Zinnia (see side bar) asked me to give ‘a teeny tiny hint about that secret scenario’ so here’s an example. Hughie Green was a discoverer of talent – following in the footsteps of Carol Levis. He wanted a pretty girl to present his show and I was sent to see him. When he told me what it involved – appearing in front of a live audience, introducing him and being televised at the same time I quailed and said I couldn’t do it. He looked somewhat surprised and said of course I could, I’d be fine. Now, I was terrified and said in any case, I thought I would be on holiday on the Broads.
‘Pat honey,’ in his mid Atlantic drawl, ‘We’re gonna film you if we have to bring a crew down to Norfolk!’
There was no way out, I had to go through with it. I went to my doctor and told him of my fears. He was very sympathetic and gave me a blue lozenge to take before the show. On the day of the show I had plenty of time alone in my dressing room to think. I had started riding in the Surrey country side and had become besotted with horses. They made me feel all gooey inside and so I decided that the front row of the audience were going to be my favourites – Bridie, Sean and the rest of the stables and I was going to introduce Hughie to them and they’d love him. The very thought brought a smile to my face and it lasted when I walked on stage and told my horsey friends what a treat they had in store. I was actually enjoying myself and swirled round in my red lace dress to announce with panache,
‘Your Master of Ceremonies – Hughie Green!’
Hughie was delighted – I was delighted and the horses laughed their heads off.
That was the first and last time I used chemical Dutch courage. From now on my mind’s eye would do it.
In recent years there was a lot of mixed publicity about Hughie Green. To me he was always a funny, charming gentleman.