The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - RADIO WEEK -

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.

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