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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I know I'm not going to win any friends by repeatedly claiming to have had celebrity encounters without once providing photographic proof, but...

I was walking along the seafront this morning, passing the Hilton Metropole, and watching conference delegates eating liberal amounts of breakfast at 'Bar 106', when who should I see rushing towards me but writer, journalist, and legendary out-er of Peter Mandelson, Matthew Parris. Not that I want to give the impression that everyone at this conference is gay. I thought for a moment he was rushing up to introduce himself, but actually I think he was late for a TV appearance. He hadn't even managed to get his tie on properly, and looked slightly flustered.

Parris in the AutumnAs it happens, I did have my camera with me, but it's strange how you don't think to reach for it when you're suddenly face to face with a celebrity author approaching at high speed. I was going to brush against him as he passed, so that I could say I'd touched the hem of his garment (and possibly received healing), but I knew he'd once been beaten up on Clapham Common, and I didn't want to be accused of a gay-bashing. So I just stared in a slightly intimidating manner, and walked on by.

But in a bizarre twist of fate, as of this afternoon, Mr Parris owes me a large debt of gratitude. I looked up his page on Wikipedia, and was slightly surprised to read that he's apparently just entered into a gay marriage with his partner of eleven years, the Star Wars actor Julian Glover. Which seemed a little odd, as Julian Glover's page says he's still married to Isla Blair. So I did a little research and found that Matthew is actually hitched to a 35-year-old Guardian journalist called Julian Glover, and not the 71-year-old actor of the same name.

I was tempted to leave it and see how long it takes for the error to get into print, but in the end my conscience got the better of me, so I've just edited the Wikipedia entry and corrected the mistake. That man owes me a drink.