Caitlin Moran is the most talented columnist of her generation – and the funniest too. When I heard her interview Ab Fab creator Jennifer Saunders recently, she was just as funny in real life as she is on the page.
She’s won just about every journalistic prize going and now it looks as though she’s moving into a different stratosphere. The Guardian reported this weekend that she’s written the pilot for a Channel 4 sitcom about an overweight 16 year old looking for a boyfriend. If it’s successful, it could be followed by a six-part series.
As usual, Moran has chosen a subject that every woman, whether they’re 16 or 60, can identify with. There’s no doubt about it, 16 is a tricky age for girls. They’re not children any more, but they’re not really adults either.
When I was 16 I left my ultra-strict girls’ school to go to a boys’ school that had just started taking girls. Tucked away in the wilds of Dorset, there were 30 girls and 450 boys. The girls were considered such an exotic species that 450 pairs of eyes followed us wherever we went, clocking what we were wearing, who our friends were and which boys we liked. It’s hard to believe now but some boys were so insensitive that they’d even comment on who’d put on weight and who’d lost it. One day I was about to take a bite out of a doughnut when a boy of about 14 whizzed past and plucked it from my plate. “You won’t want that,” he said. “It’ll make you fat…”
Actually, without meaning to, I got my revenge a few months later. I’m the most cack-handed person on the planet and for some reason the same boy asked me to cut his hair. I tried my best, I really did, but the result was a complete disaster – wonky fringe, too short one side and too long the other. He never asked me again…