Goolden lives up to ladette billing as audience squirms

  • Tuesday 31 January 2006

A couple of racy anecdotes from one of wine’s leading ladies left an august group of wine professionals squirming in their seats last night.

London’s ancient Vintners’ Hall was the setting for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust’s Awards of Excellence, which were co-presented by the one-time first lady of wine, Jilly Goolden.

Addressing the audience of scholars and members of the 700-year-old Vintners Company, the former host of TV’s Food & Drink programme launched into a colourful narrative which included allusions to assorted body parts.

To nervous laughter from her host – WSET’s chief executive Ian Harris – and a concerned look from the Master of the Vintners Company, David Robson, Goolden reflected on her recent appearance on the reality TV show, I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.

Asked by Harris what had been her toughest task on the show, she said her palate had been sorely tested by having to eat kangaroo penis live on air.

While the audience queasily digested that morsel, Harris moved to steer his guest into safer territory. What had been the proudest moment of her career, he asked.

Goolden replied that it was being voted into the top 100 ‘ladettes’ in Loaded magazine.

‘They were impressed not by the quality of what I was drinking, but the quantity. At least I think they were. It certainly wasn’t for the size of my tits,’ the petite presenter explained - to a good deal of slightly embarassed laughter.

The Wine and Spirit Education Trust’s Awards of Excellence recognise up-and-coming talent via a series of scholarships. Prizes and study trips are donated by various parties – Decanter included – to star students, many of whom subsequently follow a career in wine.

The Vintners’ Company was first granted a charter in 1364 to regulate the import and sale of wine.

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