January 5th 2009
As I'm now officially on a health kick - no more wine, slobbing about, finishing off the leftover chocs - and not going out again on a social for at least a month, thought you might like to share the highlights of my pre-Christmas bash in Soho with my best journo mates from way back in our Fleet Street days. We don't do it very often, you will see why when you read on...
* Rubbing shoulders (okay, breathing the same air) as Ralph Fiennes at Quo Vadis, who threw our table of giggly tabloid hacks a rather too long, lascivious look as he left,
* Two lecherous businessman mistaking us for a gang of high class escort girls and trying their hardest to get us to join their table
* Clare deciding you don't look a gift horse in the mouth and in her loudest most persuasive fashion, trying to get them to pay our £500 restaurant bill, or at least buy us a bottle of champagne. It wasn't for lack of trying but on this occasion her charm offensive, consisting of 'Oi Pete, get yer wallet out and we'll be over' and constant requests to the waiter to take it to their table instead of ours fell on deaf ears.* Having a loud row with the staff about paying the bill, whereupon said staff were accused of being patronising, aggressive and out of order for insisting that we do indeed, pay our bill in full
* Lurching off to Gerry's, that classy little Dean Street all night drinking club, and bumping into legendary pissed up Mirror man Don Mackay, who got us in and then proceeded to stick like glue and ruin any street cred for the rest of the night
* Clare waking her hubby Nick up in bed at 1.30am to put Don on so that Don could launch a drunken rant and verbally abuse Nick while we cackled with laughter in the background
* Keith Allen arriving and making a bee line for Clare's puppies that were amply displayed all evening and in hindsight, were the reason we attracted so much male attention
* Clare telling Keith Allen that he had sold out 'just like Bonnie Langford', which presumes that Bonnie Langford was once something more than a variety show and panto performer, and repeating that slanderous comment over and over to anyone within earshot, to Keith's horror
* Hanging out with Tony, the EastEnders paedo, Denise Welch, Spider from Corry and Kieron O'Brien from Survivors
* Clare telling my producer friend Jake that he looked just like Shane Richie
* Keith Allen dancing around to the bagpipes at 4am in Dean Street as Clare demanded 'so Kazza, where are we going next? We're not going home IT'S CHRISTMAS' before ringing Angela, so that she too could savour Keith dancing to bagpipes
* after forcing our cabbie to stop for fags at a garage, Clare trying to clamber into the wrong taxi parked in front of us, much to our driver's amusement.