Something very strange is going on. Every time I go out for a run, or go to the gym, I see celebrities working out everywhere. Surely south London – Catford, Lewisham, Lee – hasn’t suddenly become the destination of choice for the A List set?
The favourite at the moment is Janet Jackson. She must live around the corner from me in Hither Green as she is either out running or on her bike every other day.
This Janet is really quite something. I’m never certain which era she is channeling – mainly her chubby 80s vibe – as it seems to vary every other month. I first spotted her jogging down Lewisham High Street last year wearing bright pink leg warmers with matching sweat bands, shiny leggings, a thick leather belt and massive hair. I couldn’t help but gawk at this wondrous being who looked like she had sashayed straight off the video set for ‘When I Think of You’. And jeepers, the amount of make-up she was wearing could have easily provided the foundation for a new build in the area.
And then there is Penelope Keith, from her Good Life days. I see her in Greenwich when the Catford chavs start getting on my wick and I divert my route.
This woman is remarkable. I’ve never seen anyone so perfectly made up when going out for a run. Her hair is always up in a frizz-less slick bun, and the red lipstick and shimmering gold eye-shadow remain intact. She doesn’t even break a sweat in her crisp white all-in-one tracksuit. I’ve tried to get a look up close but had to stop for fear of her calling the police.
Finally, there’s 50 Cent. There are loads of him in Fitness First, Lewisham. Every time I go in there I think I’m having quadruple vision. There he is hitting the free weights, giving some on the cable and pull-up machines and throwing down some heavy sets of press ups. I even think he’s one of the personal trainers, too.
So there it is – South London is crawling with stars all addicted to fitness. I wonder who I’m going to bump into next? I’m sure I saw the back of Katy Perry yesterday pegging it down Lee High Road…