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Bridging The Gap
Lily Allen on her demons, divorce and laughter
  Sunday 10 June, 2018
Lily Allen on her demons, divorce and laughter

"I actually thought my label would drop me, but they didn't."

Lily Allen laughs. She laughs a lot.

All those acerbic, combative comments you see on her Twitter feed? Imagine them with an almighty guffaw at the end - because that's probably how they were written.

Not that she's one to shy away from a fight. Her most recent Twitter clash was with Piers Morgan, who called her "reprehensible" for wearing a machine-gun necklace.

"I'll stop wearing the necklace," she shot back, "when you apologise for hacking the phones of dead children."

When Morgan pointed out "that was another newspaper", Allen reminded him of how he got sacked from the Mirror for publishing hoax photos of the British military.

Later that day, Allen's upcoming appearance on Good Morning Britain was cancelled.

So what's the shortest amount of time that's elapsed between her sending a tweet and her publicist phoning in a panic?

"I don't think anyone's ever called me up like that," she says.

"The people who work with me know me well enough to realise that if they call up and tell me not to do something, I'm going to do more of it."

So she tweets about Grenfell, the Calais refugee crisis, Brexit… whatever's on her mind. Allen has a restless personality, and Twitter keeps her occupied.

"That's me on holiday: Refreshing Twitter, laying into some racists," she says, laughing again.

However, laughter is in short supply on Allen's new album.

Called No Shame, it was written over four years, as Allen dealt with the depression stemming from her divorce from Sam Cooper and a terrifying intrusion from a stalker, who broke into her flat while she was sleeping, pulled off her duvet and threatened her.

It is a heartbreakingly lonely record. "I'm at my worst when I'm alone /Can't take the peace," she sings, numbed, on the R&B ballad Everything To Feel Something. "Nothing really moves me any more."

"I was definitely isolated," she says of the last four years.

"When me and Sam got together, I very much attached myself to his life. His friends became my friends; his family became my family. So when that stopped, I felt at loss.

"My friends outside of the relationship were, like, my 'showbiz friends' and I didn't want to be in the spotlight at that point.

"Then when the stalker thing happened, I just shut down emotionally in every way. I didn't feel like I could talk to anyone about what I was going through. I just kind of sat at home being sad."

Never one to self-censor, Allen poured all of the heartache into her music.

On What You Waiting For, she takes responsibility for her part in the marriage breaking down. "Don't know why I was untrue," she sings. "I ran at the first sign of trouble."

Apples finds her reminiscing about the early days of their relationship, until the reality of divorce punctures the daydream.

"I'm just like my mummy and my daddy," sighs the singer, whose parents Keith Allen and Alison Owen separated when she was four.

"I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

"It was devastating," she recalls. "Ethel, my eldest, was four when me and Sam broke up. It really felt like history was repeating itself and everything I'd worked so hard to [avoid], ended up happening."

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-44384531

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