Alison Jackson invented fake news before most of us were fully aware of what it really meant. Sadly, we now do.
Whilst we didn’t believe ALL we read in the newspapers, apart of course from the Daily Mail (ho ho), we were certainly more trusting and gullible. No more.
Take mini-series such as Homeland, The West Wing, Hatufim etc. The truth is that fiction is now more believable than reality. It must make the life of drama writers difficult. Trying to keep up with current happenings in the world, only to discover your ‘idea’ isn’t so original. It’s already been ‘done’, but for real.
With politicians such as Trump, Putin, Boris and Corbyn to name just a few, we are in a pretty bad place. I mean could you invent them? To say they share an economy of truthfulness would be an understatement. And we are in a bit of a pickle.
Alison Jackson has turned fake news into entertainment and her own, unique art form. No one is spared her gimlet eye: mega-star footballers, movie people, royalty and her favourite politicians.
Many years ago, TheEye was invited by Alison to go on a Christmas special shoot for O.K. Magazine taking place in a ‘country house’ style hotel which had seen better days somewhere on Richmond Common.
It was late November, pouring with rain and getting dark.
As TheEye walked in she was confronted by the sight of ‘The Queen‘ drinking tea from a mug and eating a bag of crisps, three overexcited corgis snapping at her ankles and any other ankle they could get their sharp little teeth into.
There was a large Christmas tree with electric coloured lights in the corner. Most bizarre was a table of 4 locals having tea and carrying on with their chit-chat as if Alison’s antics were normal. But then, what is normal?
The shoot progressed and the TheEye spotted a family of Beckhams making their way down a spiral staircase. A very pregnant Posh, as she was called in her pre-dress designer days. It was many years ago and she was pregnant with her third son. Young Brooklyn and Cruz (or was it Romeo?) were there being bribed by Jackson’s assistants, with copious amounts of sweets not to unplug the Christmas tree lights and put the socket in their mouths.
It was all quite an experience.
‘Shot To Fame’ the Alison Jackson show, illustrates scenes we have all imagined but never actually seen.
The secrets celebrities hope to keep behind their firmly closed, padlocked doors. What is it that so fascinates us about the phenomenon of celebrity? At The Soho Theatre downstairs for a limited time, see and hear Alison explain how she finds (often stalks) possible lookalikes. It took her 2 years to find the right ‘Donald‘ and once she did, it was the skill of makeup and most importantly the wonderful wig that transformed him into the dead ringer of the man we all love to hate.
With others, Kim Kardashian for example, Jackson uses some of the contents from her ‘magic box‘ to model the shape of her figure. We’re talking both ends. Bosom and bum.
At the show members of the audience who felt they had lookalike potential were asked to go on stage to be judged by the audience who voted for the most similar looking volunteer. Once Alison cast her forensic eye and given approval they were transformed by hairdressers, makeup artists and vital props….hey presto, a new star emerged.
Just watch the faces of people reading O.K., Hello and Grazia and lapping it up.
Everyone has an appetite for gossip fodder it seems. The Daily Mail would be bereft of readers without spilling the dirt on celebs, who by the way, court publicity themselves, cry foul when it’s not to their liking.
Fake news or alternative facts? What is the difference?
Ask Alison Jackson.
© All photographs courtesy Alison Jackson