Review: Leslie Ash Gets Lippy
Leslie Ash: Face to Face, ITV 1, Tuesday 23rd September, 9pm
It’s fascinating to see how Leslie Ash went from lad totty to media freak in the space of one botched lip job. Collagen that should have gone into her lips was injected into her muscles and then hardened. As she says herself in this documentary, it was devastating. Not long after this a superbug infection left her unable to walk (even now she has to use a cane). These misfortunes have meant that Leslie Ash has become a sort of modern celebrity bogeyman– ‘Girls, watch out! look what happens when…’
In tonight’s revealing documentary Leslie Ash: Face to Face, Ash returns to our screens to investigate the cosmetic industry and its lack of regulation in the UK.
What she uncovers is really quite scary: you need not be a doctor or even a registered nurse to inject Botox. Jim McGrath runs a clinic in Doncaster which can train anyone in a mere day- all you need is a NVQ Level 3 certificate in Beauty therapy- so as long as you can bikini wax you can also inject vials of highly toxic poison into someone’s face. Hurrah.
Despite the genuinely scary results of the investigation you cannot help but feel torn as to whether this a frank, courageous response to the public’s horror and the media’s cruelty over Ash’s face, or something more self indulgent which allows Ash to remain in the limelight. She is sincerely happy in the role of storyteller and attention centre, not in a loud or slimy way, but almost like a little girl whose parents have been away for ages and now she has lots to tell them. As she leaps from behind walls to scare naive ‘Botox’ party goers, there is something tragi-comic about her.
Ultimately though, you cannot walk away from this documentary feeling anything but a little bit sad for this woman, who is really very likeable, for the devastating result of a fairly common vanity, and the public judgement she received for it.
By McGee Noble