Sunday, March 04, 2012
Julian Clary and an encounter with his briefs
That his latest book, Briefs Encountered, features Noel Coward and that Clary lives in Noel's old cottage in Kent - well, how could Madame Arcati fail to be intrigued? I may even buy a copy, though professional journalists as a rule should be gifted the things they intend to publicise. Not that I'm cheap or anything.
I have much to thank Noel Coward. It is due to him that Molly Parkin and I are permanently engaged: Moll once had a curious style fixation on Margaret Rutherford who famously brought Madame to life in David Lean's masterly 1945 film production of Coward's Blithe Spirit. So, when a 'Madame Arcati' turned up on the doorstep of her life some five years ago, she could not but wonder at fate's symmetry. We bonded over memories of old thespian jowls and clairvoyante crystal balls and never looked back. I'm sure there are odder love stories.
Julian now makes for a Cowardy ménage à trois - albeit a remote, perhaps oblivious, member. But I must get to the point. A rather gorgeous book reviewer who has read Briefs Encountered (out March 29) has written in... and the news is good. H/she writes: 'Just finishing his new novel which is amusing and enjoyable though not Great Literature (I'm no snob about that, I like being entertained). Anyway it's very Blithe Spirit, set in his house using Noel Coward as a character... You might enjoy.'