There are very few women in the world who can claim to have inspired a new phrase. However, Thierry Henry’s ex-wife Claire Merry, also known by her modelling name Nicole Merry, can take the credit for the well known expression ‘va-va-voom’.
Claire Merry was born in Croydon, London, and is the daughter of an English advertising executive. A model by trade, Merry is most famous for being the ex-wife of former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry, with whom she has a daughter, Tea.
Merry and Henry appeared together on a commercial for Renault Clio, with Henry popularising the term ‘va-va-voom’ to the extent that it was included into the Concise Oxford English Dictionary in July 2004. However, whilst Henry took the plaudits for the commercial’s success (I can still remember hearing the line ‘hey Bobby, what’s French for ‘va-va-voom’ and wanting to kill him) it is obvious that Miss. Merry was the real star of the advert, and should therefore take the plaudits! She was clearly the muse, the creative spark behind it all. What’s more, she’s English. Therefore, on behalf of Blighty, Thierry, Renault, you’re welcome.
Henry and Merry divorced in 2008 following Henry’s departure to Barcelona, with rumours abound that Henry had been flirting with other women, and had fled England to get away from the English model. Personally, I refuse to believe that Henry could trick more than one woman into going out with him, and prefer to believe that they simply drifted apart.
Merry has been a regular on the social circuit following her divorce from Henry, as well as modelling her own lingerie range called Dirty Pretty Things. The line is currently available in Harvey Nichols and Selfridges if you feel like treating your misses or just want to feel special on a Saturday night.
In any case, Henry’s loss is England’s gain, and so let’s all enjoy some pictures of the lovely Claire Merry…
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