Inside Annabel Croft’s bitter feud with TV legend over underwear brand

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    Strictly Come Daning star Annabel Croft and television icon Carol Smillie were once the best of friends in front and away from the limelight.

    Taking their friendship to new heights, the pair later decided to go into business together. Creating the innovative idea of waterproof knickers the dynamic duo almost struck gold with their phenomenal idea aimed at women and young girls.

    But although the pair seemed to be doing well with their joint family business, Annabel and Carol hit a major stumbling block. This has now led to reports claiming that they are no longer on speaking terms.

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    So where did it all go wrong for the ladies? Daily Star has taken a look inside their bitter feud.

    Diary Doll launch

    Carol and Annabel launched their underwear brand back in 2012 specifically aimed at women and young girls. The waterproof knickers were the perfect solution to help women on their monthly period as well as other matters such as urinary incontinence.

    Speaking about her brand and how it began, Carol initially said: "Our pants are created to look and feel just like your normal underwear. With an invisible waterproof panel running from front to back and an extra wide gusset to hold a nighttime pad.

    "Annabel and I, set up Diary Doll in 2012 as a perfect solution to teenage period woes. Stopping those embarrassing leaks overnight and increasing confidence during the day at school."

    Annabel and Carol came up with the business idea while on holiday with their daughters. Meanwhile both of their husbands at the time were also involved in the running of the organisation.

    Name change

    In 2017, reports revealed that Carol had signed a global licence deal with the television shopping channel, High Street TV for her range of underwear. The name Diary Doll was also later scrapped.

    Diary Doll was originally sold in John Lewis, Debenhams and Alliance Healthcare. However, its manufacturer went into administration and sales stalled.

    The name was then changed to Pretty Clever Pants and focused primarily on women over 40 suffering from bladder weakness. According to reports at the time, Carol secured listings with Boots, QVC and Amazon.

    Feud erupts

    In 2021 news broke that celebrity duo Carol and Anabel had fallen out and are no longer on talking terms. Sources claimed that the pair had disagreements on how the business would run after Carol took it over.

    Speaking on the matter, a source told The Sun that Annabel "felt pushed out".

    The insider said: "It’s a real shame as the women used to be so close and go on holiday together. They even formed the idea for the company during one vacation away but after the business fall-out they no longer speak. It really goes to show that you shouldn’t ever mix business with pleasure."

    Pretty Clever Pants

    Carol shares insight into Pretty Clever Pants on her personal website. However, there is no mention of Annabel's involvement.

    On the website, Carol writes: "After over 25 years in broadcasting, I decided to try my hand at something completely different, and in 2012, I set up my own business Pretty Clever Pants.

    It was an incredible rollercoaster of discovery and learning, pushing me to do things I never thought I could and went from a simple idea (aren’t all the best ones?) to a multi-award-winning brand of smart underwear with a secret waterproof panel, for life's little leaks, giving confidence to women all over the world, and stocked in the UK's major high street stores like Boots, John Lewis, QVC and Debenhams.

    "Six years later, I sold the business to the tv shopping channel High St TV." She explained.

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