend of mine, the designer Colin Wolfenden, is in charge of footballer Michael Owen's range for Burton.

All Michael does, apparently, is approve the designs - and he never fusses or asks for any changes or adjustments to be made.

So far he's always said: ''Yes!'' That means Colin's the world's best mindreader as well as a cracking designer, or, er, Michael doesn't have the meticulous, hands-on role that fans might expect. Actually, it's probably the former.

All of the items in the collection have a sneaky reference to a part of Michael's life, including Bomber, his Staffordshire Bull terrier, and Midget Gem, the nickname given to him by his pals in the Liverpool team because of his height and football skills.

Key pieces in the collection include a blue V-neck T-shirt with red trim, featuring the number 10 and a patchwork Michael Owen shield, plus his dog's name Bomber.

Things don't always go swimmingly for celebs who market their own merchandise. Who on earth persuaded Jade Goody to do a perfume? She's great but I can't imagine many girls aspiring to smell like her. I chuckled to myself a couple of weeks ago when I saw it being sold for �4 at a car boot sale.

I know it doesn't fit with the showbiz image I like to project but I have to admit, I love a good car boot sale. If you spot me picking over bargains on a Sunday morning in Huddersfield, please do come and say hello.

My take on why gay BP chief felt he had to lie...

PEOPLE have been asking me what I think about the business with Lord Browne stepping down as boss of BP, after he told porkies to the High Court about how he met his boyfriend... I was even invited to talk on Radio 5 Live about this, the morning when the story broke last week.

In a nutshell, I can totally understand why Lord Browne would want to protect his sexuality from it being made public.

He grew up in different times when homophobia was rife and he clearly felt a 'white lie' to the court to save himself from exposure was insignificant.

But being gay is not such a big deal these days. Most people reading this will think he should just have come out. Who would have been bothered?

I know closeted people such as footballers, pop stars, TV executives, and judges. I shout about being gay but not everyone's an extrovert like that, and whyshould they be? I didn't always feel so carefree about my sexuality. I remember in the 1980s when I was working for a large leisure chain, I was mortified about my bosses finding out I was gay.

Then, when they did discover my secret, pressure was put on my manager to sack me - the higher echelons were worried that even shares in the company would be affected if people got to know I was a gay man working in an entertainment arena that drew in thousands of teenage customers.

Today that kind of attitude would be totally stamped upon, and rightly so.


Strange world of Boy George

BIZARRELY, Boy George was arrested and released on bail after a 28-year-old man accused him of ''false imprisonment and common assault'' at his flat in London's trendy Shoreditch.

I'm just glad that George didn't report me to the police when I unwittingly locked him in my back-to-back house in Bramley, Leeds, in the early 1990s.

I've told this story before so I'll give you an abridged version - he was DJing for me at a venue and I had no money to put him up in a hotel. I offered him my house and went to kip at my mum's, locking him in as I only had one key.

When I returned in the morning he was already up and about and thought I'd abandoned him - he was absolutely fuming with anger! I think he still bears a grudge to this day and he always seems upremely grumpy whenever I run into him.