Every generation has its French-language hit. In the Sixties, Britain was seduced by Je t'Aime, Serge Gains bourg and Jane Birkin's mantra of steamy Gallic sighs. The late Seventies brought high-speed Belgian punk - Plastic Bertrand's Ça Plane Pour Moi, and then in 1988 Joe Le Taxi drove to No 3, sung by the 14-year-old Vanessa Paradis. For those who were at school at the time, the song was a revelation. We studied the lyrics in our French lessons, and the cute girl singing it seemed to embody all those French expressions we had been learning, with her " insouciant" dancing in the video; flicking her hair with a certain "je ne sais quoi". And she was only 14! [[ Yet while Paradis was pretty much a one-hit wonder in this country, she's gone on to become France's reigning queen of chic.
Today, with a stack of movies also under her belt, she has just released her fifth album, her first in five years and third No 1 seller in France in a row. Oh, and she's shacked up and procreated with some actor called Johnny Depp, who has bought his new family an island in the Bahamas, but more on him later.
At the grand old age of 34, she may be about to revive her fortunes in Britain, as word about her new record, Divinidylle, spreads. "People's reactions are so beautiful," she agrees, sitting in a hotel room in Paris, her blonde hair rolling around her face in endless messy curls. "I am so glad."