I’m in London this week filming a new series of Life Stories for ITV. Nigel Havers came to give his friend Julian Clary some moral support tonight, and after a hilarious and touching show, we retired to the green room for some alcoholic refreshment.
‘Do you ever have a drink before going on air?’ Nigel asked.
‘God, no,’ I replied. ‘I wouldn’t trust myself.’
‘Richard Burton used to drink a bottle of vodka a night when he was on Broadway and still be brilliant,’ Nigel sighed, admiringly.
‘Yes, but he was playing Hamlet and King Arthur,’ I replied. ‘Tomorrow night, I’m anchoring an hour of breaking Syria news for CNN in New York. Not so much room for slurring manoeuvre.’
‘I don’t mind being downgraded for Brad Pitt or the Dalai Lama at a push
– but Holly Willoughby?’
record for performing 35 ‘ taps’ a second. Sixty million people have seen his Lord Of The Dance shows, amassing him more than €240 million. This has allowed him to buy fabulous homes, cars and art — and more importantly from my viewpoint, a spectacularly good wine cellar.
As aficionados of this column will know, I want to die drowning in a large vat of Château Latour. Flatley, it transpired, shares my love for Latour, whose rarest bottles sell for thousands of pounds.
We differ over the greatest vintage — he says 1982; I prefer the 1961. But that’s like quibbling over whether you’d rather wake up next to Scarlett Johansson or Jessica Alba.
Late tonight , a cour ier arrived at my house with a bottle of 1985 Latour, and a note from Michael saying, ‘It would have been ’82, but that would have taken longer to get to you, and I thought speed was of the essence!’
He was right. I guzzled it faster than he can tap. Two random encounters at Heathrow Airport this morning. First Carlo Ancelotti, the new Real Madrid manager who inexpl icably sold German superstar Mesut Özil to Arsenal last week. I caught his eye, and smiled a joyous smirk of insane gratitude.
He stared forlornly back. I think he knows it was a terrible mistake.
Then I bumped into Gi l lian Anderson. ‘Great speech about guns at the GQ Awards,’ she said.
‘ Thanks,’ I replied. ‘As good as Russell Brand’s?’ Gillian pursed her lips as if devouring a 10-hectare field of unripe lemons, and shot her eyes so far skywards they nearly collided with the ceiling. The US state of Iowa, it has emerged, has been giving gun permits to people who are legally blind.
Words — as with Gillian yesterday — fail me.