Su­sanna ob­vi­ously has a ‘type’–me!

The Mail on Sunday - Event - - FRONT PAGE -

TI re­cently ar­ranged din­ner with Amanda Holden and her hus­band Chris at Ivy Chelsea Gar­den, one of the new chain of Ivy restau­rants spawned from the orig­i­nal iconic eaterie in Covent Gar­den.

‘I’ve got a char­ity thing first,’ she told me, ‘so Chris will meet you guys at 7.45pm, and I’ll get there as soon as I can.’

At 8.15pm, she texted: ‘5 mins. I’m be­ing driven on a bike. NOT A EU­PHEMISM! Is Chris there?’

He wasn’t, which was un­usual as he’s usu­ally very re­li­able. At 8.30, my phone rang. ‘WHERE ARE YOU?’ shrieked Amanda. ‘Sit­ting at our ta­ble,’ I replied. ‘WHERE? I’m at The Ivy now and I can’t see you?’ I sighed. ‘Amanda, which Ivy?’ ‘KENS­ING­TON!’ ‘I said Chelsea…’ ‘OH MY GOD !!!! I’M COM­ING NOW! NOT A EU­PHEMISM!’

My thoughts im­me­di­ately turned to poor Chris, who would now have been sit­ting alone for 45 min­utes. ‘You’d bet­ter tell your hus­band..’ ‘OH MY GOD, YES!!!’ At 8.45pm, Amanda rushed in fol­lowed by Chris, slowly shak­ing his head.

‘I’m so sorry dar­ling!’ she ‘Por­ridge brain!’

Amanda or­dered a tem­pura prawn starter with av­o­cado sauce.

‘Have one,’ she cack­led when they ar­rived. ‘Just slide your prawn into my dip. NOT A EU­PHEMISM!’ With Amanda, ev­ery­thing is a eu­phemism. To em­pha­sise this trait, tonight she ex­pertly hosted a star-stud­ded ITV ta­lent gala at the Royal Fes­ti­val Hall, and ap­peared on stage af­ter Liar star Ioan Gruf­fudd per­formed an open­ing sketch. ‘Let’s not for­get Ioan started his ca­reer right here on ITV as a Horn­blower,’ was Amanda’s open­ing line, ‘which of course is how many of us got where we are!’

Amanda, who worked along­side for four years on Bri­tain’s Got Ta­lent, ex­claimed. me had spe­cial em­pa­thy for co-star, Su­sanna Reid.

‘Su­sanna, you are an in­spi­ra­tion to so many women in this coun­try,’ she de­clared. ‘If ever the mums of Bri­tain needed a master­class in how to deal with tantrums, shout­ing, whin­ing, sulk­ing and stub­born­ness, all they have to do is switch on Good Morn­ing Bri­tain and there it is… hon­estly, it’s a won­der you don’t wind Piers at the end of it.’ my cur­rent fe­male Blue Peter is 60 years old.

When I was a kid, the iconic show’s star pre­sen­ters were John Noakes, Va­lerie Sin­gle­ton and Peter Purves.

To­day, I got the chance to fi­nally thank one of them for the hugely ben­e­fi­cial im­pact they had on my for­ma­tive life.

‘You helped make me the man I am to­day!’ I told Purves, now 79.

‘Now wait a minute,’ he ex­claimed with a hor­ri­fied ex­pres­sion. ‘I’m not tak­ing the blame!’ It’s not al­ways as de­flat­ing to meet your child­hood he­roes. I’ve been in LA for half term, and flew back tonight. As I checked in at the British Air­ways desk, a very glam­orous lady in the queue struck up con­ver­sa­tion with me. ‘Hi Piers, we both bought houses from the same Bev­erly Hills real es­tate bro­ker,’ she said.

There was some­thing fa­mil­iar about her as we chat­ted away, but it was only when she walked away that one of the BA team told me it was Jaclyn Smith – one of my teenage pin­ups, from Char­lie’s An­gels. Jac­qui is now 73, but looks 50. She was also per­fectly de­light­ful. Pro­fes­sional so­cial me­dia strip­per Emily Rata­jkowski has pub­licly em­braced our Twit­ter feud. Asked about me in a new in­ter­view for a British news­pa­per, she said: ‘I think it’s im­por­tant there are peo­ple that do dis­agree with you openly. I want that.’

She added: ‘You guys have quite a beast over there, huh?’

I turned to the Ur­ban Dictionary to de­ter­mine the of­fi­cial street def­i­ni­tion of ‘beast’ and it read: ‘A per­son that is ex­tremely tal­ented at what­ever they do and al­ways dis­plays great de­ter­mi­na­tion, ded­i­ca­tion and re­silience to al­ways win.’

Thanks, Emily! ‘NEW LOVE FOR TV SU­SANNA’ screamed The Sun’s front-page head­line to­day, re­veal­ing my on-screen wife is now dat­ing Crys­tal Palace owner Steve Parish.

Su­sanna tipped me the wink that she was in a new re­la­tion­ship a few weeks ago, but I asked her not to tell me the name of her boyfriend so she wouldn’t sus­pect me if it leaked to the press.

It was no real sur­prise to dis­cover Steve.

Peo­ple have rushed to give me credit for set­ting them up to­gether, but it had noth­ing to do with me. In fact, bizarrely, the un­wit­ting Cupid is Don­ald Trump.

When my old friend be­came Pres­i­dent of the United States two years ago, Su­sanna and I threw an im­promptu drinks party at the Lon­don ho­tel in New York to cel­e­brate an­chor­ing GMB’s elec­tion-night cov­er­age.

Guests in­cluded Frank and Chris­tine Lampard, Richard Ba­con and his wife Re­becca, and my el­dest son Spencer. ‘Do you mind if Steve Parish joins us with Crys­tal Palace man­ager Alan Pardew?’ asked Su­sanna, a mas­sive Palace fan. ‘I know them through the club and they hap­pen to be in town.’

So they came along too and we had a hi­lar­i­ously drunken night dur­ing which two things be­came crys­tal clear: 1) Steve’s a very smart, funny and en­ter­tain­ing guy. 2) He was an even big­ger fan of Su­sanna’s then she is of Crys­tal Palace. ‘You two are per­fectly suited,’ I teased her af­ter­wards. ‘Don’t be ridicu­lous,’ she re­torted. Su­sanna’s undis­guised hap­pi­ness at how things have now turned out is slightly tem­pered by the knowl­edge that once again, I was right.

As for her choice of part­ner, I note that like me, Steve is a 53-year-old di­vorcee with chil­dren, and a wealthy, suc­cess­ful, hand­some man who is pas­sion­ate about a Lon­don foot­ball team.

She ob­vi­ously has a ‘type’. it was

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