William Wilde (Part V)
It has been a real honor and pleasure learning about life & style from Bill over the past 5 weeks. The lost Q&A has come to and end and we are glad to have shared the Guvnor’s wisdom with you. We truly saved the best for last!
Craziest thing you’ve done for love?
Oh, I’m not sure it was for love. Maybe passion. She was very beautiful, a Grace Kelly. She made the front of Vogue twice, something in those days. We had a row at a party. I left. I went back to her very smart mews flat in Knighstbridge, feeling a bit of a pig. I found, I hadn’t got the keys. But I wanted to be there when she got back home. She let the garage underneath to someone who kept two cars there. The door’s always open. There was a small window at the top of the garage that looked from her stairs. I was determined to get in. I ran along the roofs of the cars, I tried to force the window. I was unsuccessful so when I had a drink at the pub, I came back and tried twice more. In the end I gave up. She found me when she came home, sitting on her doorstep, wrapped up in a coat; it was very cold. Thank God I had my gloves on. We made it up beautifully, next morning I went off to work, came back that evening and she was full of a drama. A burglar had tried to force her window. and done thousands of pounds worth of damage on two Rolls Royce roofs that were in the garage. It wasn’t a burglar, it was me. I never owned up. To this day I don’t feel guilty about the rollers. I don’t feel guilty about that beautiful girl either. In the end, I did the honourable thing.
Best way to relax?
A long lunch with friends and the conversation ranging over everything.
The book you’re reading now?
After all these years, I’ve just got into Agatha Christie. Murder on the Orient Express.
Daily morning ritual consists of? (food,, reading material, etc)
Ideally, half cold game bird from the night before, black coffee, and The Times. Then read my emails and send some emails.
Favorite smell in the world?
Bacon and eggs.
The Grande Bretagne in Athens. Many happy memories.
Craziest night you’ve ever had?
New Years Eve in Athens. I didn’t know Athens very well, I just arrived. I was at a very smart Embassy type party. And really, rather boring. Just after midnight, I ducked out. I hit by instinct Plucker nesting under a beautifully lit Acropolis. After a few drinks in a few bars ,I met an old poet from Thessaloniki. And a thief. I knew it was a thief, because he tried to pick my pocket. I told him not to be silly and have a drink. And as it was his profession, I told him he can steal my tie. I looked the other way and he stole it. We talked of everything. Moved on to another bar. Outside the bar were two looking very bored policemen. I told the old poet to buy them a drink and they had several. By this time, it was established that I was an actor. I’d just finished another television series and was unwinding in Athens. The police insisted on taking us somewhere. They pulled up some chainlink fencing and we all went underneath. I was in the Odeon. One of the oldest theaters in the world. They insisted I did something.. I stood in the acting area. They were 5 levels back. I was about to play to an audience of two policemen, a poet and a thief. I gave them Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” and the chorus from the beginning of Henry V. I was empowered; it was 3.30 in the morning, I was surrounded by the ghosts of actors. I finished and bowed. They cried “Bravo!” And insisted I did it again, which I did. We wriggled under the chain fence. And said our goodbyes, never to meet again. I find a Kafenion and breakfasted on two boiled eggs, olives, coffee and Metaxa brandy. I was very happy but lost. I needed the taxi, I found the main square. There was a big road beside it. There were no taxis. Suddenly a very well dressed man in perfect English asked me if I needed a taxi. He took me into the buillding, passed two armed guards who saluted him. He took me to the officer of the guard. “Did I have my address on me?” “Yes.” I gave him a piece of paper. He wished me Happy New Year and left. The officer took me outside. He spotted a taxi, walked into the middle of the road, stopped all the traffic, and pointed to the taxi and me. He wished me Happy New Year and saluted me. I wished him one and shook his hand. Sitting in the taxi, I thought I liked this town and I liked the people in it, the Greeks.