Page 7, 23rd March 1979

23rd March 1979
Page 7
Page 7, 23rd March 1979 — How some fortunes are made • • • LAST YEAR

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Locations: Amsterdam


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How some fortunes are made • • • LAST YEAR

someone very high up (judging by the notepaper) on America's Fortune magazine told my wife that she had been selected to receive several free editions which would presumably convince her that she desperately needed Fortune for the rest of her natural life.

Being a modest woman, she looked at the first edition and realised that this American world of business via Amsterdam was strictly for the Rockfellers. the Fords and the Tony O'Reillys, and begged them not to waste money by sending her any more copies. For once, the battle against the computer was won by a human, and nothing happened — until yesterday.

"You're hard to find", they began, addressing her flatteringly by name. Locating the individuals who have the income, position and business interests of Fortune subscribers — yet are not already Fortune subscribers themselves — is like trying to find a needle in haystack.

"And now that I've found you, I don't want to lose you. That's why I intend to make you an offer you can hardly refuse."

The offer turns out to be an invitation to discover the legends of American busineSs in a book called "The Tycoons". Madam says do they mind if she doesn't?

But what finally tickled me was to note that when the contents of the envelope were removed, behind the cellophaned window, neatly printed inside, I read: "If you are already a Fortune sub

siber we apolgise. We should appreciate your passing the offer to someone" ... etc.

Devolution confusion

THERE ARE Irishmen who want to unite Ireland as a Republic and there are Irishmen who want to unite Ireland as part of Great Britain. There are, of course, many other kinds of Irishman as well.

Either of the first two must have been ironcially bemused by the recent spate of speeches on the Devolution of Scotland and Wales — most of which seems to have fallen apart at the seams anyway.

One speech caught a headline in an English newspaper with "The Night Healey will Live to Regret" and went on, with some surprise, to note how he had confused in Scotland both the potential "Yes" voters and the potential "No" voters and seemed to be I don't see why they should surprised. I remember, not many years ago, chairing a discussion between Mr Healey and Mr Powell (before he became an Ulsterman) or whether to vote "Yes" or "No" for the Common Market. be so

Mr Powell was booked as an avowed "No", Denis as a cornmited "Yes". Enoch Powell was succinct and devastating, as usual; but did mine ears deceive me, surely on air in front of our audience. Denis was also recommending a "No"? I tried ‘to challenge him several times on this mite face but without much success.

He finally thundered: "My friend, Eamonn Andrews, will not allow me to," etc, etc, etc. Somehow, he made that word "friend" make me wish I had a bullet proof waistcoat.

Haunted by a monologue

A LONG TIME AGO. I made a record of a monologue called "Shifting, Wisp'ring Sands". It sold, as they say. Very well at the time but it's come back to haunt me several times since.

Not so long ago, it featured heavily in Kenny Everett's "World's Worst Records" on London's Capital Radio, and subsequently had a similar kind of Oscar , from Mike Murphy on Radio Eireann. Since the record industry always hopes to follow one success with another and similar, I made a few other recordings about the same time, which I did my best to suppress because I was embarrassed by well meaning friends playing them on the air.

Now, not only am I getting letters asking me for copies (which 1 don't have) but messages along the lines of one I received yesterday from a gentleman in Essex, saying that he has an original 78 record ,of me singing (not true, just speaking).

One side is called "High Wind" and the other side "Legend of Wyatt Earp". He wondered if I was interested in the record, which is in mint condition, and, it SO, would I contact him at the above number. It was a very kind thought, Sir. But I won't be ringing. Honest.

Susan's word cure

interesting people 011e meets. Recently, my night-time show had Carroll "Baby Doll" Baker, Susan "Forsyte' Hampshire, Charles "She" Aznavour and dear old Dickie


They made a fascinating combination, each in his or her own way highly successful but each, somehow, isolated and vulnerable.

Two post programme moments stand out in my mind. Susan Hampshire had talked about her dyslexia disability — known otherwise as word blindness. I reminded her how we'd last met at a concert in Westminster Cathedral for Westminster Cathedral.

Susan was reading poetry, and I told her how I'd noticed her, backstage, poring slowly over the book of poems before she delivered them so beautifully to the audience.

She told me this had. in fact, been part of her break through in getting the upper hand over this 'particular disability and that, since that night, she has, as a result, given many more such performances.

Offered a drink after the show, Dickie Henderson declined. "I've given up drink for Lent," he said. "Spirits, that is. Mind you, I'm putting away about five gallons of wine a day."

And off he went, chuckling, into the .night to meet his first grandchild, Ross, who had been born while Dickie was away on a world tour.

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