As the undisputed breakout star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Lisa Vanderpump has become the British jewel in the crown of the Housewives franchise. Her glamorous life; beautiful home; and her love of double entendres and four-legged friends have ingratiated her to millions of viewers. Friendships may come and go on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but Lisa's status as fan favourite has never been in doubt.
We spoke to Lisa to get her take on everything from this season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, plastic surgery, and whether she will be back for another go …
Last season was the most dramatic Beverly Hills has ever seen. Kim Richards' sobriety issues came to a head and Brandi Glanville's behaviour became increasingly erratic – throwing wine over Eileen Davidson escalated to pushing Kyle Richards and eventually slapping Lisa in the face.
Luckily, the group dynamic has changed this season with the absence of Kim & Brandi. “It's always changing it's always evolving,” Lisa says. “I think that's what Bravo [the US channel that shows Housewives] likes it to do.” She and Kyle are the only original Housewives to remain in a line-up that included Kim, Camille Grammer, and Taylor Armstrong. “It's only Kyle and I that are kind of the 'old girls',” Lisa says with a laugh. “Sometimes you put someone in and it's a spoke in the wheel,” she quips.
There are two new Housewives this year, Erika Girardi and Kathryn Edwards. Does Lisa think either of them are spokes in the wheel? “Kathryn is a lovely girl – really nice girl – but you never know how someone is going to come across because you know their interviews are largely responsible for how they're portrayed.” Lisa is referring to the show's confessional footage – where the Housewives give their opinions on the scenes after they have been filmed. “You haven't seen that much of [Kathryn] – she's only just come in to it, but I know off camera she's a really lovely girl so I hope she gets a good portrayal.”
Her feelings about Erika – the series' resident dance music artist – on the other hand, are more mixed. “When you see someone – like with Erika – you see her say some pretty negative things in her interviews and you think ‘Wow, I didn't know she felt like that or would say something like that.'”
Lisa has also had her share of issues with the returning wives – most notably Eileen Davidson and Yolanda Foster. Lisa admits she did feel dragged in to the conversation around Yolanda Foster's Lyme disease. "I didn't want to talk about it because I have a loyalty to Mohammed and the children. When you sign up for a reality show and you have an opinion, people want to know it unfortunately and sometimes you get in to a tough spot. You're thinking 'I don't want to talk about it' and they say 'Tell us what you know.' It's very difficult," she admits.
Lisa riled up Eileen by quizzing the soap star about how she met her husband Vince Van Patten – the pair became close when they were both married to other people. Eileen did not take Lisa's questioning well and repeatedly confronted her about it. "It wasn't like I was exposing something," Lisa says when asked if Eileen's reaction was a bit strong. "She said on the show the season before that she was okay with the ex wife and it's all good now and so I thought she was just going to say 'Oh my god you have no idea how difficult it was working together and we fell in love and all that.' Things don't stop there – Lisa reveals that her and Eileen's issues will continue to come up: "She kind of turned and then she gives me a hard time for the rest of the season. It doesn't stop there trust me. You can only apologise so many times."
I mean I've got to 55 without doing things like that. I just don't really like that look of things pulled tight.
Even Lisa's good friend Lisa Rinna has rubbed her up the wrong way. "I just saw Lisa Rinna say my house is like a disco and I'm thinking 'Really?'" Lisa wasn't happy with this and considered it a bit of a low blow. "A lot of the fans jumped on that because they know I design everything myself and Villa Rosa is a beautiful house and it's definitely not like a disco."
Either way, it seems as if Lisa didn't have a great time this year: “It's an interesting season. It wasn't a great season for me. I have to say I hated season two, I hated season four, and I wasn't crazy about season six in terms of just getting the attacks from the other women.” This year was so bad for her that she's unsure about whether she wants to return to the show. “I don't know about season 7 right now.” Say it isn't so Lisa!
If Lisa does decide to leave Housewives behind, she certainly has a lot to keep her busy. She and Ken run a host of restaurants and bars both in Los Angeles and here in the UK. Her LA restaurant SUR is the setting of the Housewives spin-off Vanderpump Rules – which Lisa stars in and acts as executive producer. She's one of the only Housewives to helm her own spin-off – and Pump Rules has been a runaway success; sometimes achieving higher viewing figures than its parent show. The series focuses on the (at times sordid) interconnected lives of the servers and bartenders at SUR.
The Real Housewives have practically become synonymous with plastic surgery – with tabloid gossip about who has had what procedures dominating the headlines, and some treatments even being featured on the show. On whether she would ever have any invasive plastic surgery, Lisa admitted she isn't a fan: “I can't say never, but that's not really my thing. I mean I've got to 55 without doing things like that. I just don't really like that look of things pulled tight."
“I think there is a way of ageing kind of gracefully. I think the most important thing is to look after your skin really,” Lisa says. What's her secret to having great skin? Staying out of the sun. “Having never put my face in the sun has really helped me out over the years. People always used to say to me years ago ‘Why do you always have make-up on? Why don't you let your skin breathe and let the sun get to it?' I think not doing that has really helped me. If you look at the skin on your bum and the skin on your face it's totally different – unless you're exposing your butt to the sun.” Well, there you have it …
As for which famous ladies she'd like to join the cast, Lisa has some high-profile choices. “Oh, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lawrence,” she says immediately. Both are regulars at Lisa's LA hotspots. She also has Ayda Field – Robbie Williams' wife – in mind for a place on the show, but as Lisa points out, “She's busy with her new babies.”