DICKIE FANTASTIC ON THE SCHMOOZE

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The Independent Culture
As far as I can ascertain - and it is vital to ascertain these things if you want to get on - the Rolling Stones Wembley Stadium back- stage party is divided into two sub-sections: the Volkswagen party and the Virgin Records party. Although both parties are in the same room - generically titled The Voodoo Lounge - different tickets are required for each sub-area.

Meg Ryan has been allocated a Volkswagen ticket, whereas Britt Ekland has been given a Virgin ticket, plus an additional pass to the Virgin VIP room situated in Building Two.

I have been allocated exactly the same rank as Meg Ryan, and am consequently expecting to have a fabulous time. Britt Ekland may be a legendary figure, but Meg is now, she's happening, which means - quid pro quo - that the Volkswagen room is certainly the more desirable of the two sub-parties.

There was a tense moment earlier when Eddie Izzard informed me that the Virgin ticket was a far more spectacular prize to have been awarded.

"No," I said, attempting, shakily, to conceal my fear.

"Well," replied Eddie. "It's just what I heard."

We stood in silence for a moment, and then called over a PR lady to settle the dispute.

"Oh no," she explained. "The Virgin party will be full of people saying: 'Who's that? Is he famous?' Whereas the Volkswagen party is more laid back."

"But what does that mean?" I ask. "Does that mean that there will be famous people at the Virgin party?"

"No," replied the PR lady. "No famous people at all."

I still wasn't wholly convinced of the value of the Volkswagen ticket in relation to the Virgin ticket, so I surreptitiously wandered into the Virgin party. The place was jam-packed with people with pony-tails and Pink Floyd T-shirts.

"You know the Stones," I heard one saying by the bar. "They're tight. You don't get much tighter than the Stones. They're real pros."

"Yeah," replied his friend. "Tight and athletic. Amazing, really. He's 52. Tight."

At this, I wandered back into the Volkswagen party, and took a seat on the next table to Meg Ryan. Two men joined me.

"I'll tell you something about the Stones," said one man. "They're tight. Aren't they? Tight."

"Yeah," replied his companion. "Yeah. Really tight."

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