Posts Tagged ‘1970s’

Wife No 4 part 4

April 24, 2012

Simone/Kevin screamed, turned, and fled the room. I raced after her – even then I was in peak physical condition – but the only trace of her was the Anouska wig discarded on the steps.

I returned to the party, punched the News of the World photographer senseless (one was allowed to do that in those days and they accepted it as an occupational hazard), threatened the hack with the same (who hastily backed away, they really are all mouth and no trousers) and demanded a very large whisky at the bar.

The guests all wisely avoided me and continued with their carousing – only with freshly added gossip, the wretched vermin.

Wilkins approached me nervously. I ordered him a whisky too which he sipped delicately – no wonder he spawned such a confused creature.

Wilkins then told me that ’Kevin’ had lazy been a shy and sensitive boy, and instead of sending him for boxing lessons and making him join the Boys Brigade, he and his wife had indulged him. Anyway, ‘Kevin’ had run away a couple of years previously and the next time they saw him was in a picture of us in the Daily Express at a film premiere – Take Me High, he thought.

Wilkins showed me a photo of Kevin as a teenage boy. Very pretty really, not much different to what he became. Well, apart from the bum-fluff on his upper lip and the family jewels lurking somewhat to the south.

It was at that point that the reality of it all hit me.

I had been married to a man!

I had shared my bed with a man! A pretty man with knockers and all the requisite waterworks one would expect in a wife, but…  I had been utterly convinced. Not only had Simone seemed a bona fide lass, but she had eradicated all evidence of her Birmingham upbringing as thoroughly as her chest hair. I didn’t know who I admired more; her elocution tutor or her surgeon.

I made a farewell round of my guests – the steely look in my eye daring them to make a reference to what had just happened – then I left the party and made my way home. I hoped I’d find Simone, but she had obviously been there, packed a bag and left.

I have never clapped eyes on her since.

The marriage was obviously not legal so was dissolved pretty quickly. A few phone calls to old school chums and the story was played down in the press – ah those were the days! The lowest of the gutter press had a few sniggers at my expense, but luckily there was a dreadful tragedy soon afterwards with hundreds killed and my humorous marriage was quickly forgotten.

I often think of Simone – every day, truth be told – and wonder where she is. If she still is a she? It doesn’t all grow back, does it?

The irony is that, with the exception of being an ex-man, Simone was the perfect wife. She was glamorous, laughed at my jokes, knew what a fellow wanted in bed, and (although I didn’t know this at the time,) couldn’t get herself in the club.

I hope she’s happy.

PS I kept the Anouska wig. I once asked my next wife to wear it, but ironically, it made her look like a chap in drag

PPS Try as I might I couldn’t persuade ITV not to show our edition of Mr & Mrs. Got the highest ratings ever. 



My Wife No 4 – part 2

April 20, 2012

Luckily for me, Simone felt the same way, and our wild affair started almost immediately. We had a drink at the BBC bar after the recording – Paddy staring daggers at me, as did Dick Emery who had been on the panel and obviously fancied his luck too – and soon realised that we were the soulmates for whom each had been looking.

The romance was whirlwind. She was in my electrically-heated water bed that night, and had moved in within the next week. Oh, how we talked, laughed, incessantly made plans and love….

She left her job with Patrick Campbell (and it must be said he never looked so fresh and young on screen from then on as he had previously) and took up her new job… at the end of my arm!

Of course, our love soon became public knowledge. I didn’t mind, what chap doesn’t want to be seen with a gorgeous leggy blonde by his side? Apart from perverts.

Barely a day passed that we weren’t snapped together, at premieres, on beaches, leaving nightclubs. I rather enjoyed it, but I could tell Simone wasn’t entirely comfortable at times. She had to be persuaded by her agent to strip for Penthouse. It was only when I pointed out what an honour it was that she relented. Was I jealous? Not at all. It would be unpatriotic not to allow the nation to see such a magnificent body, and I wasn’t displeased for the men of Great Britain to know she was mine!

So we became the Burton and Taylor of our day, except that we didn’t argue. Ever. Considering the pressures of fame that we were under, it was a remarkably even-tempered relationship. We agreed on everything and she laughed at my jokes – what else could a husband want?

Well, La Vie Dans La Boudoir, obviously! And I had no complaints there. With hindsight I find this remarkable to recall, not to mention slightly nauseating, but our sex life was wonderful, better than it had ever been in any of my previous marriages. Simone seemed to instinctively know what a man liked and wanted – nay, needed – and she could supply it. By the bucket. I had long been a man of the world, but Simone introduced me to all sorts of new techniques and I was her willing pupil. And occasionally her unwilling milkman.

We were still living in sin at this time, after all, it was the 1970s and we were a modern couple. I had been burned 3 times before and my solicitor urged caution. But on a holiday in the Caribbean, making a report for Wish You Were Here, we had an impromptu barefoot marriage on a beach at sunset. It was very romantic (and legally binding as I later discovered).

I had never been so happy in my whole life, not even during the war.

Then the bombshell landed…


To be continued…

Wife No 4

April 19, 2012

My fourth wife is an era I sometimes wish I could forget, but thanks to the News of the World it is a story which is out in the public domain so there is no point in denying it.

After  my third wife died, I was rather busy. I wrote seventeen book in 2 years, and there were extra-curricular activities. I presented a documentary series for the BBC about historical villains – Rasputin, Vlad the Impaler, Harold Wilson; I lived in Italy for a while writing horror screenplays for Buitoni – all unproduced, as no-one told me they were being financed by the Vatican, hence my villainous priests and libidinous nuns being rather frowned upon. My weekly column for TitBits was also a long-standing obligation. All this plus the usual public duties of a best-selling author – book tours, chat shows, restaurant reviews etc.

I also dabbled in politics which I probably shouldn’t discuss until everyone else involved is dead.

I also felt I had to spend a bit of time with the children – when they weren’t at boarding school – which was very distracting from the important things.

The old sex life took a back seat somewhat, although I wasn’t completely chaste. I had a very well-reported affair with a Miss Borneo, a court case with an actress from a TV soap set in a motel over an illegitimate child (not guilty – phew! The actual father was a member of the Johnny Pearson Orchestra), plus the occasional brief and anonymous dalliance (when I say anonymous, it’s quite possible they did actually tell me their name at some point in the proceedings).

Then one fateful February evening I was recording an episode of Call My Bluff for the British Bolshevik Corporation. Darling Paddy Campbell always had an entourage with him – bodyguard, manager, reflexologist, and he insisted on using his own make-up artist. And that’s how I met Simone.

Well, that was it, poor old Stirling was nabbed, hook, line and sinker.

Was it love or lust? Is there a difference? She had me by both the heart and the orchestras.

She was beautiful, 23 years old and the most exquisite thing I had ever seen. Tall, long luscious legs, gorgeous flowing blonde locks, a sexy husky voice…

 The last should have been a giveaway. Because, in fact, my delicious Simone had been, only two years previously, a panel-beater from Solihull called Kevin.

To be continued…

My night with a bender

March 27, 2012

 From my brief stint as a restaurant reviewer. This was first published in Manly Monthly October 1971


My darling editor called and suggested I try something new this week. Excitement rose immediately, then I realised she was talking about a restaurant. ‘Which one?’ I asked. ‘Le caprice? The Ivy? Wyngarde’s in Bond Street? ‘No,’ she replied. ‘The Wimpy Bar!’ I confess that I hadn’t heard of such an establishment. And my first reaction was that such a place much be a drinking venue, surely? But no, I soon learned that it is part of a new chain of restaurants, catering for the young who no longer want stuffy old establishments where crockery, table manners and evening dress are required. Tsk, I thought, what is the world coming to? But then I recalled my own youth, not that long ago, it seems to me, but pre-history to today’s youngster with their long hair and ‘trannies’ and misguided belief in ‘peace and love.’ They may think they have invented sex and having a good time, but I can tell you we knew how to have fun in those glorious pre-war days. And some of us had a jolly good time during the war too, thank you very much! We didn’t let bombs and wholesale slaughter get in the way of being gay.

So I called my potential guest, TV sex-kitten Anne Aston, and invited her to join me for a novel cuisine experience. She jumped at a chance to sup with old Stirling, but admitted that it wouldn’t be such a cherry-popping occasion for her; she and the ghastly Monkhouse often frequented the Birmingham branch after each episode of The Golden Shot. Frankly, I had been rather worried this old duffer would make a fool of himself in such a youthful environment, so having a pretty and trendy young thing taking me in hand was a relief.

I picked up Anne up in my Rolls from her flat in London’s fashionable Roehampton, and we drove to The Wimpy Bar in Coventry Street. We parked, instructed my driver to be back within 3 hours, and made our way into the gastric future!

We were led to out table by a young waitress. My first impression was the place was very noisy, and then I noticed that the food was being cooked in front of our very eyes! A counter ran along one side of the restaurant, and behind that was a large very hairy man of, one presumes, Cypriot background, frantically scurrying about. I made a mental note to examine him in action more fully after I had ordered.

We sat at our table. I was relieved to see that table layout was reasonably conventional with knives and forks, salt and pepper. I had worried that we might be expected to eat with our fingers, and I could foresee my de rigeur ¾ inch of cuff getting messy. The menu was, amusingly, illustrated with photographic images of the dishes! This was a relief as I wouldn’t have guessed what each dish was from its name, although some of the pictures were extraordinary! The Bender Brunch was particularly confusing! As for the Fish Salad, I would never have guessed that one of our marine chums was anywhere in the vicinity from the picture on display! An entrée is, apparently, not ‘groovy, man’ so we leaped straight to the main course. I ordered the Bender Grill, and La Aston chose the straightforward Wimpy & Chips. I confess I had no real idea what would turn up for either of us!

I then tried to order a nice Burgundy, but he waitress explained they didn’t have a licence. At first I was outraged and I could sense a Stirling explosion was imminent, but then she explained that the Wimpy bar was aimed at the youth so alcohol was not encouraged. Partially mollified, I took a swig from my hip flask and then the lovely Anne ordered a Pepsi Float each for us.

While waiting for our food I took in the surroundings. The decor was very a la mode, with orange pop-art drums protruding from the ceiling inside which was concealed lighting. So unlike the home-life of our own dear Queen. Amusingly, the tomato sauce was presented in a tomato-shaped dispenser. I am not sure what brown sauce is, so couldn’t verify the authenticity of the mysterious brown vegetable in which it nestled.

Oh, and points deducted for paper napkins.

The chef – I presumed he would be designated such as he was dressed in white and wore the requisite hat – was still frantically working away. I noticed he was grilling ‘beefburgers’ and onions on a large griddle which was obviously very hot – and from which he regularly scraped burnt detritus, extra points for hygiene there – while simultaneously toasting buns in an immense set of toasters! Regularly, these buns, toasted to – one hoped – perfection would pop up into the air and would be expertly caught by our hirsute grillardin!

Our Pepsi Floats arrived. These were served in a tall glass made of space-age plastic, and seem to comprise a Pepsi Cola – an American beverage – on the surface of which bobbed a Titanic-sinking lump of ice-cream! It seemed more like a dessert than an aperitif, but I took a sip and I must admit it was delicious. Miss Aston and I squealed with delight at the creamy moustaches with which we both ended up!

After what seemed like mere minutes our main courses turned up. Anne’s comprised a ‘beefburger’ in a bun with fried onions, presented with chips. Mine was more unusual to say the least. A bun-less ‘beefburger,’ chips, a fried egg, and – I kid ye not – a frankfurter sausage with regular incisions along one side, curved around a fried tomato! As my father would say, ‘the sights you see when you haven’t a gun.’ And he always carried a gun. Excellent staff control.

Whatever the aesthetic curiosity of our meals, we both agreed the food was delicious. I polished mine off and even, metaphorically, licked La Aston’s plate clean e.g. I finished her chips! Ladies off the telly are always obsessed about ‘the camera putting on pounds!’ Quite right, we don’t want fatties on the box!

For this very reason my guest declined a pudding while I ordered the intriguingly-named Brown Derby which turned out to be a doughnut of exceptional firmness, the ring of which was filled with ice cream and layered with chopped nuts and a brown sauce(NB not the same brown sauce served in the brown tomato – this was sweet). Delicious, but maybe a bit of stodge too far. I seriously worried for my trousers and their ability to keep my waist in check.

We paid the bill – which had unusually been placed on the table as soon as we ordered – which was a very reasonable 97 new pence, not including the 3np tip I left for our waitress. She’d have got more if she’d been prettier.

It had been a lovely, if unusual, evening. I drove my delightful guest home – hers, not mine despite my best efforts, although frankly, I wouldn’t recommend a Wimpy meal if one expects to share a bed with a young lady; onion breath – both ends! – isn’t conducive to a romantic night!

Will I visit a Wimpy bar again? It’s ideal if one wants to seduce someone too young to remember the war. But for grown-ups who need alcohol with their meal, think again.