Between the dog-and-seal-and-dumb-animal-loving you of today and the spiffy you of the late Fifties, the choice is easy. I'll take that great head of hair, the desinvolture (a word English lacks, but I guess is something like cocking your snook and not caring what people think), your deliciously Gallic way of pouting, and even those crummy films that survive only because of your incandescent presence in them.

Compassion is OK: everyone ought to have some, start using it at home and then extend it outwards. A hobby horse is something else. And now you've got married for the fourth time on some fjord in Norway and you're in worse trouble than ever, because your choice fell on a certain Bernard de Chiara (who now goes by the name of Bernard d'Ormale), a man of the far right. Your animal charities were bound to suffer from financial haemorrhage, because the PCs don't like that.

Pay no heed: a good man's worth a hundred stray dogs, and there comes a point in life (it's later than you think) when you have to start making distinctions - say between animals and people.

Your compatriots have a good nose for the ridiculous, and even I, a Bardolateur in my day, have to draw the line somewhere. I really doubt the very worst thing about the Gulf war was that birds got oil on their wings. And I disagree with your new husband's electoral rallying cry: what's wrong with St Trop is that there aren't enough dog turds on the streets.

I don't give a good bleat that your Bernard's a pal of Jean-Marie le Pen's, and I don't believe the head of the National Front really wakes up every morning kissing a white rat. People have fantasies about fascism like you have about animals.

What's more disturbing is that Bernard sounds as cracked as you, that he went about as part of 'The Commando of Noah's Ark' and carried out raids on animal labs. That's about as silly as you telling Muslims not to slaughter lambs on their feast-days and Eskimos to eat greens (iceberg lettuce?) instead of whales.

What's more, you're getting wackier and wackier; you're alternating between suicide and the stomach pump, your backers (and admirers) are dropping off in droves, your house is mortgaged, they've cancelled your television programme and now they want you to give up your husband, too] We all need a sense of proportion, I guess.

Animals, you may have noted, have one. The whole food chain eats away at living things: cats chase birds, toads flick at insects - all without the slightest compunction. It's called staying alive, which at this rate you're not going to do. And certainly not, as you're quoted as saying, if you'd give up a man you say you love just because he unsettles your hobby-horse.

Je t'embrasse

(Photograph omitted)

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