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Notion 063 Dialogue: Jackie Collins

She’s a household name and she’s simply faaaaabulous darling. Simon Glazin meets the inimitable Jackie Collins. Get your copy of Notion 063 here.

Field Notes

  1. Jackie’s 29th book, The Power Trip, is out now.
  2. The Dorchester Afternoon Tea is gorgeous and is £41 per person.
  3. Jackie’s favourite watch is her Chanel J12, her perfume is Angel by Thierry Mugler and her face cream is Boots’ Protect and Perfect.
  4. Jackie lives alone in Beverly Hills.


I don’t usually get nervous when interviewing a celebrity, but meeting Jackie Collins is, let’s face it, like meeting the Queen, so when her assistant told me “she’ll be down in two minutes”, I wasn’t surprised when my mouth went dry and my palms decided to sweat. Sitting amongst London’s richest and chicest in the grandeur of the Dorchester Hotel doesn’t help either. It’s Jackie’s favorite London hotel, naturally.

As I catch a glimpse of Jackie snaking her way through the tables of eager tea drinkers, time actually stands still. Here is my literary idol, one of my favourite women on the planet, making her way towards me, to talk to me. I stand to greet her, decide a curtsy isn’t really appropriate, and so instead opt for a “Hi Jackie, I’m Simon” with a gentle handshake.

“Simon! Hi. So good to meet you finally!”

I immediately clock Jackie’s oh-so-fabulous pin stripped trouser suit, pretty much her uniform since the 80s. I love this woman.

I must just add here that Jackie and myself have indulged in a short but sweet Twitter friendship, starting before this visit to London, so she did actually know who I was.

We sit opposite each other, which gives me ample opportunity to get utterly mesmerized by Jackie’s perfectly blow-dried hair, expertly painted face (“When I travel I do my own hair, makeup and nails. I don’t like the fuss” she tells me) and glittering diamonds; on her fingers, ears and decorating her décolletage. “So how are enjoying London?” I ask. And from that first question, we don’t stop talking, like a couple of girlfriends having a good ol’ natter.

Deep in conversation, we realize after what seems like hours that on the table in front of us is a spread of the most exquisite afternoon tea. I reach for a cake, Jackie places three sandwiches on her plate, I grab the champagne bottle and offer to pour her a glass, “Oh not for me Simon, I’ve got another four interviews after you, radio and TV, I can’t turn up drunk! Tea for me.”  It would make for funny content though, I reply. I ask what she loves to do when not immersed in full schedule, promoting mode: “TV. I’m obsessed with Tevo: Homeland, Dexter, Revenge. All the action-packed shows.” Well she does need some inspiration for her novels, after penning 29 bonkbusters.

I move onto fashion, and ask how important sartorial detail is when she is writing her characters to which she replies, “To be honest, it’s more about the women coming across as being powerful and independent.” And what does it mean to her? “I’m not a dedicated follower of fashion. Over the years I have developed my own particular style and I stick with it. Fancy gowns are not my scene.” On this one occasion, I’ll forgive a woman for saying that. “Well you always look FABULOUS” I can’t help but say, not that it needed a reply.

“Great jewelry always helps though” Jackie adds, “I have lots of watches, and I do love diamonds, but what woman doesn’t?”

Just when I forget for a moment that I am face to face with a living Hollywood legend and not actually a friend, she brings me back to reality when I ask where she likes to go on the weekends: “I love going to Las Vegas, but I take a limo as I hate flying” A limo? To Las Vegas? “Or I hang out with my daughters and sister and her husband”. Another realization bomb explodes in my head – her sister is Joan Collins. OMG. I expect her to be as dumb-founded as me, but why would she? It’s nothing new to her.

That’s the thing about Jackie, she’s incredibly ‘normal’, despite her multi-million dollar worth, super star status and bevy of famous friends. She is, in actual fact, exactly as I imagined her to be: funny, extremely warm, down to earth, friendly and not phased by anything. Even when I ask her if she’s read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, she offers a very fair response: “No I haven’t, my daughter read one of them and told me I was mentioned, but she’s [author E L James] doing her thing and I’m still doing mine.”

My final question to her, before we kiss goodbye and promise to stay in touch forever more, is what are her thoughts on growing old? She replies, without even a moment’s thought: “As Mark Twain once said, ‘Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter’”.

Like what you see?! Well of course you do. You can see the rest of the pictures from this fab shoot in the latest copy of Notion 063 available here or on your iPad/ iPad mini through our wonderful app

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