THE DEF­I­NITE AR­TI­CLE

We ask former Saint Ian Ogilvy a set of dev­il­ishly prob­ing ques­tions – and only ac­cept THE de­fin­i­tive an­swer

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - NEWS -

The prized pos­ses­sion you value

above all oth­ers… My Honda Valkyrie mo­tor­bike. I’m 73 now and my wife Kitty says I’m a bit old for it, but I love it to death. We live in LA and I en­joy rid­ing it up to the Hol­ly­wood sign.

The big­gest re­gret you wish you

could amend… Spending too freely when I was younger. I got into ter­ri­ble debt.

The book that holds an ev­er­last­ing

res­o­nance… Ti­tus Groan by Mervyn Peake. I read it aged 19 and I was mes­merised by its lan­guage. It sowed the seed in me to want to write and I’ve pub­lished sev­eral books, from nov­els to chil­dren’s sto­ries.

The priority ac­tiv­ity if you were the In­vis­i­ble Man for a day… I’d go to the Amer­i­can Na­tional Rifle As­so­ci­a­tion head­quar­ters in Vir­ginia and wreck all their guns and com­put­ers.

The un­end­ing quest that

drives you on… To prove that all psy­chics are frauds and ghosts don’t ex­ist.

The pet hate that makes your

hack­les rise... Re­li­gious fun­da­men­tal­ism – it makes me very an­gry. The temp­ta­tion you wish you could re­sist… Play­ing video games. The trea­sured item you lost and wish you could have again… My waist­line. I was very slim when I Above: Gene Kelly in Sin­gin’ In The Rain. Top right: Ian in Re­turn Of The Saint. Right: the Great Bar­rier Reef was young; prob­a­bly a 28in waist. Now I’m 38in.

The per­son who has in­flu­enced you

most… My aunt Betty, who forged doc­u­ments for Bri­tish agents dur­ing the war. She taught me if some­thing’s be­yond your con­trol, don’t waste time worrying about it.

The film that you can watch time and

time again… Sin­gin’ In The Rain. I’m mu­si­cally il­lit­er­ate so it’s an odd choice, but it’s so charm­ing you sim­ply can’t watch it and feel mis­er­able. The piece of wis­dom you would pass on to a child… Don’t be­lieve your ador­ing grand­mother’s com­pli­ments. They’re all lies! The fig­ure from his­tory for whom you’d most like to buy a pint… Os­car Wilde. He was so funny, in­tel­li­gent and a great sto­ry­teller. The crime you would com­mit know­ing you could get away with it… I’d empty the bank ac­counts of all the vile TV evan­ge­lists across Amer­ica and re­turn the money to their gullible donors.

The un­likely in­ter­est that en­gages

your cu­rios­ity… Knives. I’ll hap­pily watch shows about them on US TV. My wife thinks I’m crazy. The poem that touches your soul… The Life That I Have by Leo Marks. It’s just a lovely, sim­ple poem which we had read at our wed­ding in 1992.

The mis­ap­pre­hen­sion about your­self you wish you could erase... I was mis­taken for Christo­pher Big­gins in Lon­don a few years back. I signed an au­to­graph but the man looked at it and said: ‘Oh. I thought you were Christo­pher Big­gins.’

The event that al­tered the course of

your life and char­ac­ter… Moving to Amer­ica in 1989. I was 46 and at the time I was very fa­mous through The Saint, but I just wasn’t en­joy­ing it. Go­ing to the US gave me a fresh start – and I met my wife over here. The song that means most to you… It may sound odd, but I don’t have one be­cause mu­sic means noth­ing to me. The way you would spend your fan­tasy 24 hours, with no travel re­stric­tions... The day would be­gin with Kitty at lunchtime with a sunny walk in the Ox­ford­shire coun­try­side. My son Ti­tus, 47, lives there with my grand­chil­dren Barn­aby, 17, and Matilda, 14. We’ll also be joined by my step­daugh­ter Emma, 53, and her daugh­ter Lu­la­belle, two. We’d have a long, lazy lunch at The Five Horse­shoes pub in Hen­ley. I’d have a pint or two of a great lo­cal ale. In the even­ing, Kitty and I would see a bril­liantly funny play in the West End with all my friends in it, then we’d all cel­e­brate at Joe Allen restau­rant in Covent Gar­den. I’d have a steak with more beer. The next morn­ing would be­gin with cof­fee in St Mark’s Square, Venice, con­tinue with a few scuba dives over the Great Bar­rier Reef and end re­cov­er­ing in Paris. The hap­pi­est mo­ment you will cherish for­ever… The day the crew started call­ing me ‘Gu­vnor’ while I was shoot­ing Re­turn Of The Saint in 1978. It meant that they’d ac­cepted me af­ter Roger Moore.

The sad­dest time that shook your

world… The death of my older sis­ter Kerry from a brain tu­mour when she was 49. The un­ful­filled am­bi­tion that con­tin­ues to haunt you… To do a freefall parachute jump.

The phi­los­o­phy that un­der­pins your

life… I like Voltaire’s line from Can­dide about ‘tend­ing one’s own gar­den’. If ev­ery­one looks af­ter their lit­tle part of the world, ev­ery­thing will be OK. The or­der of ser­vice at your fu­neral… There’ll be no fu­neral – I find them vile. Just flush my ashes down the loo. The way you want to be re­mem­bered… As sur­pris­ing. I don’t think I have been, so it’d be nice if oth­ers thought I had.

The Plug… Ian’s new film We Still Steal The Old Way is re­leased on dig­i­tal down­load on April 10 and on DVD and Blu-ray on April 17. His mem­oir Once A Saint is out now. As told to Rob McGib­bon

‘I was slim when I was young, a 28in waist, now I’m 38in. I was mis­taken for Christo­pher Big­gins a few years back’

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