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

Lunch with Kevin Pi­etersen at the Wolse­ley. We’ve both re­cently been cru­elly cast into the un­em­ploy­ment ether af­ter trou­ble­some clashes at work – me with the gun lobby on air at CNN, he with equally gut­less cow­ards at the English Cricket Board.

As we sat and ate, a man ap­proached the ta­ble and gave us his card. ‘I’d love to work with you both, es­pe­cially you Kevin.’ ‘What do you do?’ he asked. ‘I’m a psy­chi­a­trist.’ Sa­muel L Jack­son was at a nearby ta­ble, and we went over to say hello.

‘Sa­muel, this is Kevin,’ I said. ‘He plays cricket.’

‘Crick-et?’ The great man’s be­mused face as he slowly rolled his tongue around this strange word had such a crush­ing ef­fect on Kevin’s own vis­age that I felt my­self in­stinc­tively reach­ing for our new psy­chi­a­trist friend’s card to book him the first ap­point­ment.

When we left, a young guy stopped us out­side the front door. ‘I’m such a big fan!’ he al­most shouted, ‘ this is a great mo­ment for me!’

He then pulled out a cam­era. ‘Could you take a pic­ture with me and my hero?’ he asked. Kevin Pi­etersen’s frown when the cam­era was passed to HIM will live long in the mem­ory. the Eurostar to Paris. A more alarm­ing mes­sage it would be hard to imag­ine. But by and large, I’ve as­sid­u­ously owned this par­tic­u­lar real es­tate of re­flected celebrity glory.

Then, out of nowhere, my lit­tle brother Ru­pert (well, he’s 42, 6ft4in and built like a docker but he’s the youngest so he’ll al­ways be ‘lit­tle brother’) emailed me last week to say: ‘I’ve been drink­ing with Har­ri­son Ford in the Punch­bowl for the last hour.’

I put this out­landish claim down to the heat, and al­most cer­tain mis­taken iden­tity.

Tonight, I walked into 34 restau­rant in May­fair for din­ner with Si­mon Cow­ell, only to find Har­ri­son Ford stand­ing in front of me at check-in. ‘Mr Ford!’ He turned slowly, with that fa­mously unim­pressed gri­mace, then smirked. ‘Hi, Piers, how are you?

‘I’m fine, but is it true you’ve been drink­ing with my brother..?’ Never have I prayed for a mys­ti­fied, in­dig­nant ‘No!’ more in my life.

‘I have! Your brother is a GREAT man!’ he ex­claimed, ex­cit­edly. ‘We had a TER­RIFIC time. Please tell him I’d like to do it again soon.’

Har­ri­son then be­gan to say how sorry he was my CNN show got canned, and thanked me for my gun con­trol cam­paign in Amer­ica – ‘Our ob­ses­sion with guns is in­sane!’ he raged, ‘ We need some­one like you from an­other coun­try to tell us that!’ – but the words tum­bled into a mean­ing­less fog.

All I could think of was him and Ru­pert swig­ging pints of hand- pumped Har­vey’s to­gether and swap­ping old Raiders Of The Lost Ark tales.

Si­mon ar­rived a few min­utes later, and in­tro­duced me for the first time to Lauren, the mother of his baby son Eric. ‘I thought you’d met be­fore?’ he said. ‘No, Dumbo! I told you I’d never met Piers,’ Lauren replied, tweak­ing his cheeks. And in that mo­ment, I re­alised he’d fi­nally met his match. Lauren’s a smart, funny, very warm and tac­tile Amer­i­can lady, who’s clearly not go­ing to take any non­sense from Mr Ego. Si­mon also seemed more re­laxed in her com­pany than I’ve ever seen him. ‘You seem ex­tremely happy,’ I said. ‘I re­ally am,’ he beamed. ‘Lauren’s been very good for me.’

How­ever, to­wards the end of a de­light­ful meal, he sud­denly went down with one of the mi­graines that have blighted him in re­cent years.

Noth­ing could shake it off, and even­tu­ally, de­spite phon­ing sev­eral of his doc­tors (Michael Jack­son had a smaller team of medics) Si­mon apol­o­gised, and said he’d have to go home to bed.

When I de­parted a while later, the pha­lanx of pa­parazzi had stayed be­hind to deliver a mes­sage.

‘Si­mon says he had to go be­cause you were giv­ing him a dread­ful headache!’ one of them bel­lowed.

I sus­pect the real rea­son was a bit closer to home.

‘An­noy­ingly, Lauren re­ally liked you…’ read a text from Mr Cow­ell at mid­night. Har­ri­son Ford has bro­ken his an­kle af­ter an ac­ci­dent on the set of his new Star Wars movie, and can’t film for the next two months.

Is it wrong that my first thought was re­lief that this will pro­hibit him from booz­ing again any time soon with my lit­tle brother?

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