Lily England, PA to Cheryl Cole
Lily gets to shadow Cheryl. Lucky girl!
Job description Has this girl got the best job in the world or what? Lily is Cheryl’s shadow, assisting her everywhere she goes. Remember when Cheryl, 28, went to visit troops in Afghanistan? Lily bunked up with her in a not-so-swanky tent. Front row at a recent Coldplay gig? That was Lily next to Chezza. Over in LA recording Cheryl’s new album, backstage at The X Factor – you get the picture.
Lily made it into Cheryl’s inner circle by being the ultimate Girl Friday. She not only deals with all aspects of Cheryl’s life, from organising her travel to sorting out her wardrobe, but is a close confidante and shoulder to cry on.
As one of Cheryl’s closest friends, Lily’s racked up over 11,000 Twitter followers by charting her life with the star. And have we mentioned she gets paid for this high living? Not bad for a 26 year old from Essex.
Rebecca Deacon, PA to the Duchess of Cambridge
Rebecca’s on hand to help Kate’s schedule run royally
Job description Rebecca, 29, deals with all of Kate’s public duties, from carrying her hairbrush to taking gifts from well-wishers. But with the uber-posh title of Assistant Private Secretary, Rebecca’s chief duty is organising K-Middy’s packed diary.
As is fitting for the role, Rebecca is well bred, attending The Royal School in Bath before studying at Newcastle University. William first worked with her in 2007 when she was an assistant to producers at the Concert For Diana, and she has also worked for Sentebale, Harry’s African orphan charity. Most importantly, though, Kate, 30, trusts her, so it seems she’s in royal life for keeps.
Gareth Varey, PA to Tulisa Contostavlos
Tulisa and Gareth party in Miami
Job description From backing dancer for N-Dubz to Tulisa’s best mate/PA, Gareth, 26, spends more time with Tulisa than anyone else. The two are so tight he has Tulisa’s name tattooed on his ankle. Now that’s real dedication…
She returns the love by making him a constant companion while frolicking on beaches, getting drunk in hotel rooms and visiting sex shops (as you do). Tulisa, 23, even gave him a role in her latest video for single Young. After all, Hertfordshire-born Gareth earned his stripes bustin’ moves for Chipmunk, Ironik and the Sugababes before he gave it all up to be her assistant full time. But the role is not without its considerable spoils. He gets to party with The Female Boss. A lot.
Brett Miller, PA to Britney Spears
Brett with Britney on the set of Glee. Jealous? Us?
Job description She’s been by Britters’ side since 2007, through the highs and the very, very lows. The infamous meltdown, head shaving and hospitalisation in 2008? Yep, Brett was there, incredibly loyal when less devoted PAs would have left such a troubled boss.
Brett describes the pop star as one of her “closest friends” and even asked her to be her bridesmaid. She also got to do a photo shoot with Britney, 30, for V magazine, and hung out backstage when Britney appeared on Glee. Well jel!
We reckon now Britney’s cleaned up her act, she’d be an ace boss. In fact, can we apply when you leave, Brett?
Want to be an A-lister’s right-hand woman? Deborah Shaw, co-president of the Association of Celebrity Assistants UK tells us how it’s done.
- Play the long game Start off by working in the relevant industry. For example, if you’d love to be a singer’s PA, get a job at a record label and work up. You could earn up to £75,000 working for a high-profile celebrity.
- Get networking Celeb PA jobs are rarely advertised. Put yourself in situations where you’re likely to meet the right people and sell your skills to them.
- Get organised One day you’ll be booking plane tickets, and the next you’ll be sorting fan mail. You must be able to think ahead and plan for every eventuality.
- Silence is golden All celebrity PAs sign a confidentiality agreement and it’s crucial that you’re discreet. You should be able to blend into the background and remember your job is all about making your boss’ life easier – it’s never about you.
The power of the PA
Today’s celebs can’t bear to be parted from their PAs, but what makes them so valuable? Psychotherapist Mark Bradley explains: “Celebrities exist in a world of scrutiny, and the only other person at the centre of the drama is their PA. They understand their boss’ life in a way ‘normal’ people can’t because they see it first-hand. This makes them a confidante, and breeds an emotional dependence.
Some celebrities are friends with their PAs, but they’re not proper friendships. We make friends based on shared interests, not a business agreement. Friends do things because they like you, not because they’re paid to. So celebs and their PAs need to remember it’s a working relationship. A good PA provides support in a celebrity’s chaotic life – as long as both parties recognise where the boundaries lie.”