The Diary, which seems to have lost nothing in the paper's transition from paid-for to freebie, relates an amusing tale told by one of the guests, art dealer James Birch. He 'recalled his first encounter with Fallowell, which left an indelible impression. “He went up to my father and asked if he was heterosexual. When he said he was, Duncan kissed him full on the lips. My father nearly fell off his chair.”'
Ah, yes, the event is recalled and I can tell more.
The encounter was at a large sit-down dinner at the Royal College of Art for the late artist and writer Dicky Chopping's retirement. Birch was indeed there with his father. Fallowell went with sometime lover and Britain's first transsexual, April Ashley; and unfortunately he got incredibly drunk. James Birch was wearing a fetching all-white suit and Fallowell pursued him all round the hall with a trembling glass of claret. Birch proved to be too quick for his pursuer - so Fallowell ran off with Muriel Belcher's crutches which she'd parked neatly beside her seat. This had never happened to her before. The filthy-mouthed Colony crone looked panic stricken - 'For God's sake stop that young man!' she wailed as he ran off out of the hall with them.
I am happy to report that when he gallantly returned them to her 10 minutes later she made him an honorary member of the Colony for bravery. And thereafter Fallowell was always called 'Young man' at the Colony, even after her death. Once or twice I heard Ian Board call him 'Young man' when he was 40 - er, some years past now.
Incidentally, in other matters, my friends in the book trade tell me How To Disappear: A Memoir For Misfits sold out before the launch - the warehouse cleaned out - but fortunately his canny publishers Ditto kept a couple of boxes in reserve for the party. They are now rushing to reprint.
To read my review of the book, click here. Worth reading (also!) is Byron Rogers' marvellously batty Spectator review. And to think, Byron used to write Prince Charles' speeches - 'Such big hands,' he is wont to say of his once royal master.
(PS: One minute [interview] with Duncan Fallowell in the Independent.)