On the odd occasion, when no-one's looking, I have been known to escape from my cage and infiltrate public spaces. As far as celebrity spotting goes, I think I've done quite well considering I'm usually festering at home on my own with a packet of Cheddars.
SARAH, DUCHESS OF YORK (aka 'Fergie')
I have only one thing to say about the Duchess of Pork after seeing her being interviewed whilst sitting on a pouting red-lipped sofa... what on earth has she done to her face? Perhaps it's another of her charitable services - not only is she spokesperson for Fat Fighters, she is also doing a very good job of being the public face of the Too Many Cosmetics Procedures brigade. Put the botox needle down and back away.
Sat next to Nige at lunch the other day, draining a bottle of wine while he stuck to his preferred choice of half-and-half (half diet coke, half full fat coke). Where's the fun in that, eh? The whole point of going out to lunch is so that you can spend the rest of the day in a semi-coma.
I wish I had something interesting to say about this brief encounter, but sadly not. I was far too busy witnessing the executive car crash taking place around the piano, where a man who had obviously come out straight from the office (bear in mind here that it was about 1 o'clock in the morning in a Soho bar), had dispensed with his jacket and tie, as though that made him look less sad, and was gyrating in a most alarming manner to the hideous strains of New York, New York. Bet he's single, then.
Being an avid fan of rich, fattening food washed down with buckets of wine, I naturally found myself in Raymondo's rather delicious eaterie in Oxford. Due to my irresistible magnetism, he was unable to prevent himself from pressing his company on my intimate table for four. He looks quite a bit older/more ravaged in real life, and was lunching with a young blonde woman (quel surprise). Still, I managed to extract his private telephone number in case I run into an unexpected pastry disaster (ahem).
Holidaying at the shamelessly indulgent Taj Exotica hotel in Goa (without the family, I hasten to add), I was arranging my flab by the pool when a woman strolled past me with two undeniably cute kids. 'Psst,' I said to my sister. 'She looks like Julia Roberts.' My sister gave me one of her weary looks. 'That's because she is, you idiot.' The trouble with sharing a hotel with a superstar, is that all the staff are too busy rubber-necking to notice when you need another gin and tonic.
My sister and I ran in to Suggs outside J Sheekey on Friday. He was wearing an appropriately celebrity-style check suit, which was surprisingly fetching actually. Had he not been on the phone, I would have broken into a spontaneous moon-stomp and given it a bit of Baggy Traaaa-sis. I like Suggs. Reminds me of being at school trying to light dried up old fags in the bogs. Ah, those were the days.
Unless my eyes deceived me, I believe I spotted Ralphiepoos checking in to the Oriental hotel in Bangkok. It's that kind of place. To my bitter disappointment, he was much smaller than I had hoped. This is good news for him, as I just can't bring myself to find a short-arse attractive, and therefore chose not to stalk him. As my friend said - 'they're all that size so that they can fit inside the telly.'
Now that Toby has had his book turned into a Hollywood movie, he undoubtedly deserves a slot on my Celebrity Spy page. I could tell you all sorts of juicy gossip about him, but I won't, because he's a a friend of mine and a jolly nice bloke.
Teenager No.1 spotted Brucie while we were having lunch. He was with his Mrs, who is sinfully beautiful I have to say. Teenager No.1 was visibly shocked... 'God,' she said, 'He must be about a hundred. Do you think they have sex? Blurgh.'
With the Olympics upon us (no, me neither), I thought I would share with you a little story from Seb Coe, who recently gave a jolly little after dinner speech after one of those strange corporate-style events that no one really wants to go to. Anyway, harking back to that famous Olympic race when he and Steve Cram were supposedly great enemies, he described how he faced the final few meters with nothing left, legs like jelly, he and Steve Cram neck and neck. Then, suddenly, from out of nowhere, this other bloke comes streaking past and takes the gold medal. Steve Cram was seen to whisper in Seb Coe's ear, and the press reported that he had delivered the beaten Coe a terrible insult. In actual fact, Steve Cram had said to Coe, 'Who the fuck was that?'
Now, I have to be very very careful what I say here, but I recently had lunch with he of Corrie fame, and his wife with the sawn-off voice box. For those of you who watch the Queen's favourite soap, his Mrs is the one who played the judge who sent somebody down for a long time. Do please forgive me, but I don't understand Coronation Street and therefore know nothing about it. Anyway, back to the celeb, I seem to recall that Bill Roach sued a load of people (or was it a newspaper?) for saying that he was boring. Amazingly, he won.
MARCO PIERRE WHITE
How this one could have slipped my mind I don't know, because it was quite a memorable meeting, which culminated in a bit of a sesh. I had taken the mother of my Godawful sons to lunch at one of his eateries shortly after the birth of Godawful Son No.3. Heaven knows, she was in need of a beano. So we ate ourselves to the point of explosion and spent the rest of the afternoon (and some of the evening) helping MPW to check his new delivery of vintage Krug. (The loose connection here was that he used to know, in the biblical sense, one of my flatmates many years ago.) Anyway, I have to say that - although faultlessly polite - I think he has a problem with women. Not sure what to do with them, if you see what I mean. He seems hell bent on trying to convey himself as highly intelligent and intimidating, which is a bit of a non starter with me because I have teenagers and am therefore not afraid of anything. (Mike Tyson would be wise to think twice.) Were it not for the fact that I quite happily drank about fifteen gallons of his vintage bubbly, I might be tempted to say something ungracious about him, but that would be rude now, wouldn't it? He gave me a nice book too and signed it for me, although quite what it says on the dedication, I'm not sure.
THE OLD BLOKE OFF THE APPRENTICE
I dunno what his name is - the old geezer who isn't Margaret and follows the twattish candidates around like a bad smell while they crucify the general job brief and mess up whatever it is they're supposed to do that week. Anyway, he got on a train at Milton Cringe and sat opposite me. I gave him a smile. He looked at me as though I had seven heads. Charming, eh? I quickly ejected my chewing gum while he wasn't looking and stuck it on his overcoat. That'll teach him to mess with Crash Test Mummy. I make Suralan look like a puppydog.
This is the anorak chap who did the Coast series and various other boffiny programmes. He seemed very healthy, which I find rather frightening, and extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about everything. Nevertheless, an extremely pleasant dining partner if I do say so myself, although I wasn't too sure about the safari suit.
Managed to grab a nice outside pavement table while skiving off with the mother of my Godawful sons, when who should appear right in front of me than old Pierce Brozzers himself. He was with his Mrs (didn't think much of her outfit) and two, I presume, sons, one of whom was wearing a questionable Panama style hat. My friend was too busy going blah blah blah blah (swig of wine) blah blah to notice. When he'd gone past I shoved her and said 'guess who that is?' She was furious when I told her and went running off up the street in their direction, only to be stopped by the security man on the door of the restaurant they disappeared into. Pierce might well be getting on a bit, but I tell you what, I definitely would...
THAT BLOKE OFF GREEN WING
The one with the dark curly hair was staying in the room opposite ours on holiday last week. He and I opened our doors at precisely the same moment, causing a spooky mirror effect like Dawn French and Darcy Bussell. I couldn't think of anything witty to say, so mumbled something about hiding my facial hair and scurried away to the lift. Teenager No.1 went wild with excitement and spent the rest of the holiday staking out his room and sneaking away his room service leftovers to sell on eBay.
A friend of mine (great-looking chap called V) ran into the turnip-featured political fattie in his local supermarket. V went up to Prescott who stuck his hand out expecting a bit of gormless worship. Instead of taking his hand, V raised his palm in refusal and said, 'Mr Prescott, you are a disgrace.' Prezzer was infuriated and started shouting at my friend, 'Yeah? Yeah? And what do you do for a living?' Charming.
ACTORS (in general)
I met a group of actors yesterday, about a dozen of them. They were a very strange bunch and spent most of their time serrupticiously trying to sneak a glance at their reflection in any shiny surface. I saw one of them trying to angle a fork handle to check his hair/face/teeth. They mostly tried to sit in interesting positions on anything that wasn't a chair. Actors obviously don't 'do' chairs. They seem fond of being cross-legged too and looking pensive. Quite bizarre. I feel that I have peeked through a sneaky window onto another world.
Keek came up in conversation last night and I completely forgot to mention that she too has been subjected to my scintillating company. We watched a rather impressive fireworks display together at the polo ground in Cowdray. I vaguely recall demonstrating my musical abilities by snapping my fingers and singing one of her seventies hits. Or should that be hit?
I first met Rog in a lift in a swanky hotel. I was in a bit of a rush, saw the lift doors closing and used one of the (then smaller) kids to jam the door and force it back open. It was only when he asked 'which floor' in that hair-raising James Bond manner that I realised who it was. Having always written him off as the foppiest of the Bond actors, I have to say I was stunned by his smooth good looks. I spent the rest of that summer stalking him, including following him down to Monaco where he likes to lunch on a daily basis at the Reserve restaurant on Mala beach. He arrives on his boat and is brought to shore on a launch. I tied myself to the back of it one afternoon which didn't go down very well with his Mrs. 'Where's your sense of humour?' I asked her as she hacked through the rope.
I met Clive James last week and threw myself at him shamelessly. The man's a genius. I managed to keep him all to myself for quite some time, stunning him with my eloquent humour. Eventually, nature demanded to take its course and I excused myself to the ladies' room to dispose of a couple of gin and tonics. Rushing back to my new best friend, I was disappointed to hear that he had last been seen sprinting towards his car before being sped off into the night by his driver.
He didn't have much choice about meeting me, really. I accosted him in the lobby of a plush hotel on the day he opened a new eaterie downstairs. Fuelled with one too many pre-theatre refreshments, I insisted on telling him how fantastic I thought his scollops were. Sadly, my husband was sitting beside me at the time, or I might well have gone on to sing the praises of his vegetables too. He was very charming and resisted the urge to tell me to fuck off, although I suspect it was strong.
RICHARD & JUDY
I can reliably report that Richard and Judy appear to be relatively normal. She looks a lot younger in the flesh, which is just as well, and he looks older. So they match a lot better in real life. When Richard asks you a question, you have to get in quick with your answer or he'll answer it for you. It's rather disconcerting, especially for a housewife who likes to umm and ahh for a couple of seconds first.
You get treated very nicely on the show. They bring more or less anything you want to your dressing room (we're talking fruit, fizzy drinks and posh biscuits here rather than male strippers and drugs), and you get to have a nice glass of wine afterwards with the rest of the show's participants. I'd give the canapes a a wide birth, mind you.
I've slept with Brad Pitt. Okay. Not really.
I saw Chris Evans in a bar the other day wearing a rather fetching hat and an alarmingly loud suit. Loitering nearby, I was tempted to go up to him and say, 'Hi. You're Chris Evans, aren't you?' then rifle around in my handbag for something for him to scrawl an autograph on. Then I realised I may not look as marvellous as I thought (as tends to be the case in a bar gone midnight), and reasoned that the Tena Lady packet was hardly an appropriate alternative for a piece of paper.
Now, I realise he's not much of a celeb, but barrel-scraping is about as good as you're going to get today as I've not seen anyone else. The funny thing is, I saw him twice in one week. First time having lunch in the Brompton Brasserie with some bloke, then again two days later getting out of a Porsche in Charlotte Street. He's not much of a looker. You would have thought that Di could have done a bit better, really, wouldn't you?
No idea if I've spelt his name right. Absolutely charming fellow, he was nursing a jolly cocktail in Trader Vics and sporting a dangerously colourful shirt. He looks a lot cleaner in real life. When I told him that I lived in Hicksville in the middle of the countryside, he asked me if I had any chickens. Only the dead ones in the freezer.
SYED OFF THE APPRENTICE
I have to admit that it wasn't me who spotted this particular micro-celeb, but my sister. The two of us were staggering around a night club in honour of her recent birthday. Anyway, she said 'Oi, you'll never guess who's standing over there'. We all decided that, if he was standing, he couldn't afford table service. My sister spied on him for a while, lost interest and came back to our table. 'Wanker,' she decided. You heard it here first.