Back in the early-to-mid 1990s, during my early-to-mid teens, I was a frequent reader of British video entertainment magazine, Video World. It claimed to be, “Britain’s Biggest Selling Video Entertainment Magazine” and I had no cause to disagree. It was great for a horror/sci-fi movie buff, such as myself, it was packed with interviews and reviews of the very latest video releases, it highlighted many movies that would more often be over looked by “mainstream” movie reviews reporting on their stars, directors, effects, and gore and curiously, the magazine had no age restriction to it despite having the back pages completely devoted to the latest adult releases and, as I said before, I was a teenage boy.
The pages also contained a great many classified ads, but there was always one in particular that was always there; Fiona Cooper Adult Videos! Each issue seemed to contain a full page, full colour ad (in some cases as many three pages) devoted to this one company that promised the very latest range of adult entertainment, photo sets, and “telephone entertainment” boasting hundreds of videos to suit every taste, also adding that they were always looking out for new models to feature.
Originally set up in 1978 by one “Fiona Cooper,” a former French model who was now the leading name in mail order adult glamour videos, she promoted (in “her” own words) “SEXY videos…but never SEX videos.” Her mail away video catalogue (which could be bought for £2) focused on “the girl next door” and the catalogue also contained a letters page and various competitions. At one point they even sold limited edition figurines of their most popular girls!
Video World magazine themselves described Fiona Cooper’s videos as “A must for those of you with an eye for glitz underwear…Fiona’s got quite a treat in store…slick stripping and half decent soundtracks give the Fiona Cooper tapes an edge over many of the adult tapes.” Now I must stress, I never actually mailed away for their catalogue and wasn’t familiar with their products, but the models that featured in their relentless adverts were regular faces to me! Case in point; one “Ingrid,” who’s full page ads declaring that I could “spend an hour with Ingrid for only £5” was as regular a feature in Video World magazine as their contents page! The advertised “hour” was of course a video, a “full 1 hour long on high quality Sony tape” to be precise, but who was “Ingrid”? This was something I asked myself three years ago when I was researching through my back issues for another project and so down the rabbit hole I went. I did some digging for all the good it did me! The Internet turned up nothing. Even back issues of catalogues themselves offered very little information on her, only in that she was apparently Swedish, that she was one of three sisters (called Imogen and Josie, who had also stared in Fiona Cooper videos), and that she had done three videos and three photo shoots for the company and for 36p a minute, I could have heard her speak via the company’s “Lipstick Lines” service. Undeterred, I contacted the company itself that was still in business (although Fiona Cooper had long retired, her daughter Chloé now apparently ran the business side of things), but this too yielded no results, as they could only tell me that Ingrid featured in their “classics library,” so it seemed that the quest had come to a disappointing end and that was that.
As I said, this was three years ago, but seeing as I had expressed an “interest” in their company, I now found myself on the Fiona Cooper mailing list and so their manila envelopes bearing a Halifax, Yorkshire postmark, became a regular feature of my mornings each quarter. That was until summer 2017 when something called a “Mum’s last swansong” flyer came through the door. It seemed that Fiona Cooper had died! Chloé informed us; “Mum is no longer with us, and her last call was to say that when she leaves, FC leaves with her,” so once again I found myself asking another question; “So who was Fiona Cooper then?”
Once again, I did some digging and this time, discovered something startling! It seemed that all along Fiona Cooper was in fact a “he”; one Philip Joseph Sutcliffe, in fact who had been jailed for 18 months back in 2002 after indecent images of children were found on his personal computers. Having admitted to three offences of making indecent photographs of a child, he was sentenced for three offences of indecent assault and two offences of taking indecent photographs before being ordered to pay £3,500 costs and be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years. Then, in February of 2017, he was once again sentenced to four years in prison by Sheffield Crown Court after admitting to abusing a 13 year-old girl. The official Fiona Cooper website claims, “On September 1st 2017, Fiona Cooper made the tough decision to call it a day. They will no longer be creating new and exciting content – images or videos,” which was a novel way of announcing that the company’s owner was now in prison! So, that really was the end of an article that turned up more questions than answers, perhaps teaching us a valid lesson; beware, that rabbit hole it might lead somewhere unpleasant! All that aside though… I wonder who Ingrid was?