You know what made me feel most proud that the Savoy hosted my Savile Row book launch? When the A team arrived. The Savoy top brass are like a shoal of sharks who divide to conquer when they enter a stateroom in the hotel. I was thrilled to introduce Kiaran and Julian to my parents but more so to introduce them to Miss Suzi Perry who I think should be a Savoy girl rather than a May Fair Hotel chick. As always, Kiaran made me smile saying that the real reason the hotel opening was delayed was to wait for Suzi and I to finish the BBC coverage at Royal Ascot.
Brett, Elizabeth and the lovely Sharon in the first picture are just superb colleagues and I think friends. No one will ever know how much work they all put in to the party behind the scenes to make it run seamlessly. I think they all looked super cute on the night and enhanced the room immeasurably. Julian has, I think, turned into a real older Bro. He is a true wordsmith and says in a few what most gasbags would take a month to emote. He is always there casting an eye and making sure everyone has fun but in proportion to the occasion and the guests. Reminds me of a story Elaine Stritch told in her one-woman show at the Old Vic.
Elaine was starring as Joanna in Stephen Sondheim’s Company. Joanna lifted the elbow a little as did Elaine. One night she had more than her usual two hookers before singing her 11 o’clock number Here’s To The Ladies Who Lunch and Stritchie lost the lyrics for what seemed like hours but was merely seconds. The show’s producer, a tough, ballsy lady from the Bronx, popped her head around Stritchie’s dressing room door and said ‘great talent Elaine. Don’t f*** it up’. Well, as her performance at Sondheim’s 80th birthday in New York proved, she didn’t. I wondered if I should, instead of giving a speech at the party, have sung eight bars of I’m Still Here. We had the baby grand after all.
Did I tell you I bought a sensational 1920s Punch cartoon of a chap in the gents at Simpson’s wearing black tie and staring adoringly into a mirror? I think I should loan it to Simpson’s. It is an absolute zinger. I must also ask Mrs T to have a day in the Savoy Museum to give it a spring clean. She’s the only one I trust to be as fastidious as I am. It was truly fabulous to have Anthony Keegan in town for the party. He is one of my oldest friends and a very talented creative director. In the 20-years we have known each other, Anthony and I have run the gamut A-Z. It’s nice to know that it is him advising me these days rather than vice versa.
The photographer at the event was spectacular. She managed to catch Mark Henderson giving a super speech with my Mother to his left with a look on her face that could be captioned ‘Mother’s Pride’. I really enjoyed spending time with my parents on my beat. They have been with me every step of the way; one on each side of me as we rode the Rollercoaster that has been the metaphor for my professional career. In every thank you letter and email I have received since the Savile Row party at the Savoy on Monday night, those who met my parents said how much they liked and respected them. Hear hear I say.
I think the Nytol is kicking in but will do my dash tonight before bed. The adrenaline is no longer pumping. Now it’s the calm after the storm and I couldn’t be happier to have a few early nights. A few? You know that dinner party game when you say what you’d have engraved on your tombstone in Westminster Abbey? A few years ago mine would have read ‘It’s for the best, you’ll get some rest’. Now I think ’60-years in the business darling’ would be more appropriate. Joking apart, I would like the same text that is in the blue plaque outside Beau Brummell’s townhouse in Chesterfield Street: A Man of Fashion. But not for another 40-years please Rowley.
Are you watching I’m A Celebrity? I am resisting so far because it will only wind me up. But compelling wasn’t even in it for the last series. It’s not about the gunk, snakes and bulls’ eyes. It is pure psychology, no, to see how personas are stripped away and the dog beneath the skin is revealed. I think the most magnificent contestant was Martina Navratilova in the last series. What a woman. You know me Rowley. I was always a Chris Evert fanatic. But with patience and time, Martina became not only a Wimbledon legend but also a favourite. She’s an inspiration on so many levels.
Back to the Savoy in my final dispatch from the Savile Row ‘bit of a do’. Until then…