John d Green photographed Cathy McGowan for Birds of Britain on 29 September 1966 at his Kensington studio.
Cathy McGowan was the presenter of the seminal 60s pop music television show Ready Steady Go! She beat Radio One’s first female disc jockey Annie Nightingale to the job by answering “fashion” when asked by RSG’s executive producer Elkan Allan whether sex, music or fashion was most important to teenagers.
She may have been the inspiration for Susan Campy from the Beatles’ 1964 film A Hard Day’s Night, when George Harrison tells the producer of a fictitious teen television show that Campy is “… that posh bird who gets everything wrong”, to which the producer played by Kenneth Haigh replies, “She’s a trendsetter. It’s her profession.”
McGowan seemed in tune with the times — “the girl of the day”, according to Eric Burdon of the Animals — and through her fashion sense acquired the eponym “Queen of the Mods“. Twiggy regarded McGowan as her heroine: “I’d sit and drool over her clothes. She was a heroine to us because she was one of us”.
Since the early 1990s she has lived with actor and singer Michael Ball.