Public figures have recently appeared more visibly crestfallen than ever
before, as this selection of before and after photos demonstrates. Could they be stressed?
Before – Former MP and his wife who became accomplished publicity
seekers after losing the Tatton seat to Martin Bell.
After – Seeing Christine Hamilton overwrought with emotion is nothing
new for most of us (libel action against Mohammed Al Fayed, and the Who Wants
to be a Millionaire appearance), but allegations of sexual assault made against
them by Nadine Milroy-Sloane sent their anxiety levels soaring. The couple were
later cleared, but Christine Hamilton claimed she was "terrified" and
became so overwrought she had to see a police doctor. The incident didn’t,
however, curtail her descriptive powers: the accusations, she said, were:
"nonsense on stilts", and if charges were brought "then I’m a
Before – Venerable president of Yamaichi Securities Co – one of Japan’s
After – In a country that has a vaunted work ethic, corporate failure
is the ultimate badge of shame and the collapse of leading brokerage Yamaichi
in 1997 was to have a harrowing effect on Nozawa. Asked at a news conference
how he would explain the failure to his employees, he broke down and sobbed.
Although it was a spectacle to be repeated several more times as Asia endured a
crippling economic slump, Nozawa’s tearful apology remains an enduring image of
those difficult times.
Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf (AKA Comical Ali)
Before – Iraq’s Information Minister and robust defender of Saddam
Hussein’s Baath Party.
After – Displayed classic trauma-related symptoms of denial in full
glare of the world’s media as each wartime briefing became more implausible
than the last.Al-Sahaf even went so far as "triple guaranteeing" his
people there were no US soldiers in Bagdad on the day US tanks rolled into the
city. His refusal to accept reality made George Bush roar with laughter. When
he finally conceded and gave himself up, his self-image couldn’t have been
lower – except that is, when US troops released him soon afterwards.
Before – Barrister, charity worker, Prime Minister’s wife, mother of
four and accomplished juggler.
After – In an ironic twist, Peter Foster, the fraudster boyfriend of
Cherie Blair’s lifestyle guru and (principle stress reliever) Carole Caplin,
plunged her into a hail of controversy after revealing how he helped her buy
two flats in Bristol. Initially, she attempted to conceal her involvement with
the fraudster but later accepted blame and used an awards ceremony to tearfully
defend her actions. She said she had tried to adapt to the pressures of her
public role and juggle a lot of balls but "sometimes some of the balls get
Before – Principle transformer of the Labour party and New Labour
Prime Minster who swept to power with landslide victory in 1997, then won
historic second term.
After – When the news broke of the death of weapons expert Dr Kelly,
Blair’s ashen pallor and gaunt features told its own story. His apparent
physical distress was further compounded when a Daily Mail journalist asked if
he had blood on his hands. Although his future lay in doubt, the remarkably
resilient PM has since acquitted himself well at the Hutton inquiry, but his
stock has fallen considerably since he swept to power and could still pay the
ultimate political price for going to war with Iraq.
Before – Agreed a three-year contract to manage West Ham last year
and steers the club to a respectable seventh place in the Premiership.
After – Football is notorious for its swift termination of poor
performing managers and his team’s relegation battle in the Premiership last
season (2002-03) made Roeder an ideal candidate for a stress-related illness.
So when he collapsed after a game in April, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind
that that it was due to a minor stroke caused by stress. It was actually a
brain tumour and fully recovered and back on the touchline, Roeder was keen to
point out that he hadn’t been stressed. His protestations were academic – three
matches into the new season, he was sacked.
Before – Andy Gilchrist became general secretary of the Fire Brigades
Union in June 2000 and experienced 15 months of fame last year when he demanded
firefighters receive a 40 per cent wage increase.
After – Gilchrist refused to budge at a time when most settlements
ran at 3 per cent, and war threatened over Iraq. He faced an increasingly vitriolic
public as aged Green Goddesses were hauled from retirement to replace striking
firemen and their idle vehicles. As he ratcheted up the arguments with
Government, he turned public opinion against one of Britain’s most admired
workforces. His demeanour turned sour, and he exuded classic stress symptoms –
including visible signs of ageing. Finally accepted deal far short of original
Before – Three rewarding years as minister for school standards
before promotion to secretary of state for education
After – By her admission, education secretary was a job too far, but
it was her integrity and personal standards of achievement that weighed heavily
and drove Morris to resign. Politicians of lesser ability have ridden bigger
storms, fuelled by ego, ambition, arrogance and a willingness to pass the buck,
but for Morris, the feeling she had failed and let people down offered no road
back. Her impressively frank interview with the BBC, where she disclosed she
hadn’t enjoyed the job as much as minister for school standards, no doubt made
many stress-worn chief executives wonder why they go on.
Before – The Australian businessman joined British Airways as chief
executive in May 2000. He already had a reputation as a tough operator and a
came with a brief to continue the cost cutting of his predecessor Bob Ayling.
After – A catalogue of disasters since September 11, with uncertainty
over the Iraq war, the SARS epidemic and then wildcat strikes over swipe cards
all had a catastrophic effect, costing the airline millions. The media and the
public had Eddington on the ropes and questioned his capability. The chaos at
Heathrow exposed poor staff morale and the fragility of BA’s business
processes. The airline and Eddington are still licking their wounds.
Before – Presenter of entertainment show, Stars in Their Eyes,
well-known for his bonhomie.
After – Arrested and questioned about alleged child sex abuse, the
married father-of-two found himself centre stage of a media feeding frenzy. He
lost his job, his weight plum-meted and said his life had changed irrevocably.
He dealt with the stress by throwing him-self into work. He was cleared and has
since won back his job.