Riviera Rochelle Will See You Now

Lancastrian ex-pat joins Mag North to process your agony
Hector Bonzo
March 24, 2024

From the outset, Mag North made a conscious decision not to become a ‘patsy’ for established celebrity. Indulging sometimes over-inflated egos has been the downfall of notable titles across the world - including Germany’s Stern magazine, which you’ll remember came a cropper in the 80s with Hitler’s diaries.

We were careful but firm in response to James Michael Aloysius Bradford’s offer of a weekly column charting the alarming increase in North-East seagull attacks on unsuspecting pensioners. We said ‘Thank you - but no’ to the agent of Hyndburn plantswoman Christine Walkden - who in 2023 pitched the idea of a ‘fly-on-the-wall, ‘warts-and-all’ series of longform articles about her friend and fellow martial arts enthusiast Ian Brown, as he sought funding to launch his online Nunchuck Academy - after a stinging rejection from City & Guilds.

Ian Brown (In Shadow Behind) With A Trainee Nunchucker, Enjoying A Half-Term Training Camp At Salford Quays

It’s fair to say that had they known - our readers would have believed we’d lost our marbles for turning down such high-profile names from the world of entertainment. And gardening. But we have been playing the long game…and finally…after months of our people negotiating with her people - and moments when it looked like the entire enterprise might collapse (because of frankly incredible demands), Mag North is delighted, honoured, humbled, slightly nervous, but largely overjoyed, to announce that Rochelle - known to to millions as ‘Riviera Rochelle’ - has agreed to join our team as in-house Agony Aunt.

As a teaser for her forthcoming Mag North TV debut, in which she delivers incisive and unfiltered solutions to the North’s problems (set to launch after the end of this year’s BBC Springwatch), Rochelle starts by solving your conundrums in her weekly column on our site (sponsored by The Gat Brothers (האחים גת)).

It’s a fitting moment to pause and reflect on what a massive coup it’s been to secure both the attention and services of this ‘Star’ - compared by many to contemporaries including (but not limited to) Eartha Kitt, Tiffany, Marlene Dietrich, Cheryl Cole and Carol Decker.

Rochelle (left) In The Photo Booth At Boots Torquay Wren - And Tiffany Darwish (right) In Front Of An Atomic Clock

Taken directly from her Wikipedia page, the Rochelle we all know and love, is:

A child of the North…Oldham. Born in Grandma’s back bedroom and growing up with younger sister (Kathleen - known as Cannes Kafka  - don’t ask) she was fed on a diet of Catholicism and corned beef hash.

The sisters loved to dress up and enjoyed the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age…pearls, head scarves, high heels…Grace Kelly, Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn are all cited as early influences.

Together they would act out scenes from the classic movies in front of the rented telly (Granada) and 4 bar electric fire.

Whilst fame beckoned for Kafka - initially working as an extra in zombie movies -  she was subsequently talent-spotted and reached the dizzy heights of Holby City, The Bill and Flash adverts…Rochelle stayed local.(And not bitter.)

Working as a hairdresser, she indulged her passion for glamour by styling clients’ tresses in her Derker salon.

However she discovered that she had a good ear (probably developed by eavesdropping at the Confessional) and an ability to help folk navigate through their trials and tribulations - big and small.

Developing a reputation as a ‘wise woman’ her clientele grew, until finally, fame found her.

Introduced to celebrities by her sister, she became the coiffuring confidante to the stars, including the cast of ITV’s Benidorm, which famously starred Tim Healey as Leslie Conroy.

However after a badly judged tint, her celebrity star faded. But she continues to peddle her views and perms in Torquay, channelling that golden-age glamour with Cannes Kafka - and can regularly be spotted signing autographs in return for a Cinzano Bianco at Paignton Sailing Club socials on South Quay. She is also the adopted 'sweetheart' of both The Cremyll Ferry and the Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre, further down the coast.

In a late-night Facetime interview with Mag North YTS apprentice journalist Anton Silverside this week, Riviera Rochelle was clear: “Turning my back on the North just wouldn’t work for me - and although I could never trade-in the palm-fringed, balmy beauty of Torbay - and Fleet Walk Shopping Centre - I am happy to help Northerners unpack their problems, just as I have been doing in South Devon with ex-pats for some time.

"I must admit the cancellation of HS2 north of Birmingham hit me unexpectedly hard - and so with your little magazine - I’ll share some ‘Rochelle radiance’ with the former mill towns and post-industrial landscape of the North.

And so it’s down to business:

Do you have a question you cannot get to-grips with? A sensitive problem that just has to be shared? Perhaps you’ve discovered that as Easter approaches, you’re feeling your life has stalled - but you don’t know how to get cracking?

Maybe next-door’s overgrown Leylandii hedge has got you hopping-mad - but you’d value some third-party leadership before buying a chainsaw?

If you’re struggling to navigate some complex challenges in aircraft design - and you’re feeling hot and cross…Rochelle’s here to walk you down that critical path to success and harmony.

Email your problems to: team@mag-north.com - marking your messages for the attention of Riviera Rochelle