HOME > PHOTOSHOOTS > 2012 > THE TIMES MAGAZINE
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I am on my way to meet Tulisa when her manager calls to tell me there’s been an emergency of such magnitude that our interview is off. The previous night, in preparation for the Times photoshoot with Rankin, Tulisa had her long black hair dyed blonde. “But it didn’t take properly,” says the manager. “She’s gone ginger and now she’s in a total flap.”
Questions ricochet between The Times, Rankin, the manager and the distressed, Titian-tressed singer herself. Can the pictures be digitally de-gingered? Yes, apparently. But this isn’t sufficient. Tulisa will be blonde and we must all wait until this is achieved. Which could be many hours. How am I fixed for doing the interview, say, late tonight (it is now 1pm)? Eventually, after I convey my restrained displeasure and kill four hours wandering around shops in the rain, I report to a West London salon, closed to other customers so that its staff may concentrate upon the alchemy of turning ginger into gold.
Tulisa, 24, greets me from the backwash. She has a lovely clean-lined, classical profile. Apologetic for wasting my time, she nonetheless believes it was unavoidable. Clearly, the idea of being photographed with locks of less than perfect hue didn’t cross her mind. But I suppose if my debut single had gone to No 1, I had a new album to promote and the whole scabrous internet was waiting to bitch about my grooming mishaps, I too might make the world wait for my hair. “I never thought I’d see the day,” she says as colourists mix bleach paste, “when Tulisa would be a ginge.”
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