Down the local with Jeremy Clarkson for an official peace summit
Ever since he sacked Kevin Pietersen, I have mocked new England cricket boss Paul Downton on Twitter – labelling him ‘Downton-Shabby’ and highlighting both his ineptitude and woefully mediocre record as a player.
Leaving Lord’s today, after England lost to Sri Lanka, I was accosted on the steps of the Tavern stand. ‘Piers, I thought I’d put a face to the man you’ve been abusing – Paul Downton.’
‘Actually,’ I responded, ‘I can now put a face to the man who stabbed my friend in the back.’ Downton erupted. ‘I didn’t stab anyone in the back!’
‘You did,’ I retorted, ‘and I bet you wish you’d had him back in the team today.’
‘NO!’ he shrieked, turning puce with indignation, ‘he had a TERRIBLE effect on the dressing room!’
‘ That’s complete nonsense,’ I countered.
We continued exchanging barbs for several minutes, before he suddenly stopped and announced: ‘Piers, meet my wife Ali...’
I turned to find a stony-faced Mrs Downton glaring at me. Hardly surprising given all I’ve said about her husband. ‘Nice to meet you,’ I said, shaking her hand. And he continued: ‘... and my daughter Phoebe.’
Miss Downton looked even less pleased to make my acquaintance, but grudgingly shook my hand, too.
‘Well, it’s been good meeting you,’ Downton lied, and they all walked off, thus bringing to an end a spectacularly awkward, superbly British encounter.
‘The locals choked on their
pork scratchings as Clarkson and I shook hands
and marched to the bar’
littered with mutual scars of verbal, literary and on one particularly notorious occasion, physical abuse, my bête noir Jeremy Clarkson was offering a peace summit.
‘Pint in the Scarsdale?’ I responded. We frequent the same west London pub. At 7pm tonight, we arrived exactly on time, he on a bicycle, me on foot, shook hands and marched to the bar – as startled locals spontaneously choked with disbelief on their pork scratchings. For the next four hours, we sat outside and drank. And as the alcohol flowed, we agreed that what our mutual friends have always insisted may well be true – the reason we feuded for so long was because we are so similar: quiet, modest, devoid of opinion, and universally loved. I arrived at the Glamour Awards tonight to be greeted with the words ‘MY MAN!’ by Samuel L Jackson, sporting a fluorescent turquoise suit and bright green tie. ‘ Did I misinterpret the “Glamour” dress code?’ he asked. ‘Samuel, you ARE the dress code,’ I reassured him.
Sharon Osbourne was less effusive. ‘Come here, you stupid old b*****d!’
As we exchanged furious airkisses, ‘Saint’ Steve Coogan – self-appointed bastion of press ethics and morality – walked by. ‘ Oh, he’s such a kn*b!’ Sharon seethed, echoing my sentiments precisely.
Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon were on my table, and demanded a selfie in which they both adoringly planted their lips on my cheeks. They then tweeted it to David Walliams and Simon Cowell with the words: ‘Love new BGT judge!’
There’s been speculation that I