Last week I stole away to London for a tryst with my boyfriend, Jeremy Clarkson. Our date was for the opening night of a new production of Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and Jezza, as his intimates call him, had brought along his wife and a coterie of adolescent children whom he has presumably fathered. That’s ok, I had brought along husband too. In fact, husband knows all about my boyfriend and is just fine with it, a sure sign we are well on our way to being authentic Europeans. Husband was actually with me on my first date with Jezza some months ago, at Rico coffee shop on Westbourne Grove where we all happened to be breakfasting outside on a fine autumn day. I’ll never forget the hilarious moment when the Westminster Council bin men drove by in the garbage truck and shouted out at Jezza, “Oiy, Clarkson, wanna test drive this?”
Jezza gets a lot of this kind of thing being the star of BBC1’s popular television show, Top Gear, which is ostensibly an automotive review program. But Jezza and his co-hosts spend most their primetime hour time doing things like attempting to race homemade amphibious vehicles across the English Channel and interviewing celebrities who’ve done timed laps on the show’s racetrack. Simon Cowell holds the top spot having edged out Gordon Ramsay — both also coincidentally boyfriends of mine. I guess that’s why I like the show, what with all my boyfriends showing up on it all the time. I mean I’m certainly not a car person. I’m in the process of getting a company car right now and my main interest is colour and whether or not heated seats are an option. Jezza would snort with derision if he knew I’ve settled on a Prius, so we’ll keep that our little secret. On top of being twelve years my senior — safely out of the Catherine Zeta Jones ick range, I’m sure you’ll agree — Jezza is a bit of a right wing, global warming denying kind of guy, as he makes perfectly clear in his weekly Times columns. I guess opposites attract. There’s no denying the frisson of sexual tension as I brushed against his coat lapels during interval drinks, Champers for him, Sancerre for me.
Lucky for his wife and kids, Jezza wasn’t the only celebrity vying for my attention at Oliver! Terry Wogan, the Johnny Carson of the UK was there, as was Anthony Andrews, he of the iconic role of Sebastian Flyte in the best television miniseries ever, Brideshead Revisted. Rowan Atkinson was onstage playing Mr. Bean playing Fagan, alongside Jodie Prenger who won a reality television series last year to secure her role as Nancy. It was a bit of a British luvvie-fest, and I surprised both husband and myself with my powers of celebrity recognition and sheer starstruck delight. In my quest to become a British citizen I’ve already proven via the “Life in the UK” civics-light test that I know the patron saint of Wales (David) and that a person from the Tyneside is called a Geordie, but this is the truest measure yet that I’m ready to take my oath to the Queen. To think just a few short years ago Patsy Kensit and Michael Winner went unnoticed as they stood behind me in line at Tavola in Notting Hill.