I met her when we auditioned for the Tube in Newcastle- her and a bloke called Nick who had a hit with a song called Northern Town which really annoyed me because it was a moany song and I thought he had a cheek, being a Southerner; and a younger girl too. All of the others got the job, but I didn't, which I really didn't mind because at the time I was very shy and absolutely could not have walked backwards holding a microphone interviewing someone famous.
Part of the audition was to interview Jools Holland, which I enjoyed. I did notice they nicked loads of people's ideas- I told them about Tony Fletcher and his fanzine Jamming and that was one of their first features, alonside a piece about air-guitar competitions which they'd nicked off a young woman who came to the first heat of the interviews.
Anyway, Muriel was great fun and I really liked her a lot. Later, she turned up at a Helen and the Horns gig in Edinburgh and stood her round afterwards- we sat about for ages with the other band drinking vodkas and oranges, and had a right laugh. We met again when the Horns did a Saturday Live broadcast one Saturday afternoon at Radio One, and she was just as much fun and just as friendly.
I don't know why I told you this, I just did. It's probably because when you are very busy with a band, a lot of the people you come into contact with are temporarily nice, because they think they can get something from you in some way. Like the receptionist at RCA Records who was all smiley and lovely until suddenly she became totally offhand, and I realised it was time for me to get out.
Muriel was just always nice, and that was so rare that I raise my imaginary glass to her this Christmas to salute her!