A low calorie look at life, writing and cake.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Sex, Cake and Videotape - or My Thursday Afternoons Locked in a Hotel Room with Sir Terry Wogan

"I remember Sue Watson with great affection as an excellent,good humoured and ever "flexible" producer. Thank Heaven she has kept what really happened at Cliveden to herself, otherwise it might have been super-injunction time! Wish her blockbusting success with her book. I'll be reading..."

(Sir Terry Wogan) 

One of my favourite memories while working at the BBC was renting a hotel room by the hour with Sir Terry Wogan. Every Thursday afternoon we would meet in the hallowed portals of Lady Astor’s former home, Cliveden and as the twinkling eyed Sir Terry entered the bedroom I would greet him from the four poster bed, ready and waiting for our time together.

Here in a luxurious bedroom made for scandal I would lie with the ghosts of Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice Davis, fingering the coverlet and instructing Sir Terry to do exactly what I wanted.
Before you click away in horror at the prospect of tabloid revelations regarding Sir Terry’s bedroom antics... stick around because this is far more fascinating than anything you once read in The News of the World. My afternoons with Sir Terry were spent in the rather more wholesome capacity of creating groundbreaking TV art in the form of the BBC's ‘Points of View.’ Each week the programme was filmed a bedroom or sitting room at this stateliest of venues and from my  four poster, I would lie back and probe Sir Tezzer while toiling over scripts, shots and tea and cake. Infamous for its connections with ‘The Profumo Affair,’of the sixties, this grand stately home still held onto the secrets of scandal  echoing around the rooms as we thrashed out our editorial. However hard one tried it was impossible to shake the spectacle of Stilletoe-heeled call girls pleasuring powerful Government Ministers in hedonistic surroundings. Here in these very rooms these historic figures had enjoyed illicit sex, juicy secrets, and - very probably tea and cake.

Anyway, I digress, back to my afternoons of delight with Sir Terry. Once the crew (and catering) had arrived, there wasn’t much room for moi, the producer, so the best place for me to see Sir Terry and be out of shot was on the elaborately dressed bed. This became my regular position (unless we were in a sitting room where I could do nothing else but straddle a chair ‘Christine Keeler’ style in a deferential nod to Cliveden’s infamous history); During filming the cameraman would position the monitor at the bottom of the bed so I could see Sir Terry in stereo - celluloid and flesh - here I would kick off my shoes, lie back and think of ‘Points of View.’
Imagining I looked like a ‘Pre Raphaelite,’ painting (though in reality more ‘Beryl Cook!’) I would drape myself seductively among squishy cushions and across the brocade counterpane. I would remain in this position for several hours, untiringly and relentlessly ‘producing,’ Sir Terry until he couldn’t take any more.
Exhausted, in the afterglow of filming, the cameraman would enjoy a post-shoot fag outside and the rest of us would take tea and a slice of cake.
And that's the story of how I rented a hotel room by the hour to spend with a Knight of the Realm every Thursday afternoon.

For memories of BBC's Pebble Mill go to http://pebblemill.org/


  1. I loved this post! I haven't watched Points of View for ages but it is a brilliant show and Terry made it with his twinkling eyes and lovely accent. Now I know why those eyes were twinkling! The cake, obviously, what else?!

    Mandy Baggot

  2. Hi I have just come across your blog and love the title! Hello from your new follower! xx

  3. Hi Mandy - thanks for the kind comments ... yes it was a tough job but someone had to do it! Hello to new follower Rea... it's lovely to get comments because I sometimes think writing a blog is a bit like talking to yourself - very theraputic but am I mad? Lovely to know someone reads it sometimes!!! LOL Sue xxx

  4. Lol I was like that at first and so i just decided to blog about what I want instead of what I thought other people want and now my followers are creeping up! lol don't worry if you are mad it only makes for better reading!!x