BEST MAR­I­TAL AD­VICE

BEST FA­THER OF THE BRIDE MOST CRUSH­ING RE­JEC­TION BEST TV SHOW PITCH BEST MEAL MOST IN­SPIR­ING SPEECH

The Mail on Sunday - Event - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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