From a conventional suburban background, Crisp enjoyed wearing make-up and painting his nails, and worked as a rent-boyin his teens. He then spent thirty years as a professional model for life-classes in art colleges. The interviews he gave about his unusual life attracted increasing public curiosity and he was soon sought after for his highly individual views on social manners and the cultivating of style. His one-man stage show was a long-running hit both in Britain and America and he also appeared in films and on TV. Crisp defied convention by criticizing both gay liberation and Diana, Princess of Wales.