Monday, October 12, 2009
Who's the callow youth with the lovely Cleo Rocos' arms draped around him? Its me, over a decade ago, in my early days as a hack on Publishing News, at the launch of her book Bananas Forever. Tony Mulliken of Midas PR was masterminding the publicity for the book, and, in an unguarded moment, I let slip to him my enormous regard for the late Maurice Cole and my profound love for his glamorous sidekick. Tony took great delight in introducing me to my heroine, who turned out to be every bit as smashing and pleasant as you'd expect. Although I was covering the launch for PN's diary column, and was thus expected to merge into the background (as if that were possible with a foghorn voice like mine) and note down vaguely amusing occurrences, as well as taking pictures, rather than appearing in them. Tony, being Tony, however, said something like "Oi, make love to the camera, the pair of you", at which she flung her arms around me, while I tried not to look like someone who'd just been grabbed bodily by a woman he'd quietly adored for years. Anyway, I found it on an old hard drive the other day and thought it would be fun to share. I know it's the visual equivalent of an appalling name-drop, but it cheered me up when I saw it. I bumped into Cleo on several occasions after this at various launches and beanos, not to mention wandering around Fitzrovia, where I worked and I believe she lived, and she always made a point of saying hello. She was then and, I suspect, still is, just a delightful person.