In recent years, there's been a pattern of big celebs that have been previously tagged as vacuous getting their own back by being deadpan hilarious. One of which is Victoria Beckham, whose recent Vogue cover came with a viral online video where she sends up every stereotype that the artist formerly known as Posh Spice has portrayed over the last 22 years she's been in our lives. The other is Nicole Richie. The former best friend of Paris Hilton and former party girl has found her niche as Portia Scott-Griffin on Netflix's Great News.
If you bear any grudge against her reality show past, now is the time to let go
The first season of Great News is waiting for you to binge on in one sitting – or two if you have a life – and it should open up the sparkling world of Richie, your new VBF. During her stint on The Simple Life, the reality show where she travelled across America with Hilton, working different jobs to shed their rich girl image, Richie was the one who delivered the droll lines that outshone Hilton's hollow drawl of "That's hot". If you bear any grudge against her reality show past, now is the time to let go. Open up your heart and let this rocket in.
World of privilege
The daughter of Lionel Richie and goddaughter of Michael Jackson, Richie was born into a world of privilege. Socialising with the Kardashians, Lindsay Lohan, Ashlee Simpson, the Olsen Twins, actors from The OC and cast members of The Hills for most of her life and prolifically throughout her early 20s, she was very much one of the The It Girls between the years 2004 and 2007, despite a high-profile falling out with BFF Hilton. The Simple Life propelled a ditsy and spoiled lifestyle, one that was clad in Juicy Couture velour tracksuits and accompanied by a tiny dog, a giant handbag and monstrous designer sunglasses at all times and occasionally dodging prison sentences for DUIs due to overcrowding in Los Angeles jails. Richie and Hilton are part of the first wave of reality stars that dragged their 15 minutes into lifelong careers, one that so many have tried to copy.
But where Hilton delved further into the Barbie-esque image she created, and continued to earn billions through sponsorship deals, clothing lines and a singing career, Richie became more private. Now a mother of two and married to Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden (fun fact: his twin, Benji, is married to Cameron Diaz, making Richie and Diaz sisters-in-law), Richie began to dabble in acting and producing her own reality series Candidly Nicole, which aired on VH1, as well as penning a semi-autobiographical novel, The Truth About Diamonds. Candidly Nicole put the star in a different light. She wasn't afraid to make fun of her reputation – calling in her dad and sister Sofia to assist – but instead of playing dumb again, she used this show as an opportunity to flaunt her comedic timing and her knack for subtle slapstick, captured perfectly when she attempts synchronised swimming with professionals.
It was only a matter of time before someone snapped her up for a sitcom and no better women than 30 Rock writer Tracey Wigfield, who created Great News, and Tina Fey, the show's executive producer. With almost every sentence laced with a joke, Great News follows the chaos created by the team at a local news channel with Richie playing the celebrity news co-anchor who asks great questions such as "What is soup again?". Although prematurely cancelled after its second season, Netflix users in Ireland have some time until our Great News love comes to a halt. While Richie's past is painted with the brush of Paris Hilton's BFF, her future is with us as our VBF. This is indeed... Great News.