Broadcaster, Journalist and Author Paula Yates would’ve turned 56 years old today had she still been alive. A prominent celebrity figure throughout the 80s and 90s, Paula was both admired and disliked by the public for sexing up 80s TV and her colourful private life. I was a big fan of Paula and miss her eccentric nature, quirkiness and free-spirit.
Paula Elizabeth Yates was born in North Wales on the 24th April, 1959. After entering a career as a rock journalist, Paula mixed with the elite musicians and celebs catapulting her from a columnist in the Record Mirror to UK TV screens (The Tube, The Big Breakfast). She started dating Boomtown Rats frontman, Bob Geldof in 1976 (they married in 1986) and the couple had three daughters Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom and Little Pixie. Bob’s activism and involvement with the infamous Band Aid project blended with Paula’s glamour and quirkiness made them a power couple. Their marriage famously dissolved in 1995 when Paula left Bob for INXS rocker and sex symbol, Michael Hutchence.
Hooked up with Michael propelled greater public interest in Paula. The couple had a daughter Heavenly HiraaniTiger Lily in 1996 and planned to get married. Paula was deliriously in love with Michael and it appeared as though she’d tamed the wild man. Tragically it wasn’t to be when Michael was found dead in a hotel room in his native Australia in 1997. Understandably, Paula was heartbroken and the nation watched her sink into herself (custody battles with Bob, suicide attempts). She never regained her spark, looked unkempt and dishevelled in public and seemingly lost her will to live as she died from an “accidental” heroin overdose 17th September, 2000.
A further twist to Paula’s sad story, is that her second daughter, Peaches died in 2014 mirroring her own fatal end… Peaches died at home from a heroin overdose in the presence of her youngest child (Tiger Lily was with Paula at the time of her death).
If Paula were alive today I’m sure she’d still be in the field of broadcasting, stirring up controversy on social media, winding up Bob but most importantly, loving her daughters. I’m also certain that had she not fallen in love again, a few wild affairs would’ve taken place. Russell Brand would’ve been a perfect conquest for Paula.
So here’s a toast to the lady who (in my personal opinion) was to UK Broadcasting what Madonna was to the music industry back in the 80s… Strong, sexy, alluring and most definitely a rebel.