STAR STORIES FROM THE IVY
One lunchtime I was with Jennifer Saunders and the playwright Mary Agnes Donoghue when Brad Pitt walked in. He was having lunch with the director Terry Gilliam, who I know. I faked a trip to the loo, and wrote a note to Terry which read: ‘Make Brad kiss me as if he adores me, or I’ll kill your family. Fact. Love, Dawn.’
An hour later I found Brad Pitt’s lips on mine. He said something like, ‘Hey Dawn, great to see you, God you look gorgeous.’ Then he waved and was gone. I turned back to Jennifer and Mary Agnes to find their jaws on the floor. As were the jaws of most of the diners.
I had worked with Lauren Bacall so Jude [Law, her former husband, pictured right with Sadie] and I invited her to dinner at The Ivy. Smoking had by this time been banned but it didn’t bother Ms Bacall who lit up a Marlboro Light
without missing a beat. Soon a nervous waiter was politely asking Ms Bacall to put out her cigarette. ‘F*** off,’ she replied. He did. And who would argue with her? So she sat smoking and telling us stories about Humphrey Bogart while Jude and I sat hooked on her every word.
But as she started talking about her second husband Jason Robards, she took a huge drag on her cigarette and looked at us. ‘Jason?’ she said in her husky voice. ‘Now he was a real man.’
Early on in my career, I spotted my
childhood hero Sir Roger Moore at a nearby table, and the late Sir David Frost, who I knew, introduced us. Sir Roger invited me to join him and his wife for a drink and it turned out he was a fan of Little Britain. As he left he approached my table and quoted one of my catchphrases back to me. ‘I’m a lady!’ said Sir Roger. It was all the more hilarious as he delivered it in his deadpan style.
JANE, LADY GIBSON
When I was working in TV I took Samantha Fox, the former Page 3 model, to The Ivy for dinner. As we sat down I noticed a very elegant woman at a nearby table scrabbling to get out of her seat for a gawp. It was Princess Margaret. There she was in a twinset and pearls, peering around a pillar to look at Samantha Fox. The Ivy is a true meritocracy.
Brad Pitt outside The Ivy with Gwyneth Paltrow