From the Daily Mail,
Feb. 27, 1999
with Lester Middlehurst
You have an
18-year-old daughter who wants to be a stripper. Would you try
to discourage her?
People who take the
moral high ground are generally on shifting sand. I would rather
hope that it wasn't the only avenue open to her, and if she
was capable of being any good at that particular job I would
suggest her talents might be better served in musical theatre.
I would certainly attempt to persuade her to aim a little higher.
is taken seriously ill and says she wants to live with you.
What would you do?
Move and not leave
her a forwarding address.
You are judging
a talent show in which your nephew is competing. Would you declare
I know in my heart
that it would have no reflection on my decision-making, but
I would make it known to the judges.
A singer is
ruining a song you have written for your show. Would you try
to get her sacked?
I would plead on
every level to get rid of her. There is nothing worse than having
people miscastnot only for the show, but for their sakes
as well. If people can't deliver the goods, it is better for
them not to be there at all.
offer to pay for your children to go to a top public school
instead of the state school they already attend. Would you accept?
If my children were
happy where they were, then going to a so-called better school
wouldn't be an issue. All I have ever asked for as far as my
children's education is concerned is that they are happy.
Your son asks
you to lend him money for a sex change operation. Would you?
Of course I would.
But I would encourage him to have a lot of discussion about
whether that's what he really wanted. I do know people who have
gone down that road and, at the end of the day, are no more
self-enlightened or any happier.
offers to sleep with you to get a role in one of your shows.
Would you accept?
I would say 'It's
a bit too late in the day, darling. You should have got me 20
Your wife confesses
that she was unfaithful in the first year of your marriage.
Would you divorce her?
No. There would be
recriminations, but I don't just love people because they are
great all the time. When you really love someone, you love them
for their weaknesses and their mistakes as well. That's why
true love goes on for ever.
you do if you discovered that your daughter was on the Pill
at the age of 15?
I would want to know
why. I think it's wholly reprehensible that doctors are allowed
to prescribe the Pill to under-age children without their parents
knowing about it. I would want her mother and I to talk to her
about it first and deal with it as a family.
you do if you were told you only had six months to live?
I would probably
be full of self-pity for a few weeks and tell nobody with the
exception of, perhaps, my wife. Then it would be bound to leak
out so I would probably have a party for everybody I knew before
I popped my clogs.
A close friend
tells you a guilty secret in confidence. It would make a great
plot for your next play. Would you betray your friend?
Yes, but I would
disguise it heavily so that nobody could point a finger at my
friend. I think, unfortunately, everything is grist to the mill
when you are a writer. Even being married to a writer is a terrible
thing because your own life can be used as material.
Your bank statement
shows that L5,000 has been wrongly credited to your account.
Would you tell your bank?
It sounds dreadful,
but I wouldn't notice. It would probably be the bank manager
who would point it out to me several weeks later, and I would
just be glad that somebody was keeping an eye on my finances.
At a dinner
party, you are sitting next to a critic who had just given your
new album a negative review. Would you mention it?
I'm not very good
at controlling my emotions so I think I would probably leave.
One critic who had given me a particularly hard time died a
terrible death and I thought, at the time, that it served him
right because he was very mean-spirited.
you do if you saw a man being mugged by three thugs?
would go straight in without regard to my safety or to whether
I was going to do any good.
is burgled and you make an insurance claim. After receiving
the money, you discover that one expensive item wasn't stolen
after all. Would you return some of the money?
I should say yes,
otherwise my premiums will probably go up, but I do have a problem
with insurance companies. If I insure the contents of my house
for L50,000 and put in a claim for L5,000, they say I should
have been insured for L80,000 and give me L3,500. Because of
that I would keep the money.