Lindsay Lohan’s a fibbing little minx
I’m worried about poor old Jeremy Paxman. He used to make news for his withering assaults on forktongued politicians, earning him the well-deserved sobriquet ‘the BBC’s rottweiler- in- chief’. But then he morphed into the ‘nothing-to-do-withme-guv’ journalistic hero who was nowhere to be seen when the Jimmy Savile scandal exploded at Newsnight, and, latterly, for sporting an absurd grey beard on air.
I’ve met Paxman a few times, and rarely encountered such a supremely narcissistic, pompous bore — a man who positively drips in smug, sanctimonious, supercilious selfsatisfaction. And also a man whose every waking moment is spent carefully nurturing his ‘Paxo’ brand.
I can just picture him looking at his flagging ratings (his show has at times dropped to 200,000 viewers) and thinking: ‘Hmmm, time for The Beard. That will get them all talking about my favourite subject. . . me.’
He even wrote a lengthy article about The Beard, feigning shock at all the fuss it generated, when that was clearly the sole purpose of growing it in the first place. Let me help you with the intellectual analysis of The Beard, Jeremy: you look like a cross between Steptoe and Harold Shipman.
‘The edifice of illusion crumbled... Lindsay, the
fibbing little minx, did me up like a kipper’
close to landing the role of Veronica Corningstone (eventually played by Christina Applegate) in my all-time favourite comedy, Anchorman. Four months ago, I sat down with Lindsay Lohan in New York to conduct an interview for this very magazine. She was about to enter a rehab clinic for the umpteenth time.
‘I’m going to tell you the absolute truth about everything,’ she assured me. ‘How many times have you taken cocaine?’ I asked. ‘Everyone thinks I’ve done it so many times. But I’ve only done it maybe four or five times in my life,’ she replied. ‘Really?’
‘Yes, I don’t like it. I took it four times in a period from about the age of 20 to 23.’
‘People will be very sceptical that you’ve only taken cocaine four times,’ I persisted.
‘It’s the truth.’ I looked into her big blue/green eyes, and I believed her. As for alcohol, when I asked, ‘Do you drink a lot?’ she replied: ‘Not really. I’ve never been a big drinker.’ Again, I believed her. So much so that when the interview was published and journalist friends of mine who’ve moved a little closer in Ms Lohan’s social circle mocked me for my shocking naïvety, I insisted that they were wrong and I was right.
Tonight, I sat and watched Oprah Winfrey interview Lindsay, in her first public appearance since coming OUT of the clinic. ‘I read that you said you’d really only done cocaine three or four times?’ said Oprah.
‘I really haven’t done it . . .’ Lindsay paused, and a slight guilty smirk appeared on her face.
‘I really haven’t done it more than . . . 10 to 15 times.’ And then came the I own one car — an Aston Martin Rapide — that I keep at my house in Los Angeles.
My American assistant Juliana kindly takes care of it during my numerous absences.
Unfortunately, she was nowhere to be found this morning when I ran out of petrol — and actually had to go to a station, and attempt to fill up the tank myself for the first time in a year. This relatively simple act required one crucial piece of knowledge — the location of the fuel tank release button.
For 15 increasingly ludicrous minutes, I tried and failed to find it — even poring over the manual.
It was a moment of excruciating embarrassment, where you just hope and pray nobody recognises you.
There was a tap on the passenger window, and I turned to see a blonde in hippie hotpants cackling with laughter at my discomfort.
‘Need some help, darling?’ she asked me, at which point my heart sank.
It was Amanda Holden.