John Gibson: Hilary’s had a bellyful of Royal Mile

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Does she have the stomach for the Royal Mile? Belly-dancing Hilary Thacker has given the Mile and its environs her best shot, but running her corner-site Bazaar in the Canongate has given her the shakes and she has put up the shutters.

Says spinster Hilary, 52, still convinced she can make a living from her tantalising tum: “I’ve tried hard here on the Royal Mile these past five years but there’s no way I could make any money to speak of.

“God knows I’ve tried. I ran Hilary’s Bazaar on George IV Bridge seven years before I moved down here and I’ve been left with a similarly woeful story.”

After moving to Edinburgh from England, Hilary’s first venture in Edinburgh was in Leith’s Queen Charlotte Street where she taught belly-dancing and performed in Gulnars, a Turkish restaurant.

“Maybe my timing was wrong. Festival tourists were fewer and Edinburgh had a lengthy recession,” says Hilary. Dejected but not downhearted, she is off to Morocco for a month and she hopes Moroccans will bear with her.

“The natives there have a certain fascination for a white belly-dancer and when I come back to Edinburgh I’ll have fresh ideas. But for sure I’ll not try them out on the Royal Mile.’’

No good

Proud to have been unceremoniously raped. Proud to have starred in Downton, where it happened. See where it got Joanne Froggatt. Splashed on the nation’s front pages.

One has to conclude that it doesn’t pay to be a good girl any more. Did it ever?