SATURDAY, APRIL 28
‘How would you like to take Goldie Hawn as your date to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner?’ asked one of my Cnn-show producers.
Tradition dictates that all American TV news anchors (no, that’s not pronounced with a ‘w’ in my case — but thanks for asking) take a big- name guest to the event, one of the most glittering in the US political calendar. ‘Are you SERIOUS?!’ I replied. Ms Hawn has been one of my favourite stars since I was 15 and Private Benjamin came out. Any woman who could actually make a man DIE during sex on their wedding night had to be pretty special. I said ‘Yes’ faster than Usain Bolt would take to cover a millimetre.
Tonight, I got in my limo in Washington DC and headed to Goldie’s hotel, the Four Seasons. ‘Fancy a drink in the bar to calm your nerves?’ I texted en route.
She responded instantly. ‘Coming down. Drink. Bar.’
Goldie looked sensational wearing a shimmering black dress, white fur wrap and a sprinkling of jewels bright enough to light Capitol Hill for the night. ‘Fabulous dress!’ I exclaimed. ‘Dolce & Gabbana,’ she explained. I pulled open my jacket. ‘Ditto.’ We ordered Champagne. ‘Now, Piers,’ she said, piercing me with those dazzling blue eyes. ‘Tell me all about YOU.’ For half an hour we chatted about life, politics, Kurt Russell (the other man in her world) and daughters. Goldie’s, of course, is superstar actress Kate Hudson. Mine is Elise Morgan, only five months old but no less of a superstar. ‘You’ll be the most important man in her life forever,’ she warned. ‘Don’t ever forget that.’
We drove to the Hilton. ‘This is where Ronald Reagan was shot,’ Goldie noted as we walked inside. ‘Well, I’m sure our evening will go better,’ I reassured her.
Red carpets normally fill me with horror. But not this time. ‘Let’s go rock them, baby,’ Goldie urged, sliding her arm through mine. Flashbulbs exploded, as did my ego. I now know how Elizabeth Taylor’s seven husbands must have felt in similar situations. You understand it’s not about you, but God, it feels good.
Diane Keaton passed by, clocked the scene, stopped dead in her tracks, roared with laughter, clapped, shouted ‘HA!’ and walked on. Or maybe it was ‘HOW?’
We went for more Champagne at a CNN pre-dinner reception, where we alighted on Kate Hudson. ‘MOM!’ she squealed. ‘KATE! Meet Piers!’ ‘I’m your mother’s hot date,’ I said.
‘Great date! Good laughs, good chat, good fun, good guy!’ tweeted Goldie.
What a gal...
‘Oh, I know,’ smiled Kate. ‘She’s been looking forward to it. This is Matt,’ she added, introducing me to an extremely polite Englishman.
‘What does Matt do?’ I whispered a bit later to Goldie. ‘He’s a musician,’ she said.
It was time for dinner. ‘I need BREAD,’ declared Goldie, ‘and I need it NOW.’
‘God, you movie- star divas are so demanding,’ I replied. We sat at our table, slap bang in the middle of a cavernous ballroom teeming with 3,000 guests, 30 yards from where President Obama would be sitting. ‘Should we mingle?’ Goldie asked. ‘Nooooo. Let the mountain come to Muhammad.’ And so it did.
Goldie is ridiculously famous — and ridiculously popular. Everyone LOVES her. Woody Harrelson, Colin Powell, Viola Davis, Google chairman Eric Schmidt — all joined the throng paying delighted homage to my golden guest.
Elle Macpherson was the only one not happy. ‘He was MY date a few months ago, Goldie,’ she protested. Which is true: we sat together at the Pride of Britain Awards.
‘Jealousy’s a terrible thing, Body — do calm down,’ I insisted.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get better for my own rather jaundiced brand, Eva Longoria came and sat next to us, took my hand and purred, ‘Piers, I loved our last interview. Can we do it again soon?’
‘He is great, isn’t he?’ agreed Goldie, adding her hand to the pile. ‘I loved mine too.’ I have no idea what heaven’s like, or indeed if I’ll ever get there, but if I do, I reckon it’ll resemble something like this.
President Obama made a very funny speech, mocking all and sundry.
This time last year, at the same event, he made a similar speech having just ordered Seal Team Six to take out Osama bin Laden. His favourite target that night was Donald Trump, who’d been loudly questioning the veracity of Obama’s birth certificate.
Tonight, his opening line was: ‘Last year, we finally delivered justice to one of the world’s most notorious individuals…’ As the audience broke into applause, the big screens suddenly switched to a photo of Trump.
There was a lavish after-party hosted by Vanity Fair at the French embassy. We all piled into one car — me, Goldie, Kate and Matt. ‘This is a bit of a squeeze,’ said Goldie. ‘Do you mind if I put my arm around you?’
‘Mind?’ I laughed. ‘I’ve waited 30 years for this!’ The party was notable for various surreal moments. I finally met Harry Potter — actor Daniel Radcliffe, who was very small, very funny and very selfaware. ‘You having fun?’ I asked.
‘God, yes,’ he replied. ‘I can’t believe my f***ing luck!’
‘But how on earth do you live up to that role in the future?’
‘I don’t. I’ve realised I’ll never do anything that big again and I’m cool with that.’ Smart boy. Someone brushed past me, slightly knocking my elbow.
I was going to remonstrate when I realised it was Salman Rushdie, and he probably had a large security detail ready to fight such battles for him.
Talking of battles, I also spoke privately to General David Petraeus, new head of the CIA — and by common consent the world’s top military man. He was quietly spoken but incredibly impressive.
Oh, and then I got drunk with George Clooney. Yep, I really did.
We stood together in the centre of the party from 2am to 3am, drinking vodka and swapping crazy stories. He’s hilarious. More importantly, he gave me three bear hugs at various times. Which is like the Hollywood version of a Papal blessing.
At some stage during the night, two other things happened:
1) I discovered that Kate’s fiancé, Matt, was in fact Matt Bellamy, lead singer of Devon-born group Muse, currently one of the world’s hottest rock bands.
2) Matt was asked by another guest, in all seriousness, if he was my bodyguard. It says all you need to know about him that he found this question as entertaining as I did.
SUNDAY, APRIL 29
Goldie, who was just the sweetest, smar test , funniest , classiest companion imaginable, tweeted the following words to me: ‘Great date! Good laughs, good chat, good fun, good guy!’ What a night... what a gal.
Hawn, who was Piers’ date at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last week