The former England rugby star reveals a few of his favourite things and places to Helena Frith Powell
Style file: Jeremy Guscott
Jeremy Guscott, a former England rugby player, is considered one of the most thrilling centres ever to grace the game. His smooth running style and speed earned him 65 caps for his national rugby union side and eight for the British Lions. He was described as the “prince of centres” by the former Engand coach Clive Woodward. His drop goal in 1997 sealed the series for the Lions, a decisive win against the South African Springboks, then world champions, on home turf. Guscott was always a talented sportsman, playing both football and rugby in his hometown of Bath. He chose rugby in part because of the culture of respect and sportsmanship. He is in Dubai for nine weeks working as a commentator on the Rugby World Cup for OSN Sports. “I’m not doing anything very different to what I would be doing at home,” he says. “But it’s better here because I’ve got sunshine and golf courses and my brother lives here, which is an added bonus.” Guscott is divorced with three children, all girls, none of whom is pursuing a sporting career. “The eldest, Imogen, tried rugby once,” he says. “But she decided she didn’t like it after her first tackle. I don’t blame her.” He tells Helena Frith Powell about life’s essentials.
The Rugby World Cup runs in New Zealand until October 23 and is showing on OSN Sports 1 and 2
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE IS WAS EVER GIVEN WAS… Stop talking so much and listen. I was 19 at the time and had a pretty high opinion of myself. It taught me a lesson. MY GREATEST FEAR IS… sharks. They’re the king of the water, but thankfully I think I would faint before the shark got to me. MY DEFINING MOMENT WAS… becoming a father. I was there at the birth of Imogen and I will never forget holding her. I felt an overwhelming urge to protect I’d never felt before. I’M AT MY HAPPIEST… on a sofa on a Sunday with my girlfriend, watching a film. As long as it’s James Bond! MY AMBITION IS… to play single-figure handicap golf (Guscott plays off 10). I’ll achieve that next year. WHAT DRIVES ME ON IS… when you’ve been a sportsman you’ve got a lot of self-drive. You’ve got a job to do and to do it you need some serious motivation. MY MOST TREASURED POSSESSION IS… my eyesight or my teeth. BEING STYLISH MEANS… being yourself.
Helena Frith Powell was born in Sweden to a Swedish mother and Italian father, but grew up mainly in England. She is the author of eleven books, translated into several languages including Chinese and Russian. She wrote the French Mistress column The Sunday Times about life in France for several years. She is a regular contributor to the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Tatler Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar.
Helena has been the editor of four magazines, including M Magazine, a supplement for the Abu Dhabi-based National Newspaper and FIVE, a high-end fashion glossy, also published in Abu Dhabi. Helena was also editor-in-chief of 360 Life, a quarterly glossy magazine published with the Sports 360 Newspaper in Dubai, part of the Chalhoub Group.
Helena contributes regularly to UK-based newspapers and magazines and holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Cambridge. She is working on a thriller set in Sweden as well as a novel about the relationship between Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield called Sense of an Echo.
In 2022 her short story The Japanese Gardener came second in the Fish Publishing Short Story Prize. One of her stories was also shortlisted for the Bridport Short Story Prize. When she’s not writing, she works as a headhunter for the media and entertainment industry for the Sucherman Group.
Helena, who was educated at Durham University, lives in the Languedoc region of France with her husband Rupert and their three children.
More France Please, we’re British; Gibson Square 2004
Two Lipsticks and a Lover 2005; Gibson Square (hardback)
All You Need to be Impossibly French; (US version of above) Penguin 2006
Two Lipsticks and a Lover; Arrow Books (paperback) 2007
Ciao Bella Gibson Square; (hardback) 2006
Ciao Bella Gibson Square; (paperback) 2007
So Chic! (French version of Two Lipsticks) Leduc Editions 2008 (also translated into Chinese, Russian and Thai)
More, More France; Gibson Square 2009
To Hell in High Heels; Arrow Books 2009 (also translated into Polish)
The Viva Mayr Diet; Harper Collins 2009
Love in a Warm Climate; Gibson Square 2011
The Ex-Factor; Gibson Square 2013
Smart Women Don’t Get Wrinkles; Gibson Square 2016
The Arnolfini Marriage; Amazon Kindle December 2016
Smart Women Don’t Get Wrinkles (paperback); Gibson Square spring 2018
The Longest Night; Gibson Square spring 2019