Sunday, October 20, 2019
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Peaches Geldof: Named after a piece of fruit

Peaches Geldof wrote a column for the Telegraph when she was just 14. Though there were obvious accusations of nepotism, her editor at the time remembers a humour and fluency to her writing that belied her tender years.

“Why do the rich and famous give their children such ridiculous names?” she wrote, shortly after Gwyneth Paltrow announced she had called her firstborn Apple.

“Mine has haunted me all of my life, and will continue to do so. I am named, as you may have noticed, after a fruit. I’m not Jane or Sarah or Samantha: I am Peaches. This doesn’t make sense to me at all. [My dad told me it was because he and my mum were on a Tennessee Williams trip at the time.] Then again, I was going to be called Angel Delight at one point, so I suppose I can count myself lucky.”

On the 24-hour news channels on Monday evening, there was a lot of talk of Peaches having been a DJ, a model, a socialite. When one commentator said that she was now a devoted mother of two young boys — one just under a year old, born on the same day as his grandmother, Paula Yates — the presenter added, “yes, but she was also a party girl, wasn’t she?” Which was, I think, a pretty crass and flippant way of undermining the life of a girl who was just 11 when her own mother was found dead.

But let us leave the last words to Peaches, who summed herself up pretty well in that column about her name. “Life for me hasn’t always been peaches and cream [all puns intended]. When I tell people my name, most laugh incredulously. When I insist that it actually is my name, they get annoyed: ‘The joke’s over, what’s your real name?’ “I’ve never announced my name to anyone without being asked to repeat it at least twice. I also get a lot of lascivious comments: ‘Ooh, you’re a juicy piece of fruit, aren’t you, young lady?’ ‘I’d like to take a bite out of that peach ‘Look at those peaches.’ “It’s disturbing and it’s annoying; do people think I haven’t heard it all before? At primary school I got teased a lot. The most common taunt was: “Oi, Peaches, are your parents bananas?” I can, however, see the plus side. It’s unusual, it’s exotic, it’s not boring. It also gives me [or so I like to think] an air of mystery. It’s easy to forget a Mary, but if you’re named after a piece of fruit…”