My Mum who lives a quite life in Essex knows who she is, Chris Moyles knows her name & everybody knows what she looks like with her clothes off.
Five years ago in a basement nightclub in central London I gallivanted around with drinks tokens in hand, wearing a shirt back to front, had freshly bleached eyebrow and a painted on a Hitler tash for a 'Friday night off' look. I was off to meet Sue Tilley for the first time, being a Leigh fan for all of 10 minutes I was fascinated with who or what this woman known as 'Big Sue' was. Over copious bottles of V - a delightful alcopop with various E numbers - I learnt no one called her 'Big Sue' and she was just as interested in real weirdos, gossip and scandal as I was, I also took to calling her Ms Tilley for quite some time for some unknown reason.
It turned out Sue lived in an area not too far from where I grew up and Sue being Sue invited me over for a cup of tea & cake - Sue doesn't like tea, she prefers Diet Coke to which I quickly became attuned. Over more cans of cola, cake and chats about freaks I asked Sue if she would like to do some photos with Ellis Scott for fun, of course she jumped at the opportunity to have her photo taken and so our friendship was born.
In some bizarre turn of events Camden council gave me a council house that was next door to Sue's - I think they like to keep all the strange folk in one area - we have various tranny neighbours that are a source of alot of our telephone calls. Since moving here 3 years ago she has become Aunty Sue - she washes my clobber, makes my tea & drives me to Morrisons. We love nothing more than to watch various cookery shows her 46" TV while she bakes cakes - this is a skill I think the rest of the world should know above all about Sue - she is an amazing baker (and I'm happy to scoff her experiments)!
Ofcourse many people know Sue from her touching account of Leighs life - 'The life & times of an Icon" - the book has just been digitalised for the Kindle, ipad etc and Sue was asked to write an update, before writing this we joked it would be quite a quick chapter that contained "he died, shes dead, he's dying". A few weeks ago Sue handed me her new Kindle toy and I read the last chapter - I was dead impressed to be included in her update and also rather touched.
From getting drunk in a club that is now an excavated hole, soon to be Crossrail in central London to Aunty Sue, my bizarre neighbour who always comments on my love for women's jackets and donor to my 1647 French & Teague clothes collection - to paraphrase her favourite (& most overly used) word - Aunty Sue is a marvel.
Buy the book, its digital and if your lucky, like me Sue will change your life.
Lorra Love Aunty Sue X
E-Edition here -