Suki Pardesi - A celebrity publicist’s life on the Wirral
PUBLISHED: 11:46 30 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:46 30 April 2014
She’s lived in London, Los Angeles and New York, but home now for celebrity publicist Suki Pardesi is West Kirby
Suki Pardesi’s photo album is an all-star affair. There she is with Barry Manilow, Will Smith, Michael Bolton, Ricky Martin...the list goes on.
And she has a fund of memories to go with those pictures, like the day she was managing the world’s media at the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium in 1985.
‘There was one classic moment when I happened to pass Bob Geldof backstage and someone handed the phone to him and said: “It’s the Pope”. I thought, this is how big this is.’
She has chewed the fat with Bob Dylan about his passion for Charles Aznavour (honestly, who knew it?). She has masterminded a promotional itinerary for Ricky Martin which entailed three appearances in three different countries in one day - Italy, Croatia and Spain - and some helicopter antics worthy of James Bond. And she has worked with pop divas from Mariah Carey to a young Beyonce (‘A lovely person, extremely talented’, says Suki.)
But after a globe-trotting career, home for the last decade for Suki, her husband and 14-year-old son has been a Victorian house near the beach in West Kirby, Wirral.
‘We love West Kirby,’ she says. ‘It’s got that wonderful village feel.’
Now a freelance international media consultant, trading as Celebtronic Public Relations, Suki is juggling several projects.
‘I’m negotiating with a young boy band, an Asian female rock singer and an international pop star,’ she says, as we chat in the lounge of the Hard Day’s Night Hotel in Liverpool just before she flies off to New York for business meetings.
Suki was born in Kent, one of six children to Indian parents, and moved to London aged 18, getting a job in a music publishing company which handled the songwriting catalogue of The Beatles and Michael Jackson.
By the mid-1980s, she was employed by the London office of the Hollywood-based public relations firm Rogers and Cowan, working on accounts which included David Bowie, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Barry Manilow and Rod Stewart.
‘It was phenomenal,’ says Suki. ‘I understood the historical value of these artists and how much they meant to their fans. But I had to be very level-headed and try not to be awe-struck by any of it, because artists do not want people who are sycophants.’
She warmed to David Bowie, who she found was very much more warm and down-to-earth than the slightly aloof figure his stage persona may suggest. She also liked Barry Manilow.
‘He’s got a fantastic sense of humour and he’s a genuine person in that he wants you to tell him about your life. It’s not all me, me, me.’
Suki went to work for the record company Phonogram, overseeing the rise of Australian rock band INXS, whose front man, the late Michael Hutchence was, she says ‘very charismatic. I never met Jim Morrison of The Doors, but I’d say he was very similar to him in personality and style’.
Suki was a senior press office for Sky TV in the late 1980s, promoting a then little-known cartoon family called The Simpsons. There were occasional meetings with Rupert Murdoch, who she says seemed ‘almost an unassuming character when you first meet him’.
A job with a music management company in Los Angeles and then New York beckoned, representing Mariah Carey and her then-husband, record company executive Tommy Mottola at the time their marriage was breaking down.
Then in the mid-1990s, it was back to London for a four-year spell as international promotions manager for Sony Music, working with Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, Ricky Martin and Destiny’s Child.
‘I’d always have a bag packed at the door, because I could be going to see Aerosmith for one night, then be flying to somewhere else to meet up with Bob Dylan the next night,’ she recalls.
Marriage and motherhood came along, and Suki decided to look beyond London to ‘find a piece of England we could fall in love with’.
Liverpool came up for consideration because it had just been chosen as Capital of Culture for 2008.
‘We drove up and spent a weekend looking around and fell in love with the architecture of Liverpool, the people and the ambience,’ says Suki.
Someone recommended a visit to Wirral - a place of which she then knew nothing.
‘The minute I saw the Marine Lake, I’d fallen in love with it,’ she says. ‘I don’t think we’d ever have found the equivalent of Wirral in London.’ n
Suki Pardesi is a PR and events consultant with global experience. Potential clients in the music, film and fashion businesses, or the world of celebrity can contact her via www.celebtronic.co.uk.