Dom Joly: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Jolywood

Click to follow
The Independent Online

It had been a hard morning. Huxley, my dog, has been in a weird mood recently. I think that he must have overheard me and Stacey talking about how the vet had recommended he be given the snip. As a fellow chap I really don't want to do it but Huxley keeps running away and sexually harassing local dogs. I think he might be gay as he targets man-dogs but Stacey refuses to believe it. It's not that she's got anything against gay dogs, it's just that she dreams of litters of little Huxleys and thinks old gay dogs seem so lonely.

Anyway, that's a matter for Huxley and his shrink but our "snipping" conversation has certainly made him nervous. Every morning now, he insists on crawling into our bed and having a chat. I've no real objection to this as he's a good conversationalist and has seen a lot for a black Labrador. It's just that the chats are getting earlier and earlier. This particular morning, Huxely had been waffling on about his idea to start a Pilates class for other dogs in the village since six o'clock. By about 7.15, I'd had enough. I put on my tattered silk Shanghai Tang robe and pottered downstairs, leaving him to discuss a marketing plan with Stacey. I put the coffee on, lit a fag and looked for the newspaper. As usual, it was nowhere to be seen. The delivery boy has complained that Huxley rubs himself against his legs in an inappropriate way. Nothing serious, but enough to make the little fellow leave the paper outside the castle gates.

I opened the front door and ambled out into the courtyard. It was a beautiful, crisp morning and the birds were screaming the dawn chorus at the top of their little lungs. As I reached the gatehouse, a warm shaft of sunlight hit me in the face and I had a sudden surge of morning energy. I took a moment to look around me. It was good to be alive. I crossed the cobbled entranceway and bent down to pick up my paper when suddenly a voice drifted through the air.

"And there, ladies and gentlemen, is minor comedian Dom Joly. You might remember him from his Channel 4 series Trigger Happy TV." I looked up dazed and confused to see 30 or so gormless faces pressed up against the windows of a mini-bus, some with cameras. Along the side of the bus were the words, "Celebrity tours of the Cotswolds."

As I half-stood, unshaven, in a stained silk kimono, mouth agape, staring vacantly at this apparition, the disembodied voice continued: "Of course, he hasn't really done much recently and I personally never found him that funny but I'm assured by my nine-year-old son Jeremy that he was very humorous in his day. Give him a wave and I'm sure he'll wave back. Give us a wave, Dom."

I waved weakly, still in complete shock as the mini-bus rolled off. I could just make out the voice saying, "And up next, ladies and gentlemen, a real treat, who remembers Sharron Davies?" I ran upstairs to tell Stacey who thought I'd started drinking again.

I went back downstairs, got a steadying glass of brandy and went to the internet for answers. It didn't take long. Some local "entrepreneur" has started a business driving people round the Cotswolds looking at the houses of local "celebrities". These include such luminaries as myself, Jeremy Clarkson, Kate Thornton, Anneka Rice, the Chuckle Brothers and "Lofty" from EastEnders. It sounds like a real money-spinner. In Hollywood you can cruise past the homes of Tom Cruise, Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand. Looks like they'll soon be out of business as "Jillywood" takes off (Jilly Cooper is another local, although it might be a misprint - surely it should be Jolywood?). Who needs Hollywood when you can see me pick up my newspaper, Willy Carson hanging out his long-johns and Ruby Wax power-walking?

If anyone can make money in this way, then I wish them the best of luck. In fact, for a small cash payment I could even be convinced to hang around outside my house naked and foaming at the mouth. Shall we say £10, about 9.30am?

Comments