In the cellar of lust; Close Encounter

He's sorted out Elton and Robbie Williams, so does Beechy Colclough have any advice for Bill and Hill?

THERE'S LIFE as we know it; then there's a dubious underworld swarming with legal, moral and sexual misconduct. And in between there's that seedy limbo, just below street level, alive in the consciousness, yet never, never sampled by one's friends and family. God forbid.

The singles bar, for example.

I found Caspers listed under "Gimmicks" in a restaurant guide. Officially a "telephone exchange bar and grill", whatever that may be, at the end of the day, as the manager admits, it is a singles bar. "Unless you're a moose, you'll pick up," he adds helpfully. A suitable venue, then, for a spot of relationship counselling with "therapist to the stars" Beechy Colclough.

At a time when the most powerful man in the world reveals himself to be a common old lech, what would the therapist who has counselled Michael Jackson, Elton John, Robbie Williams and Gazza, offer in the way of marriage guidance to the spurned wife?

"Well, I would ask her, `Do you like the abuse, Hillary? Do you like being singled out as the biggest mug in America?'" Beechy declaimed with a characteristic rhetorical flourish.

We plunged underground into the world of the pale-suited office slapper, and the laddish exponent of the manicured "Blind Date"-style pick-up line. At Caspers, the Trocadero meets massage parlour, with a touch of Angus Steak House thrown in. "I've never been to one of these," my dapper, tanned, media-friendly companion said cheerfully. Chatting with the therapist to the stars in a singles bar felt like consulting a neural surgeon dressed as Mystic Meg.

We sat down somewhat uncertainly at a table equipped with telephone for calling up anyone we fancied the look of across the room. The telephone is an ice-breaking tool lying somewhere between a cocktail and an Internet chat up.

Beechy Colclough, a teetotal 50-year-old, seemed singularly unfazed by the cackling 21-year-olds, balloons and azure cocktails, but then, he's seen it all. A broadcaster, psychotherapist and relationships counsellor, he garners frequent press mentions by grateful popstars at least temporarily cured of their addictions.

Beechy would take the tough line on the Clintons: "Take away the President label, and you've got Bill the sex addict. You've got Hillary the tired wife who's sick of this, who's being humiliated. I would probably say to her, `What are you getting out of staying? When the unacceptable becomes acceptable, that's when it's dangerously unacceptable. You're teaching your other half that they can do this stuff.' I'd say, `What are you doing for women these days?' She is certainly making it all right for a lot of men to say `Hillary puts up with it, dear, why don't you?'"

Squawking and hair-tossing hotted up around us. "I bet he's got a hairy bum," confided a girl nearby. "There's nothing worse than a hairy back, though, is there?" replied her friend. Beechy and I returned to more weighty matters as we repaired to the bar.

"Maybe Hillary's husband is like the big silly son that she never had. Some guys never leave home without their mothers. Bill doesn't think with his head," said Beechy, warming to his subject.

Complete that quote, Beechy. "Well, he thinks with his dick, doesn't he?

"I would be telling Hillary to put a vice on him, but it wouldn't be on his hands," he said, entering into the spirit of the place as he sipped his Diet Coke.

"It's an addictive relationship. Have you noticed how much she wears sunglasses these days?" said Beechy darkly. "The eyes never lie, and you wonder what's going on there. Dark days, bright days, Hillary's got them on. Maybe she's welling up with tears, maybe she just can't look at it any more."

By this time a couple of suits had rung the table of a large group of girls, causing ripples through a sea of peroxide. The night's work had begun.

"I would be telling her that she can't forgive him until she actually acknowledges to him how hurt she is. Maybe they can't separate, but they could have some sort of separation within the marriage, so, like, `All your privileges are withdrawn, Bill. I can play away as well.'

"I'd tell Bill if he's going to come and bullshit with me like he has with the rest, don't bother, because it's going to cost him money, and I would throw him out anyway. I believe Bill has a sexual addiction. But then, addiction doesn't respond to logic."

Reassured by my chat with the therapist to the stars, his lulling accent, his couchside manner, I suddenly felt an alarming desire to cab it up the road to Harley Street and expound upon my neuroses on a black couch - any black couch.

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