Well, I finally got into the US and, consequently, they finally got into me. Readers of my column last week will no doubt be thrilled to know that "Emilio" was ready and waiting to greet me at Miami airport. After an hour of enquiring as to why I had thought it necessary to learn French and whether I was entering the country with the intent of committing an act of genocide (a straight yes or no option on the form, has anyone ever ticked the yes box?) I was given a full cavity search. Welcome to the US.
The plus side is that I am now in one of my favourite cities on earth, Miami. South Beach is the fastest growing area in the US and it's easy to see why. Roller-blading Latina supermodels glide past endless super-cars cruising down Ocean Drive taking in the buzzing art deco seafront. This is no Eastbourne.
Last time I was here I shared a breakfast terrace with the rapper Ja Rule and his pet lion. I was staying at the heavenly Tides hotel and it was difficult to get into the lift without bumping into Mike Tyson or J-Lo, one being infinitely more preferable. This time Sarah Jessica Parker, Prince and Paris Hilton are in town. I high-fived Prince as he drove past me in a covertible Bentley, but he's shy and chose not to notice; he's cool like that.
On a rare moment off from filming I decided to take a jet-ski and go and spy on some of the houses of the rich and famous that bedeck every island round here. I was just laughing at the safety warnings on the dash about how normal swimwear wouldn't prevent water being forced up my various orifices in the event of a crash when I hit a particularly strong wave. I flew off the craft and, after a relatively pleasant flight of about 10ft, smashed back into the water. Thankfully, I was wearing a lifejacket that stopped me from ripping all the skin off my back. Unfortunately my bottom wasn't so lucky. I have always been a little puzzled by rich women who pay enormous amounts of money to fly off to places like Bali to have a colonic irrigation but I am now totally stupefied by their lifestyle choices. My inadvertent jet-ski enema has left my backside in an even worse state than when I left the airport.
I am consequently having to wander around South Beach with the gait of a man who has just spent an active evening as a guest of Liberace. Not that this is a problem in South Beach. With its preponderance of fashion and media activities the whole place is very gay-friendly. I have actually become something of a gay icon myself, thanks to one of the new characters in my forthcoming BBC1 show. He is Metal Man, a poor cousin of Robo-Cop and for reasons best left to the viewer I found myself dressed in full cyborg costume giving a rather moving rendition of "Stand By Your Man" to a very receptive crowd at a gay karaoke evening.
Things got even more complicated as I had to change into the costume in the small beer cupboard at the back of the bar. It's a cumbersome outfit and I was standing in the beer cupboard dressed only in silver tights while my producer, Richard, tried to get the rest of the costume on to me when the manager walked in. We had actually got some permission from someone higher up the food chain, but he was unaware of our filming and was convinced that he had walked in on some fulfilment of a long-held fantasy to cop off with another man dressed as a robot in the beer cupboard of a South Florida gay bar. It took a lot of explaining but we eventually managed to make our excuses and leave. The performance was rather moving and I was wolf-whistled to my van by a group of rather butch-looking bikers. The following day saw me dressed as a critically sunburnt British skinhead on holiday and so I was left to my own devices by the glitterati.
I apologise for the last two columns being slightly anally fixated, but I can only tell it like it is. Next stop Vegas, but I can't see anything going awry in that haven of tranquillity, so should be fairly routine next week. Ho-hum.Reuse content