Last night I went to see comedy legend Ken Dodd at Richmond Theatre with Roo Rogers of UptheWestEnd.com. It was the first time I had seen Ken Dodd perform live. Apparently he doesn't tour much these days - not surprising, he's 82. I know! Can you believe it? He didn't look 82. There are two possible reasons for this:
1) I wasn't getting a close enough view: The show was a sellout and the only tickets we could get were the 'Cirque de Soleil' ones - so high up in the theatre that I had to close my eyes and hold on to the guard rail with both hands to get to my seat. Though I did open my eyes again, from where I was sitting KD could have passed for any age between 56 and 73.
2) He doesn't look 82 because he isn't. We looked up his date of birth up on Wikipedia via RR's iPhone* during the interval. Perhaps KD goes on to Wikipedia whenever he's booked to do a show and alters his birth date to ensure an affectionate 'aw bless him he's 82!' reception from the audience. There was no need last night - he gave an extraordinary performance and he earned his applause.
When people ask how old I am, I generally say - do you mean my real age or my Wikipedia age? I have spent my whole life lying about how old I am. Like pretty much every other teenager in Britain, I used to add years on so I could buy cigarettes and alcohol. Then one day I started taking years off. I would have kept taking them off indefinitely except that it would have got to the point where my age and my daughter's date of birth no longer tallied. I believe that pregnant teenagers are unfairly vilified and I am an advocate of women having children when they are young. But even I can see that there might be something disquieting to others about pretending that I gave birth to a child at the age of eight.
Fortunately now I have got to that delightful time of life where it seems a good idea to add years on. There is a real pleasure in hearing people say, Oh my God! You don't look fifty! Even if it is because I am not.
*or whatever it was