Dear Richard Harris

Attacking Michael Caine for his pomposity is a public service. But you don't know that much about life outside the cosy haze of your room at the Savoy. Give your elbow a rest and try a new hobby

Thank you. At last someone has said to Michael Caine what many of us have wanted to say for so long. It is one thing for him to go to Beverly Hills and earn his supper on his precious A-list celebrity party circuit, with his tired performance of Britishness. It is quite another to return home issuing high-handed judgements about British culture and the low esteem in which he holds peers of far greater talent: namely yourself, Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton.

Caine could be forgiven for retreating once again to play Harry Palmer, the spy who helped to make him famous years ago. Let's face it, he has never done anything as good since and the Palmer role may save us from more television mini-series such as the awful Jack the Ripper, in which Caine played a policeman with a performance worthy of a mid-week matinee at the Bradford Alhambra.

Many people would share your outrage at Caine's recent interview in the Sunday Times in which he anointed himself the British Gene Hackman, a character actor who could teach the younger generation a thing or two - presumably about how self-promotion can compensate for limited talent.

For those who missed your letter to the newspaper yesterday, it is worth quoting its conclusion at length. You say of Caine: "He is an over-fat flatulent 62-year-old windbag, a master of inconsequence now masquerading as a guru, passing off his vast limitations and pious virtues."

Great stuff, but there is a problem Richard, isn't there? You hardly represent a model for the future yourself. Your criticism of Caine for masquerading as a common man might carry more weight if it did not come from someone who lives (survives might be a better word) in the Savoy.

And as you admit: "We dared to cross the threshold from sophisticated drawing room, stangulated drollery to the wilderness where we not only faced the lion's roar but smelled the breath of their bad habits; a voyage most great actors embarked upon where on occasion they might touch the gods to ignite their craft." In other words you like the odd drink, now and then, just socially you understand, with anyone you can find.

Luckily, actors seeking a model to combine long life, with success and an ego of manageable proportions, had an alternative on offer over the weekend as Adam Faith gave both you and Michael Caine a lesson in staying young.

The 54-year-old pop star-turned-actor-cum-share tipster-and-entrepreneur was out in Hyde Park rollerblading - admittedly rather shakily - with the stunning Louise Lombard, 30 years his junior and star of television's 19th-century fashion drama The House of Eliott (she is comforting him over the recent collapse of his marriage).

Faith, never too proud to test his skills in front of the paying public, is co-starring with Ms Lombard in the comedy Now You Know at the Hampstead Theatre in north London. When did you last get close enough to an audience so they could smell your breath?

So Richard, I know the thought of it may make you sick. I know the sight of you flying around Hyde Park with protective pads all over the place, nicotine-stained hair flowing in the wind, small bottle of brown liquid in one hand and cigarette in the other would alarm mothers with young children. But Richard, get off your backside, out of the Savoy, into the fresh air and get your rollerblades on.

JOHN PLUMMER

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine