|Intro||British media personality|
Lauren Charlotte Harries (born James Charles Harries in 1978) is a British media personality. In childhood Harries was known as James, a purported "child prodigy" in the field of antiques, appearing on numerous television shows including Wogan. In later life, as Lauren Harries, she has become more notable as an aspiring transgender celebrity.
Her father is Mark Harries, who worked in the hotel business and catering trade. Harries was the youngest of three children. The family moved to Cardiff when Harries was still a baby. From the age of five, Harries enjoyed art and antiques, and had an apparent ability to spot bargains at local jumble sales and second-hand shops. Harries spotted a piece of porcelain that was bought for pennies and sold for several thousand pounds, a story picked up by the Western Mail.
Harries began making television appearances in August 1988 on Terry Wogan's UK chat show, Wogan. The ten-year-old demonstrated what seemed to be a knowledge of antiques which, combined with an odd appearance including bow ties, curly golden hair, formal attire and a precocious manner of speaking, made Harries memorable to British viewers.
Harries's father ran a kissogram business among others; after Harries's appearance on Wogan, Mark supported the perception that Harries was an antiques expert. At 13, Harries wrote an antique guide, Rags to Riches.
Harries's schooling suffered from the heightened publicity. By the age of 14, Harries, whose family had already been subject to abuse because of their unusual child, suffered depression and agoraphobia, which led to a nervous breakdown and suicide attempt. Media opportunities and resulting business reduced as Harries grew up. In the recession of the early 1990s, the family's businesses failed. One family shop was destroyed by fire, and Mark Harries was convicted of insurance fraud. Harries sold some of her collections to assist in the support of the family.
As a child, Harries had been taken by her family to see a doctor because she displayed feminine mannerisms. Later, Harries decided to transition from male to female, change her name to Lauren Charlotte, and investigated sex reassignment surgery, which was carried out in 2001. Funding for this was generated from publicity arranged by Max Clifford.
In 2004, after Harries had undergone gender reassignment, Channel 4 broadcast a documentary Little Lady Fauntleroy made by actor Keith Allen in which he interviewed the Harries family. The documentary was released on DVD on 4 July 2005.
On 8 July 2005, a gang of five to seven men attacked Harries, her father and her brother in the family home. One 17-year-old boy was later fined and given a supervision order for his role in the incident.
In October 2006, Harries appeared in the Channel 5 television series Trust Me – I'm a Beauty Therapist, which was filmed on location in a beauty therapist's in Swansea, Wales.
In November 2008 Harries was featured as a cover girl in the specialist lifestyle magazine Transliving.
Harries is a Buddhist and a vegetarian; she lives in Cardiff.
In August 2013, Harries became a housemate on the twelfth series of Celebrity Big Brother. She finished in third place.
In September 2013, she appeared on Celebrity Juice. Harries has cited past sexual relations with comedian Russell Brand, claims he adamantly denies. Harries repeated her claim in January 2015 stating "It’s all true [...] he doesn’t want people to find out, maybe he doesn’t want his mother to know!"
Her debut single "I Am a Woman" was released in January 2015.