Classical musician Vanessa Mae found fame and fortune at such an early age, she grew up with no concept of the value of money.

In retrospect the RED HOT star can see just how different her childhood was compared to her contemporaries - but she's grateful for the opportunities her gifted violin playing sent her way.

Looking back, the 26-year-old says, "I'm happy that I had the chances I had but it was a bit of a mixed-up childhood really. I had to go on my first date with a bodyguard in tow.

"The first time I went to the shops I had no idea what things cost. I remember the first time I ever had a credit card and I stayed in this five-star hotel. I gave a 20 per cent tip on the card, on top of the room.

"It's just that I didn't know the value of money. I'd give GBP50 tips to porters."

31/01/2005 13:59