First love: Angie was a model at 17 and spent her wages in the Biba department store
Former model and workout video star Angie Best became a Playboy bunny to keep busy in the evenings when her husband, the late footballer George Best, went to hospital after a drunken incident. After just two weeks, she left the infamous Playboy Club to go on tour with Cher.
She then earned the dumbest paycheck of her life by agreeing to go on Celebrity Big Brother with her son, TV star Callum Best.
Now 70, Angie tells Donna Ferguson she’s never saved in a pension and doesn’t own her home. She runs Absolute Best, a cannabidiol (CBD) business, with her partner Mark.
What did your parents teach you about money?
Absolutely nothing. It was not discussed. My mother worked for the government in the VAT office and my father had betting offices. We had a nice house and I always had everything I wanted. I never even thought about the money. So if it was tight or if we couldn’t afford to go somewhere, I wasn’t informed. I just know that I had everything I needed and was happy.
Have you ever struggled to make ends meet?
No, because you only struggle to make ends meet if you have expectations. I never wanted anything like the latest handbag. I would never spend my last pennies on a bottle of wine. I did not smoke. So if times were tough, I just took off the excess and times weren’t tough.
I became a model at 17 and the money I earned was fabulous.
My first job was carpet modeling. I remember sitting there thinking, ‘Jesus, this is easy and I get paid for it.’ I loved every minute. I would go to my agency every Friday to collect my paycheque, go to the bank – then go straight to Biba, the famous London fashion store, and spend it.
How old were you when you met George Best?
The first time we met I was 18. I was a model at Olympia. Suddenly there was all this commotion and attention across the room and the people I was with ran over there to see. I stayed where I was. I was pretentious at the time.
Next thing I know, this man walks up to me and starts chatting. I knew who he was, but I didn’t care. I didn’t care about football back then.
That night he asked me to go to Manchester with him. I said no, absolutely not. And that was the end of that. The next time we met I was around 23.
I was living at Cher’s and was invited to a party by Elizabeth Taylor’s boyfriend. I walked in and there were 50 women and five men. All the men stood in one corner and talked to each other, and all the women were on the other side of the room.
When I was introduced to George, I remembered that we had met before. I said, ‘Nice to meet you, but I think you’ll be fine without me here, so I’m leaving.’ And I left. Two weeks later, I was told that Mr. Best would like me to come to a party.
How long have you been Playboy Bunny?
Two weeks. It was a time when George got drunk, had an accident outside Harrods and was hospitalized. I thought, ‘Damn, I’m leaving, I have to find a job.’ I wanted something to occupy my evenings. So I walked straight into the Playboy Club and said I wanted a job.
After two weeks on the casino front desk, where I received brilliant advice and won a ton of money, I received a call saying it was Expensive. She said, ‘I’m going on the road, I need you.’ So I left the next day. I became his physical trainer and assistant and changed his costumes backstage.
Have you ever been paid stupid money?
Yes. I got paid a nice amount of money to do Celebrity Big Brother. I had fun too. I was in the house for eight days with my son, Callum. You are very well paid. I don’t want to say exactly how much because I don’t want people to hate me.
What was the best year of your financial life?
I do not have any. In my head, I was paid what I was worth. Before George, I had a very good career and after George, I took over this very good career. Every year of my life I worked hard and got paid what I deserved.
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought for fun?
Some crystal beads made in nature, such as amethysts and lapis lazuli. I bought these for £400 at a crystal show a few years ago. I now make crystal jewelry, which I sell on Etsy.
Memory: Angie with George and Callum in 1981
What’s the best financial decision you’ve made?
Invest in me. When my partner Mark and I started Absolute Best, our CBD company, I decided it was going to be a hit. And it works very well, because it is a fabulous sensational product.
Do you save in a pension?
No, and I never did. I would say my pension puts my money into my business. I don’t save money. It’s a tool so I use it. The money is reinvested in building the business. I am 70 years old so I receive the state pension. I get £160 a month because I haven’t lived in this country for so many years so they don’t want to give me anything else which is fine.
Do you own a property?
Of course I do – I own my business, all my jewelry, and myself. I don’t own my house. I live in Henley-on-Thames which is an expensive place and I rent a very modest and adorable little two bedroom house. I’m looking to buy a farm in Scotland as part of a business deal that I can’t talk too much about.
What luxury do you give yourself?
A very good massage once every six months. I will usually pay £60.
If you were Chancellor, what is the first thing you would do?
I would take the money that we give to all the other countries and give it to small businesses. There is a lot of money. I would say there is no small business rate, and I would fund that by cutting foreign aid.
Do you donate money to charity?
Yes, to very small home charities that support animals and children. Every time I watch TV, they want me to save all the animals in the world and give the children their smiles and their water and help them with their eyes. They want me to protect the pangolins and save the polar bear. All abroad. It makes me feel so guilty that they should be in pain and I can’t help them enough.
So I want all of this money to come back to our country, so that we can strengthen ourselves and therefore help them in a way that makes sense, instead of paying the CEOs of these charities big salaries of 200,000 or 300,000 books per year. .
What is your number one financial priority?
Security. To make sure I have a roof over my head.
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