‘If I want to get up at 5am and run through the fields with no shoes on, I can. I like space to think.’Paul, you see, thinks a lot.
He’s in the middle of his third and final autobiography which, he says, has forced him to ‘dig deep’ into the truth about himself. That’s when I said, “Lily’s going.” Because he’d always been here with Lily. Don’t be hanging round.” And off he went.’A year after Murphy’s death Paul suffered a near-fatal heart attack, his second in four years.
We never looked at Thatcher’s ankles the same way again.
He now shares his life with former ballet dancer Andre, but continues to live alone.
His first book, At My Mother’s Knee, introduced us to his mum Molly and two aunts Chrissie and Anne, who along with every outspoken Merseyside housewife contributed to the DNA of his viciously hilarious alter ego Lily Savage. I thought, “I can’t do it any more.” So she sort of died with him.’‘But Jackie Collins was fabulous. Her husband went the same way and we emailed each other every day. Stay on in there.” It’s watching somebody slipping through your fingers and there’s nothing you can do. He blames ‘the four Cs – Carlton television, cigarettes, cholesterol and caffeine,’ but should probably add ‘congenital’ as both his parents died of heart disease. And, with her gone, the family home was gone, so what was left of any roots I had were completely dug up.
‘I think it’s bad for fellas when they lose their mothers. There was nowhere to go back to when the going gets tough.’‘I felt so ill I had to sit down by the yoghurts for a while.
85) Time Team Channel 4, 1994-present, £17.60 This revived interest in archaeology and nearly replaced “Baldrick” on Tony Robinson’s business card.
84) Boy A Channel 4, 2007, dvd n/a Andrew Garfield was superb as a freed child killer in this C4 drama that trumped the BBC.