Cleo Rocos is well known for her portrayal of Miss Whiplash in the Kenny Everett Show in the 1980s and early 1990s, so you can probably guess I was surprised to find myself in a Leeds hotel lift with her in my dressing gown.
People who know me will know that I quite a keen cricket fan and, when the time allows, I like to take in a Test Match or a One-Day International. The West Indies were touring, and with Headingley being the second nearest venue I bought tickets for the first four days of the match, knowing that, at this time, England were very unlikely to make it past the fourth day.
As I was about to go to bed on the evening of the third day, with England in a fairly good position, Graham Gooch having just passed 100, with Mark Ramprakash on 26, I heard the unmistakeable roar of the hotel siren. As with all these things you wait just long enough to see if it is false alarm before careering down the twelve flights of stairs, in my dressing gown.
I arrived in the front car park with the tell-tale sirens of the local fire brigade in the distance fully aware that this was not a drill but that the it was a suspected fire and the fire service were about the attend the scene.
I became increasingly aware that I was surrounded by dozens of well dressed ladies and gentlemen who were clearly attending quite a prestigious cricketing function, some of whom I had seen playing cricket earlier that day.
After a few minutes of smirks at my slight state of undress the all clear was called and we all, me first, piled back into the hotel. The dinner resumed and I headed straight for the lift as did Cleo Rocos, the erstwhile Miss Whiplash.
She gave me a rather crestfallen look up and down and said, ‘it might be quite embarrassing to be stuck in a lift with me.’
Never a truer word spoken, I thought red-faced to myself, wishing I had taken the stairs to avoid the potential scandal.