Myra is the godfather Iceland Gandhi of the family… aka mother. Taking on the enviable role of going to the shops in pyjama bottoms for a Pot Noodle, she’s the faulty Jesus enthusiast that preaches good over bad, but can’t resist the odd cheeky shoplifting activity to keep her family at their council-estate-fabulous prime. I quizzed Myra on the phone over this godly hypocrisy, and she had a feisty word to say that immediately converted me to her cult.
“You can be religious without going to church, but above all I’m a mother. There’s always a different side to Myra. She’s trial and error, trying one thing, then another!” You certainly can’t argue with someone who speaks in third person, such is the power of Madam Myra!
Then there comes the body-con Northern twang Mafia… the daughters. Carmel is a blonde bombshell with a Barbie addiction to pink and being a sexy nun. Jacqui is a playful jailbird thug that likes to wear scrunchies and leather upon leather. Theresa and Michaela are the youngsters that totter around in hooker heels, falling in love everyday like a Disney sketch with a difference. Then there’s Mercedes, Chester’s answer to The Kardashians. If you’ve got a husband, she’ll sleep with him; if she can’t, she’ll ruin you. All of this in a bodacious outfit with a touch of fake tan. Don’t the McQueens just sound delicious?
You’d be forgiven for assuming the Queen’s jubilee isn’t just about the Middleton sisters, as the Northern ‘It girls’ are making sure they crash the party on our TV screens. Turns out the day is triple booked with Michaela’s birthday, and Myra’s drug bust-up-cover-up court case. A hint of harmony is served with the tacky platter at the start though…
Michaela even told me how “the jubilee platter will involve sausage rolls and a foil hedgehog with pineapple chunks that Myra made herself!”
Mercedes and Jacqui also call a sisterly truce after husband-flirting and all that horny nonsense, and a childhood video discovery reminds them of the mega LOLs they’ve all shared. But just when you think it’s a surreal soap moment where drama has been exorcised out of the building, Michaela has a teenage huff about being upstaged by the Queen on her big day.
“She’s selfish and feels out of sync. Michaela is struggling to find her place in the pecking order of the McQueens, as if she’s done a full circle and gone back to being the young one of the pack again.”
Mercedes clocks that there’s more to Lynsey and Riley and cracks a wine glass, oh, and Myra’s court case verdict comes knocking at the door. The Queen would be oh-so flustered in her lemon yellow ensemble if she were caught up in this. It’s for these erratic reasons and fabulous shambles that we love the trashy family though.
Michaela told me how “everyone relates to us in some way – we totally have Jeremy Kyle appeal!” Jacqui backed this biography on the phone to me too: “Us McQueens are all so different, but the same blood. We’re white trash, but loveable white trash. We all have our own morals, break our own boundaries and rules, but in an honest way. I think all people can relate to that.” She might be a jailbird, but she’s a clever bird that Jacqui McQueen. You can always trust someone who wears a Claire’s Accessories scrunchie!
So in an ideal world, The McQueens would clearly be candidates for the Royal Family. I asked them how this would go down…
Michaela: “Mercedes would probably still sleep with everyone and I’d have a go for Harry, as he’s rough around the edges. We’d compete over who’s more naturally ginge!”
Jacqui: “I’d go for Harry too: he’s the rebel. I’d also probably be involved with the London riots, and would demand my own reality show.” Fashion wise, Jacqui would get her leopard and PVC outfit on, slick her hair back like a council estate runway model, look in the mirror before facing the nation, and simply go… “I look really nice.” The nation agrees. Fashion Week front row looms. And of course her scruffy companion, Terry the dog, would be the Paris Hilton pooch of the UK. Jacqui told me “it was an honour working with Terry. He couldn’t make the jubilee episode though as he had prior engagements with Keira Knightley. Seriously, he did!”
Myra: “We’d be a shambles. I’d try and give everything to everyone, putting the country in financial crisis! Oh, and I’d probably be stealing, not borrowing! I’m sure there’d be royal scandal too; it’d be revealed that I’d had another child with someone else, or that my sister was actually my mum.” All isn’t doom and gloom for Myra’s Queenly dreams though. “I’d pop over to Corrie though and pinch Tony Hurst for a date, as he was one of the few men who took me for who I am. Most men are scared of me!?”
The McQueens Jubilee Special airs June 4th
Bart: All clothes: Mirja Rosendahl