Its 1986, and Tom Connolly, a directionless, sucks 19 -year-old writes to his comic superstar hinting they co-write a film. To his amazement he receives a reply, containing an invitation

As a directionless 19 -year-old in 1986, I wrote a drunken letter addressed to my protagonist John Cleese after watching a South Bank Show special about him. From what I can make out of my scribbled plan for the symbol( I still have it ), my jogging missive contained the suggestion we co-write a film about an over-the-hill comic( yes, I said that) and a young man going out with his daughter. I suggested a entitle of Waves . No quantity of alcohol or ignorance can excuse this idea. And hitherto, I got a reply and an invitation to visit in the spring, when he returned from America. In his character, he diminished the be provided to co-write with me and was magnanimous about the nonsense I had sent him: I always like people who take a bit of a risk when they write to me by floating outside the employment guidelines of everyday communication.

He convened me at his office and stepped me over to his house. He sat with the mark long leg slung across the weapon of his chair. With different kinds, but razor-sharp smile he asked me searching questions about my counseling in life. I had never been engaged in this way by anybody. We talked for some hours in his living room. His wife brought in a tray of tea and sit with us for a while. He seemed in no hurry to get rid of me, which amazed me. He was funny. He was tough. He was generous with his time and with his thoughts. He made me gravely and was inspirational.

Later he sauntered me back to Holland Park tube, upright yet languid, with a smile for those we surpassed, exuding a statu of theoretical involvement with the world around him and inside him that was impressive to me. He articulated I talked visually, observed life in images and that I should consider contemplating film or working in it. And on that balmy, golden May evening he sat me down on a low-toned brick wall to finish those discussions. He situated his index finger on my forehead( I didnt wash for weeks) and mentioned: Recall about investigating something you really are looking forward to. He wrote down the names of two films( I still have the scrap of paper ): Un Chien Andalou and LAge dOr . Watch these, he announced, and if they fascinate you, consider studying movies and books.

He objected me in the direction of a life I would never have considered. But it was more than that. He rendered a balk, sport-obsessed, academically poor country son with no cosmopolitan culture a peek of the notion that anything can happen.

If the funniest, most interesting person in the world can invite you for tea, then anything is possible. My era with JC conclude with me wearing a pair of comedy Y-fronts outside my trousers while travelling pillion on my lovers Puch Maxi moped through the terraced streets of Wincheap in Canterbury, celebrating treasured hours with a serious entertaining man and the suspicion that life would never be the same again.

Tom Connollys comic tale Men Like Air issued by Myriad at 9.99. To buy a reproduce for 8.49, go to

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