I haven’t slept for 20 years
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson heralded a revival of the high society ‘It Girl’ in the 1990s.
Way before Made in Chelsea Tara was a true reality star; posh, well connected and fun – and her partying made headlines.
It soon became clear she was an engaging personality: She put her name to gossip columns (in fact, ghost written by someone else) and was rarely off our screens on chat shows and reality programmes including Celebrity Big Brother for the next twenty years.
She freely admitted her background was privileged. "I might jump over the dining room table on a pony,” she once said, in an exaggerated description of growing up on her parents’ estate. “My father used to go over hedges on poles, rabbits fly out of cupboards, it's like Gosford Park meets Harry Potter.”
Tara was actually an accomplished pianist, who’d played at the Royal Albert Hall. But her partying led to a cocaine addiction and rehab, eventually leading to surgery to repair a collapsed septum. “I’d love to lie and say I have no regrets, but I do,” she later said.
In 2014, Tara revealed that she’d been diagnosed as living with a high-functioning form of autism. She became patron of a children’s autism charity in Scotland, where she was simply known as “the lady who plays the piano” to the children she visited.
As someone who’d lived life to the full in front of the TV cameras, she endeared herself to many through the sheer force of her vibrant personality.