oses wearing twinsets and pearls. And then along came Bailey and The Shrimp. The chance meeting of talented work
ing-class photographer David Bailey, son of an East End tailor, and beautiful middle-class Jean Shrimpton – daughter of a farmer with 75 acres in Buckinghamshire – kickstarted the Swinging 60s. He was 22 and married and she was just 17. But their love affair and the revolutionary pictures from their first assignment for Vogue captivated the world. Tonight their romance is dramatised in BBC4’s We’ll Take Manhattan, starring Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan and Welsh actor Aneurin Barnard. Bailey, as he is known, was married to typist Rosemary Bramble when he first spotted Jean in 1960. She was in a shared studio modelling for a cereal advert for photographer Brian Duffy. He said: “She was against a blue background and it was exactly the same colour as her eyes. “It looked as if I could see through her head to the background. I said to Duffy: ‘Who is that girl?’ And he said: ‘She is too posh for you.’” At the time Bailey, now 73, was working for Woman’s Own. But his pictures were creating such a buzz that Vogue’s art director tracked him down. (Image: BBC) He and Jean did a bridal shoot for the renowned fashion bible and the pair soon became lovers. But the first time Jean asked him back to the family home, things didn’t go too smoothly with her father. Bailey recalled: “I had to hide in the hay loft, over the pigs, because he came after me with a shotgun.” Then Bailey was asked to fly to New York to shoot for Vogue’s fearsome fashion editor Lady Clare Rendlesham and he demanded that Jean came along, too. Far from the traditional, staid shots that Rendelsham was used to, Bailey took offbeat, realistic poses set against gritty backgrounds. He could have been dumped, but Vogue loved the pictures and his cutting-edge images changed the industry for ever. An essential ingredient was the accessible yet awkward beauty of Jean Shrimpton, soon to be known as The Shrimp. It was a nickname she hated, saying: “Shrimps are horrible pink things that get their heads pulled off!” Bailey once said of Jean: “She was magic. In a way she was the cheapest model in the world – you only needed to shoot half a roll of film and then you had it.” And she has said of him: “He was lovely. Everybody loved him – birds, men, old girls, homosexuals. Everyone.” In her autobiography Jean
, now 69, wrote: “We were instantly attracted to one another and whenever we worked together this attraction created a strong sexual atmosphere.” And as she told
the Mirror’s Felicity Green in 1964: “My meeting with Bailey was a fateful one for me, for I owe everything that I have since become as a model and as a woman to him. He taught me that I must have a mind as well as a body.” Yet she was never comfortable with the trappings of their success – when Bailey took her to trendy nightclubs, Jean would take her knitting along, too. The couple set up home together in a scruffy London basement along with 24 finches and lovebirds and two dogs, Monie and Bertie. But in 1964, Bailey’s cheating ways drove Jean into the arms of actor Terence Stamp. Bailey admitted: “I wasn’t exactly a good boy. I had three or four other girls on the go. I couldn’t complain. Losing Jean... it was like losing my camera. I did
make Jean into the woman I wanted her to be and she was kind of perfect. “It’s great when you can talk to somebody and just do a nod and they know. “If you have a big relationship with a model, you don’t have to talk. They get what you are after, if they h
ave an ounce of intelligence. Most models now can’t even work
a dress.” (Image: BBC) In her early 30s, Jean quit modelling, moved to Wales, took up photography and lived with the poet Heathcote Williams. She later settled down with photographer husband Mich
ael Cox – they still own the Abbey Hotel in Penzance, Cornwall. Meanwhile, Bailey dated model Sue Murray until he fell for French actress Catherine Deneuve. They got married in 1965 but divorced in 1972 when Bailey took up with New York model Penelope Tree – she was 17, he was 34. By 1974 he found love with Hawaiian model Marie Helvin. They were one of the most iconic married couples of that decade. Bailey then fell for English model Catherine Dyer, over 20 years his junior. They got married in 1986 are still together and have three children. The Swinging 60s may be long behind him, but he is still snapping away – and is still very much in demand.