While I understand that – as a thoroughbred media whore – I am rather complicit in this, it has become impossible now to imagine anyone of any celebrity status socialising outside of a private members' club. Indeed these days the very idea of mixing with the proletariat is anathema to the sort of person who uses Heat magazine as a contemporary alternative to the town crier. Me? Caught in a pub? With my reputation? Perish the very thought, my dear boy ...
But Danny Baker and Danny Kelly are not the sort of notables who inhabit Heat (not on a regular basis, anyhow), and the most enjoyable passage in their essential new book, Classic Football Debates, is kick-started (see what I did there) in a Shepherd's Bush pub.
The chapter in question is a lovingly retold and predictably convoluted romp involving Baker, Chris Evans and Paul Gascoigne at the height of their mid-Nineties "Three Muska-Beers" pomp (the denouement of which is Gazza hijacking a London bus and successfully steering it along the Bayswater Road, albeit at a glacial pace). That day, the agreed rendezvous was in a part of town "only matched in its lack of promise by its inconvenience for all three of us. The meet was set at eleven-ish, and upon convening, with all three of us husbanding a soothing freezing-cold half, it soon became clear that leaving the bustling metropolis and going to some racecourse to slog it through seven wallet-sapping races was something that only maniacs might consider progress, so what were the alternatives?"
Most football books are rubbish, but this one, written by Britain's funniest broadcaster and a legendary magazine editor is full of the sort of vim and brio that will make you want to throw off your velvet pantaloons, your crushed silk undershirt and your embroidered codpiece, don a box-fresh donkey jacket and hurtle down to your local for a couple of metres of mead and a family packet of Kettles.
And if the Dog and Duckface isn't open? Well, there's always the Groucho Club.
Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ'Reuse content