Secrets to succcess: the good luck rituals and superstitions of the rich and famous

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There are a few things we can do to keep bad luck at bay - don't walk under an open ladder, be careful not to open an umbrella indoors and be cautious of crossing a path with a black cat.

But for the rich and famous these are somewhat more complex and all the more fascinating, as revealed in a new book. Get Lucky (Rituals, Habits and Superstitions of the Rich and Famous) shares the good luck rituals and quirky superstitions of some of history's most iconic figures from Marilyn Monroe to David Beckham.

British author and journalist Chas Newkey-Burden scoured hundreds of articles and interviews to unearth the unusual habits and secrets behind their success. 

From entertaining trivia - such as the story behind Audrey Hepburn's dress on the night she won an Oscar - to hilarious anecdotes - such as Heidi Klum's odd good luck charm - read on to be both inspired and highly amused. 

  • David Beckham

    The ex-footballer and father of four likes to arrange everything in a straight line or in pairs. He rearranges hotel rooms to make everything perfect and will throw away drinks rather than have an uneven number in the fridge.

  • Heidi Klum

    The model and TV personality carries her baby teeth in her bag as a good luck charm.

  • Steve Jobs

    The technology guru and Apple founder had a collection of over one hundred black sweaters designed by Issey Miyake. He wore one every day.

  • Marilyn Monroe

    The iconic star shaved the heel of one shoe in each pair to give her that famous uneven, hip-swinging walk.

  • Christian Bale

    The actor habitually dares superstition to do its worst, walking under ladders and more. "I do it on purpose," he says. "I like provoking superstitions."

  • James McAvoy

    On the first day of every month, the actor says "white rabbits" to the first person he sees, a good luck charm he learnt from his grandmother. 

  • Audrey Hepburn

    When the actress was nominated for her first academy award for her lead role in Roman Holiday, the star asked renowned designer Edith Head to adapt a dress she wore in the film for the big night. When Hepburn won the award, she credited the garment describing it as her 'lucky dress' and wore it again thereafter.

  • Leonardo da Vinci

    The Italian Renaissance artist and inventor would take a 20 minute nap every four hours rather than sleep a full night.

  • Mo Farah

    The double-Olympic gold medallist shaves his head - he loves the feeling of running his hand over a smooth scalp - and drinks a shot of espresso 20 minutes before his race.

  • Renée Zellweger

    The actress eats ice cubes throughout the day. She says it helps her feel full and fresh.

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt

    The American president (1933–1945) had a phobia of the number 13. He would reschedule flights to avoid ones that fell on a day or time that included the number 13.

  • John Terry

    The Chelsea footballer sits in the same seat on the team bus, parks in the same spot in the car park and listens to the same CD before every match.

  • Get Lucky (Rituals, Habits and Superstitions of the Rich and Famous)

    Get Lucky (Rituals, Habits and Superstitions of the Rich and Famous) by Chas Newskey-Burden is out on 6 November, £8.99,

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