Christine Hamilton

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Christine Hamilton
Christine Hamilton, March 2008.jpg
Born Mary Christine Holman
(1949-11-10) 10 November 1949 (age 64)
Bournemouth, Hampshire, England[1]
Occupation Media personality, public speaker
Spouse(s) Neil Hamilton

Mary Christine Hamilton (née Holman; born 10 November 1949) is an English media personality and author. She has been married to Neil Hamilton, the former Conservative Member of Parliament for Tatton, since 1983.

In recent years Hamilton and her husband have become prominent supporters of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), with Neil standing for a local council seat in the 2014 local elections.[2] Neil Hamilton's application to become a European parliamentary candidate for UKIP had been rejected in 2013, though he had been elected to UKIP's National Executive Committee in 2011.[3]

Early life[edit]

Hamilton's father was a GP in Ringwood, Hampshire and she grew up in the New Forest area. She attended Wentworth College, an independent boarding school for girls in Bournemouth[4] and a co-educational Grammar School in Christchurch, Dorset. She then studied sociology at the University of York and first met Neil Hamilton when they both attended a student political conference.[5][6]

Career[edit]

MPs Secretary[edit]

Hamilton spent many years working as secretary to various Conservative MPs, first Wilfred Proudfoot MP for Brighouse and Spenborough, then Gerald Nabarro, MP for South Worcestershire.[7] She notably stood behind Nabarro as he spoke on the steps of Winchester Court after being cleared of an apparent motoring offence.[7] Hamilton worked as her husband's secretary following their 1983 marriage. Neil Hamilton eventually reached the post of Minister for Corporate Affairs between 1992 and 1994 in Prime Minister John Major's government. Neil Hamilton became embroiled in the Cash-for-questions affair, and the former BBC broadcaster Martin Bell stood against him for the Tatton seat at the 1997 general election. Bell campaigned as an ‘anti-sleaze’ candidate, and Christine Hamilton notably confronted him during a televised press conference on Knutsford Heath, which bought her to public prominence.[8] Hamilton would later describe the confrontation with Bell as "...the making of me."[8] The journalist John Sweeney would later publish Purple Homicide, an account of the campaign for the Tatton seat.[9] Neil Hamilton's later failure in a libel case against the Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed would lead to her husband's bankruptcy.

Entertainment personality[edit]

After Hamilton's electoral defeat, Christine and her husband appeared together on the satirical BBC quiz show Have I Got News for You, an appearance that established her as a chat-show personality and she subsequently appeared on myriad programmes including her own Christine Hamilton Show on BBC Choice where she interviewed celebrities who suffered some form of adversity, including Jonathan Aitken, James Hewitt, Bernard Manning, Ivana Trump, and Paul Merson and John Fashanu. The Hamiltons were the subjects of an episode of Louis Theroux's 2001 documentary series When Louis Met....[10]

Hamilton has described herself as a "media butterfly"[11] and has appeared on a variety of television shows since her husbands electoral defeat. Hamilton came third in the first series of the reality television programme, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2002,[11] and reached the final of Celebrity Masterchef in 2010.[12] Hamilton notably appeared on Have I Got News For You in 2002 and taunted presenter Angus Deayton over recent tabloid revelations about his personal life.[13]

In the theatre, Hamilton has appeared in pantomime in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford in 2002,[14] as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at the Kettering's Lighthouse Theatre in 2011[15] and has taken the role of the narrator for The Rocky Horror Show musical.[16] Hamilton toured her one-woman show, Share an Evening with Christine Hamilton, in 2003,[17] and has appeared several times in Eve Ensler's play The Vagina Monologues, including its 2005 West End run at Wyndhams Theatre,[18] where she appeared alongside Jenny Eclair and Heather Small.[18] The Hamiltons appeared at the Edinburgh Festival in 2006 with their show, Lunch with the Hamiltons, at the Pleasance Dome in 2006.[19] Hamilton said of their show that "There's no script, so it tends to be somewhat anarchic: Neil describes it as a cross between Newsnight and Hi-De-Hi! He's right, but the emphasis is heavily on the latter."[19]

Hamilton was the face of 'British Sausage Week' in 2005 and the judge of 'Mr Gay Torbay' in 2009.[20] Hamilton legally changed her name by deed poll to 'Mrs British Battleaxe' in February 2009 as a promotion for an online deed service company.[21] She later regretted the decision.[20]

Media commentator, presenter and writer[edit]

Hamilton has appeared on numerous topical television programmes including GMTV, Loose Women, This Week, The Alan Titchmarsh Show, This Morning and The Wright Stuff.[22] Hamilton has also been a dictionary corner guest on Countdown.[23]

Hamilton also interviewed successful women in business for the digital channel Simply Money, has presented programmes on Sky Digital's Destination Lunch, and stood in for Gloria Hunniford and Fern Britton on Open House and This Morning.[24]

As a writer Hamilton published The Book of British Battleaxes in 1999, and an autobiography, For Better For Worse: Her Own Story, in 2005.[25] Hamilton has also written columns for Western Daily Press and the gay magazine Refresh.[24]

False rape allegation[edit]

Along with her husband, Christine Hamilton was arrested in May 2001 by police investigating an alleged rape that was quickly found to be entirely false. Hamilton described the experience as ".. ghastly and humiliating" and said, "The whole thing is just nonsense on stilts."[26] Their accuser, Nadine Milroy-Sloan, was later imprisoned for attempting to pervert the course of justice. The police made a full apology.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Find My Past: England & Wales births 1837 -2006 - Holman, Mary Christine Linked 2013-05-10
  2. ^ "UKIP attracts 'decent' BNP voters, says Neil Hamilton". BBC News Online. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Neil Hamilton and Ukip: it just wasn't meant to be". The Guardian. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  4. ^ The Scotsman Interview 10 May 2000 retrieved 10 May 2014
  5. ^ Christine Hamilton interview at Women Talking. Retrieved 10 May 2014
  6. ^ Christine Hamilton interview at Hampshire Life. Retrieved 10 May 2014
  7. ^ a b John Sutherland (27 December 1999). "Sir Gerald and the roundabout". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Martin Rowson (9 July 2008). "I fell helplessly in love with Christine Hamilton". The Spectator. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  9. ^ Pete Davis (19 September 1997). "Friday's book: Purple Homicide: Fear and Loathing on Knutsford Heath, John Sweeney (Bloomsbury pounds 9.99)". The Independent. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  10. ^ Matt Wells (11 December 2001). "How Christine Hamilton was taken aback by her Mrs Robinson moment". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Widdecombe and Hamilton interview transcript". BBC News Online. 16 November 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Actress Lisa Faulkner takes MasterChef title". BBC News Online. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Merton: Deayton made life a 'nightmare'". The Guardian. 11 April 2003. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  14. ^ Tom Payne (20 December 2002). "The Hamiltons hoof it". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  15. ^ "Panto fun from Neil and Christine Hamilton in Cinderella at Kettering". Northampton Chronicle and Echo. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  16. ^ Simon Hattenstone and Isabelle Chevallot (25 June 2003). "Who dares wins". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "Battleaxe? You can't mean me surely.". The Western Mail (Cardiff), published on The Free Library. 8 April 2003. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "'Neil loves being a kept man'". The Daily Mail. 17 August 2005. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  19. ^ a b Christine Hamilton (17 August 2006). "My Edinburgh: Christine Hamilton". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "Bursting with excitement". Torquay Herald Express. 16 October 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  21. ^ Jemima Kiss (10 February 2010). "PR stunts of our time #47,497: Christine Hamilton changes her name to Mrs British Battleaxe". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "The Wright Stuff: Thursday 31 March 2011". Channel 5. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  23. ^ Josh Halliday (18 January 2012). "Countdown to a naughty word on the Channel 4 quiz show". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  24. ^ a b "Christine Hamilton". Gordon Poole Talent Agency. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  25. ^ "'A whole generation of people think of me in jungle terms. To them we're just the Hamiltons. Like the Simpsons'". The Scotsman. 25 March 2005. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  26. ^ 2001: Hamiltons condemn 'sex assault' arrest at bbc.co.uk/onthisday

External links[edit]