THE family of Lena Zavaroni have accused an author of cashing in on the late singer's memory, I learn.

Andrew O'Hagan, deemed in the literary world to be a bright young thing, is publishing his novel, Personality, this week.

His "work of fiction" tells the story of Maria Tambini, of Scottish-Italian origin, who was raised on the Isle of Bute, wins a TV talent show called Opportunity Knocks, becomes a child star and dies of anorexia.

Zavaroni, on the other hand, was of Scottish-Italian origin, raised on the Isle of Bute, won Opportunity Knocks and became a child star before dying of anorexia in 1999.

Zavaroni's sister, Carla Bush, says of O'Hagan: "He's making money out of somebody else's life. He is using Lena's name for his own ends." O'Hagan admits he was inspired - "touched and intrigued" - by the singer's life story. But he denies his book exploits her.

The Free Library