Interview with Sue Moxley & David Van Day
Sue Moxley is an all-round entertainment industry girl, having launched her career as a model, she then moved into TV presenting and journalism as a successful beauty editor during which time she launched her own make up and beauty line which is available nationwide and on her website, www.suemoxleybeauty.co.uk.
Her husband, David Van Day, sometimes outspoken but always a showman, is possibly best known his musical talent and on-stage presence for Bucks Fizz, Guys'n'Dolls and of course, Dollar. He and Sue have more recently launched a singing duo called Rich and Famous which sees them perform on stage together across the country.
But this husband and wife team have another major love in their lives aside from entertainment – dogs.
Having recently rescued Romi from Romania, Kim O'Meara caught up with the pair to hear all about their love of dogs and latest addition to the Moxley-Van Day household.
1. Tell us about your dogs - we'd like to know everything about them!
Sue: We have four beautiful dogs, Alfie, Lulu, Pebbles and our newest addition, Romi.
Alfie is 12 and he is a small Yorkshire Terrier, he is also probably the smartest, and smallest, dog I've ever had so I always say he must have a big brain in his tiny head.
He makes me understand what he wants, for example he always wants tea from my saucer so he'll 'woof' then look at me, then look at the saucer, and he'll do this until I realise what he wants. He also throws his ball to me and if I say 'closer' he picks it up and throws it closer to me. The list is endless! He's such a clever, smart boy. I have a really special bond with him.
Photography by James Carter, Kodak Pet Photographer Of The Year
David and I got Lulu together when she was about five months old, she's now three years old. She had lived with a couple who split up and she needed a home. She is very loving and beautiful, she has the loudest bark which is actually more like a howl.
Pebbles is Lulu's daughter, she's 14 months old. After Lulu had been settled with us for some time David said 'shall we have puppies with Lulu?'. I wasn't sure and was torn about it because I've always wanted to have puppies but at the same time I'm very pro-rescue. I felt terrible about bringing more dogs into the world when there are so many homeless dogs but I decided to do it because I wanted to experience it once and knew we would find good, loving homes for any puppies. If I'd wanted to change my mind, Lulu didn't because she became pregnant first time.
She had five puppies but only three survived, two went to very close friends because I didn't want to sell them, rather I wanted to know they had gone to good loving homes, and we kept the third puppy, Pebbles.
I will never do it again but I must say that Lulu and Pebbles are so close, I've never seen two dogs have such a bond where they clearly adore each other and will play for hours, and Lulu still cleans her every day.
Pebbles is divine, so loving and very funny. The relationship they have is so lovely to see.
Until last Autumn, Molly, my Cocker Spaniel, was also part of our dog family. She passed away when she was 15 years old. She had been blind since the age of six through a dreadful hereditary disease, but she still had a wonderful life and could smell carrots through brick walls! She was always obsessed with carrots (laughs).
After she passed I thought I need to take a rescue dog now. We had the space so that wasn't an issue.
I had been talking with REAN (Rescuing European Animals in Need) and said I would take a small female, knowing Alfie wouldn't accept a boy dog. She sent me a photograph of Monica, now Romi. At the time she had been found on the streets of Romania and needed a safe haven otherwise her fate would have been to end up in a death camp.
2. Have you ever adopted from overseas before? How has Romi settled in with your family since she arrived?
Sue: No, I've never rescued a dog from overseas before. To be honest it wasn't a conscious decision, to me a dog in need is in need no matter where they are from. Dogs in England perhaps have a better chance to getting homes or sanctuary from rescues because we have some great ones here, but in Romania they are likely to starve or be killed and so the rescues out there are working under different conditions to those here.
3. Have you and your family always owned dogs?
Sue: My parents are great animal lovers, but didn't want the responsibility of a dog so we never had one growing up but I always wanted a dog so much.
David: I didn't have a dog when I was growing up because I was always in shows. At the age of 13 I went to theatre school so I wasn't at home much and it wouldn't have been fair.
4. What attracted you both to the world of entertainment? If you hadn't followed the path you have, what career do you think you'd have most enjoyed?
Sue: I always wanted to be in show business of some sort, but if I was do so something else I think I'd make a good cosmetic surgeon.
David: I did want to be a jockey for a while!
5. David, your time on 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' has been much talked of. Do you have any regrets about doing the show and would you ever consider doing another reality show? If so, which one do you think most appeals and why?
David: No, I don't regret doing the show. The only thing is not everyone got me but some people still come up to me on the street and say 'you were great in the jungle'! I think I gave people something to watch.
To be honest, I've done most of the shows out there – 'Come Dine With Me', 'Coach Trip', 'Pop Goes The Band' and Sue and I did 'Celebrity 4 Weddings' and featured in Louie Spence's 'Showbusiness' where they followed our story of starting a new duo.
We've also had meetings about doing 'Celebrity Big Brother' as a couple, so watch this space!
6. Sue, your make up and beauty range has earned many rave reviews over the years and is stocked in Superdrug and Tesco Extra stores across the country, as well as on your own site. What is your own personal favourite part of your collection and what 5 beauty items are you never without when you leave home?
Sue: My brush set is a must have. Make up can't be properly applied without the right tools.
I always make sure I have a good brow pencil (it can double up as an eyeliner) and a lip pencil to define your lips and use all over if needed, with a touch of balm over the top. I also always make sure I have a moisturiser to hand, I use loads but Harley Street Skincare is my favourite.
7. Being your own boss must mean your dogs can travel with you if you're on tour. Where do you think is the most pet friendly place you've visited?
Sue: We have been to so many pet friendly places. Surprisingly, it seems the more expensive hotels welcome dogs more than the cheaper. We recently stayed in Cornwall for a gig and we stayed at the Beach Retreats in Watergate Bay.
The apartments were fabulous and they left beds and biscuits for our dogs at The Watergate Bay Hotel next door, which is also dog friendly. The beach was gorgeous and welcomes dogs all year round.
It's surprising how many beaches don't allow dogs, or where they're banned altogether!
8. What three words best sum up Romi's personality?
Faithful, funny and hungry (laughs).
9. Do you have a motto that you live your life by? What would you say Alfie's motto might be?
Sue: Mine would be 'you only live once'!
David: Mine would have to be 'don't knock what you haven't tried'. Alfie's would most likely be 'if in doubt...bark!' (laughs).
10. If you were to swap roles with one of your dogs for a day, firstly who would you choose to swap roles with and how do you think they'd cope being you and what would you love most about being them?
Sue: I would be Pebbles because she gets stroked for about five hours a day – she loves her fuss!
David: (Laughs) I would be Pebbles as well. I like a good massage, and she gets massaged all day!
11. For this question, we ask our celebs to match up the following people’s personality to a breed of dog, for example, Winston Churchill = Bulldog or Jennifer Lopez = Afghan Hound etc. If the following celebrities and dog lovers were breeds of dogs, based on their personalities alone, what type of breed do you think they'd be...
Jeremy Kyle – I would say he'd be a Whippet.
Beyonce – I think she'd be a Red Setter.
Gordon Ramsay – I get the breed German Shepherd when I think of Gordon?
Victoria Beckham – I think she'd be a Poodle.
Quick fire questions
12. Which do you prefer and why?
Big dogs or little dogs – Sue: I think I'd say small dogs, purely because I've had big dogs before and I think little dogs are just as much fun and easier to take with you.
Pedigree dogs or cross-breeds – Both: We love both!
Days off or days at work – Both: Days off, spent with the dogs.
13. Sue, describe the last time you laughed out loud because of something you saw one of your dogs do.
Sue: (Laughs) One of the toys featured in the photoshoot for you was a pink octopus and Pebbles loves it. She takes it everywhere and it's so big compared to her, it gets stuck under her body and she can't walk, but she won't let go. She also tries to jump on the bed with it in her mouth, so you can imagine how that works out, it's just a big mass of legs!
14. You've both been involved in the media world for some time. What is the biggest misconception of you do you think, collectively or individually?
David: People are surprised when they meet me that I'm actually a nice person (laughs).
Sue: I think people think we take ourselves seriously but people who know us know that we just send ourselves up.
15. David, let us in on some of the secrets of your backstage rider (past or present).
David: In the 'Dollar' days we had it all – why not! We had champagne, Japanese food and always a nice car on the rider.
16. David, if you were planning to launch a super group, and could invite anyone from any era, past or present, which three people would you invite and why?
David: Oh wow, well I'd have to invite Prince, Bruno Mars and Freddie Mercury. All amazing and I think we'd make a fantastic group.
17. What is your current favourite…?
TV show – Both: Homeland.
Album – David: I'd have to say 'Sweet Baby Jane' by David James Taylor.
Sue: I'm loving 'The Jersey Boys' show so anything by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.
Film – Sue: I love 'Secrets & Lies'.
David: I've always loved 'Deerhunter', I don't know how many times I've seen it!
18. Sue, if you had to choose just one, what beauty product has most changed your life do you think (and why)?
Sue: It's not a product as such, more of a treatment, but I have my eyebrows tattoed by a lovely lady called Joanna Twyman. My brows are very fair, and sparse, and because brows are so important in the context of the the shape and structure of your face and how your make up looks, I know I can wake up in the morning with perfect ones. If you're thinking of getting this sort of treatment done though, choose your beautician wisely.
19. Tell us something no one else knows about you.
Sue: I sleep listening to white noise, like the hairdryer. I have earphones plugged into YouTube – yes, if you look on YouTube they do have videos of hoovers and hairdryer noises that last for eight hours, so I'm not the only one (laughs).
David: I love Shakespeare and can recite it.
20. If you could sum it up, what do you think is the best thing about being a dog owner?
Sue: I think one of the biggest things dogs give us is the unconditional love. Our dogs are our family, they're the biggest part of our day. We adore them and do as much to plan our tours, gigs and business trips around them.
We love a night at home in front of the TV having a cuddle with our fur babies.
21. Finish the following sentence, our dogs are...our family.
22. And finally, this is always a tough question and often requires a fair degree of thinking time but….If your dogs had the ability to speak and you could ask them one question and one question only, what would you ask and what do you think that they would say?
Both: We would ask them all if they were happy so we can be sure we're doing everything right by them. We're sure they'd let us know they were.
Many Thanks Sue and David!
Sue and David were speaking with Kim O'Meara