9 Gail Rebuck recalls her depiction as 'a Barbie doll who crunched diamonds between her teeth' in the UK press


I think the response of the press in the UK was a degree of incredulity, really. Oh my goodness me, what’s happened here? You know, this is really unprecedented and unusual. And …

Unprecedented and unusual because?

I was a woman. There was a lot of speculation as to why I had been chosen and of course women fell into two categories, broadly speaking as far as the male press was concerned. You were either totally compliant, you know, some kind of assistant helper, the ideal PA. Or, at the other end of the scale, you were a complete gorgon. There was absolutely nothing in between; there was no normal, if you like. There was no balance. And, I clearly wasn’t the former, so I think they kind of assumed that I would be the latter and that’s where that phrase which came out actually from Private Eye that I was “a Barbie Doll who crunched diamonds between her teeth,” and it stuck and was much repeated. And then I think once that image was established it just got fed and fed over years and years. And it was something I could never really escape from.

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