Vogue Williams, the next Vincent Browne
Vogue Williams will say anything to anybody. Who knows what could happen if she turned her attention to politics
Vogue Williams, the ubiquitous media personality who, refreshingly, also seems to have one, has reached the ripe old age of 31.
With the attendant acceleration of her biological clock, Vogue tells us, she has become broody, imagining having a little Vogue of her own one day, or, if it’s a boy, perhaps a GQ. And though she is in a relationship right now (and is really happy), what if she wasn’t (and wasn’t)? How would Vogue take matters into her own hands?
Vogue’s new show Vogue (RTÉ 2, Tuesday, 10pm), a three-part investigation into self-sufficiency and dependency (its next chapters are on anxiety and sugar daddies), is itself a feat of alternative conception. It’s as though a documentary series had been artificially inseminated via an anonymous sitcom.
We begin with a scene of chatty informality, where Vogue and friends share pizza and their reproductive concerns. “Where are you going to get the sperm?” asks her pal Dan. The scene is slickly filmed but looks natural; one of the most photographed generations ever is oblivious to the camera.
Vogue herself makes for a model enquirer. We see her moving in languorous slow motion through sunny, hip international environments against fizzing pop music: the city is her catwalk. Her real appeal, though, is more down to earth; a kind of artless innocence. She will say anything to anybody, like Sasha Baron Cohen without the irony.
“Like, is it a brilliant ovary?” she grills her fertility specialist, during a personal examination, as though seeking top marks. “How long do they usually take with a donation?” she asks outside the cubicles of a Danish sperm bank. (Five minutes.) “So you’re getting €400 or €500 for something you’d probably do for free at home?” she asks a handsomely remunerated wanker. “You have to get an erection,” she puts it to a more directly involved donor. “So how does that happen?”
Through this research into the unconventional facts of life, Vogue is fascinatingly relentless, entirely unembarrassable, and – for someone so indelibly associated with image – winningly unselfconscious. If the Voguish Inquisition ever turned its attention to politics she could be the next Vincent Browne.
The difference is that Vogue seems genuinely interested in the answers, and, when she encounters the dissent of people born by anonymous sperm donors, she is alive to the complexities of an issue. Although the programme is overstretched over an eventually rambling hour, and might have included at least a grace note on adoption or the contentedly childless, Vogue is interested in subjects other than Vogue. I like its style.