BEST MARITAL ADVICE
BEST FATHER OF THE BRIDE MOST CRUSHING REJECTION BEST TV SHOW PITCH BEST MEAL MOST INSPIRING SPEECH
bush proverb that motivated him to break the four-minute mile: ‘Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running!’
When Sir Ian Botham’s daughter Sarah got married in the Scottish highlands, the great man walked her to the ceremony in a kilt. I asked Sarah what touching words her father had imparted as they strolled to the service. ‘He said it was one of the best days of his life,’ she chuckled, ‘because his horse had just won, so had Scunthorpe United and he was finally getting rid of me – so he’d had another hat-trick!’
Coronation Street producer Kate Oates was criticised for making storylines too grim by featuring male rape, sex trafficking, suicide and murder. ‘I’m available to play Kym Marsh’s new love interest,’ I told her. ‘That’s too dark,’ she grimaced, ‘even for me.’ The late Charles Aznavour, in his last TV interview, told me the secret of his confrontation-free 52-year marriage: ‘One or the other has to shut up.’ At Dale Winton’s funeral, one speaker recounted how Dale sealed his audition for the series that made him a star, with a rousing cri de coeur that ended: ‘You will find Shergar and Lord Lucan before you find a better presenter of Supermarket Sweep than me!’ He was so right. Joan Collins and her husband Percy invited Celia and me to dine with them at Le Strand in St Tropez. ‘Have the potato and truffle starter,’ commanded Joan, ‘it’s incredible.’ So I did, and it was the most delicious dish I’ve ever eaten.
Professor Stephen Hawking’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey ended with a final booming message from the greatest mind of his generation, accompanied by stirring new music from Vangelis: ‘I am very aware of the