I ACTUALLY found myself feeling sorry for Kate Middleton — a previously unheard of emotion — when she was recently pictured looking exhausted, with her greying roots, as the tabloids said ‘on show’.

I thought how difficult it must be to have to live your life never having an off day.

I’m lucky if I have one or two days a month where I look reasonable. Most of time I look like I’ve spent the day wrestling with a bear in a bramble thicket.

I’ve got plenty of grey hairs, and white ones too, but there’s only me to notice or care.

I know I’m not going to wake up and see a 50-times enlarged photograph of my centre parting on the cover of a national newspaper with six pages of comment as to why it looks that way.

Were cameras following my ever move, I’d never leave the house.

For those in the spotlight, every gesture is analysed. Pregnant Zara Philips was snapped the other day with her hand raised to her forehead.

Headlines jumped to conclusions — she was weary, fed-up, eager to have her baby. Yet in reality she was probably just swiping away a stray hair.

It’s the same for celebrities. It must be so hard to be scrutinised day and night, never to be able to scratch your nose without someone assuming you’ve just taken drugs, or yawn for fear of your tonsils gracing the front page of The Sun.

At least we mortals living in obscurity are able to shuffle out with the recycling at 11pm in threadbare slippers and a sloppy dressing gown, or dash to the shops wearing a baggy jumper and no make-up without fear of a dozen flashbulbs going off.

How many hours do the likes of Nicole Scherzinger, who from the look of her is more high maintenance than a herd of stallions, have to spend getting ready just to pop to the cashpoint?

While many of us aspire to life in the spotlight, perhaps we should be grateful for life outside it.

It must be terrible to have to keep calm and collected all the time. I’ve lost count of the times my near neighbours have witnessed me losing my temper, waving my arms, shouting and bawling. If I lived in the public eye I’d have been parcelled up, shipped off and sectioned by now, with my wild grey hair confirming the diagnosis.