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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

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