Was I curried by Edwina?

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
On Saturday I interviewed Edwina Currie. On Monday morning, that interview appeared in this paper. On Monday afternoon, Edwina announced her 26-year marriage to Ray Currie was over. Come Monday evening my answerphone was flashing with messages that went: `"Is scoop there?" Oh, ha-bloody- ha.

But did I really miss the story? No, I did not. My own view is that it was Edwina who missed the opportunity to tell me, which is a shame, because I am a very sympathetic listener and could have said some useful things along the lines of: "How did Ray put up with you for as long as he did?" and "What did he see in you in the first place, anyway?"

Now, I'm not saying Edwina isn't entirely without some endearing characteristics. She is, at heart, a very caring, warm person, the sort who had worked out that her elderly mother had sufficient funds to provide for her own nursing care for "two and a half years should it come to it". Certainly, she is not the monster of self-obsession she is often made out to be. I spent eight hours with her, all and all, and during this time she often asked me questions about myself. One was: "Would you mind carrying my bag?" And that was about it, actually.

Anyway, I did ask Edwina about her marriage. Truly, I did. And she said the things she always says about her marriage. Ray is brilliant. Ray `likes a quiet life' and lets her do her own thing. Ray `enjoys my books enormously.' Edwina writes a lot about sex. And talks about it a lot, too. Some people say that those who go on and on about sex do so because they aren't getting any. Perhaps, yes, I did miss a clue here.

But what if I'd asked : "Are you and Ray about to split up?' Would she have answered truthfully? I don't think so. Hang on, are you saying that Edwina would have lied? No, of course I'm not. She is, I'm sure, a very honest person. But she lied to the press all the time when her daughter, Debbie, went about pretending to be a pop star. "I found myself telling lies! Bald-faced lies! And when Debbie and I read them back we were in stitches. Stitches!' Of course, there was nothing cynical about Edwina making the announcement when she did. On Saturday, when I accompanied her to a book signing session, I noted that business was so quiet she almost had to half-nelson people into buying her latest novel. The fact that, from now on, she'll create much more of a fuss and will be greeted in bookshops by, if not more readers, than at least a full turn out of the tabloid press is, I'm sure, entirely unrelated. Yesterday's front page headline in The Daily Telegraph - `I'm leaving home, says Currie in novel style'- must have upset her greatly.

In short, was I shafted? Yes, of course I was. In future, will I begin every interview with the question: "Are you about to divorce?" Absolutely. But I refuse to take any of this hard because I know I'm not a rubbish journalist. It was I who, I'll thank you to remember, broke the story about Norma Major keeping grated cheese in an empty ice-cream tub in her freezer, so as to always have it handy. So don't tell me I don't know how to do my job, thank you.

Comments