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Lives less ordinary: meet Al (Lana) Pillay, facial yoga instructor and ‘Empress of Slap’

Posted at 6:30 pm, February 23, 2014 in Fun London
© Rob Greig

Where are you and why the sharks?
‘I’m in my favourite fish and chip restaurant, Rock & Sole Plaice. You can take the girl out of Grimsby but you can’t take Grimsby out of the girl.’

Righto. You’re pulling quite the dramatic face…
‘Such a theatrical creature am I! In 1986, I came up with facial yoga, and now I run a YouTube channel – Empress Of Slap – showing how to keep your face in shape. It’s an inexpensive way of giving you an expensive facelift, naturally.’

That help with the chippy calories?
‘Yes, it does! If you do the mushy pea exercise – turning your neck like Linda Blair in “The Exorcist” – it’ll keep your jawline nice and tight. You can have a one-to-one any time you want.’

My face is fine, thanks. Tell us more about your theatrical tendencies.
‘Are you talking about my greatest hit? Back in ’86 I had a song, “Pistol in My Pocket”, produced by Pete Waterman, and it was Number One all over Europe. A couple of years back, Lady Gaga sent an assistant so I could sign her original copy.’

Impressive stuff…
‘I also had a movie written for me in the ’80s called “Eat the Rich”. It featured cameos from Paul and Linda McCartney, Angie Bowie and Bill Wyman. I still get recognised. I think it’s all the facial yoga, keeping me young!’ Interview: Eddy Frankel

Find out more from alpillay.comRead more insights into interesting Londoners lives.

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