Mr Deayton's agony page

'Dear Angus, would it not be safer for celebrities such as yourself to have a sex life on television and a life of celibacy off?'
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The Independent Online

I am glad to announce that Angus Deayton has found a new job. Saddened by his sudden departure from Have I Got News For You, I have offered him the post as guest agony aunt in this column, and he has leapt at the chance to work again. Today he will be bringing his wide experience of the wicked world to help tackle problems with which my readers need help, and which I have led too sheltered a life to know anything about.

I am glad to announce that Angus Deayton has found a new job. Saddened by his sudden departure from Have I Got News For You, I have offered him the post as guest agony aunt in this column, and he has leapt at the chance to work again. Today he will be bringing his wide experience of the wicked world to help tackle problems with which my readers need help, and which I have led too sheltered a life to know anything about.

All yours, Angus, and good luck!

Dear Angus Deayton,

I am shortly going on a cross-Channel ferry trip to do some Christmas shopping, and I wonder if you can tell me what the allowance of cocaine is that travellers are allowed to bring back. I mean, for my own personal use, of course. The idea of using cocaine to make a profit is absolutely abhorrent to me.

Angus Deayton writes: Naturally.

Dear Angus Deayton,

The other night I was watching the Jonathan Ross chat show, which I have never seen before, and I was amazed to find that no matter who he had on as a guest, the talk was all about sex. He said he liked sex. He said: "I am very good at it". He asked his first guest, Debbie Harry, if he could have sex with her after her next concert, or possibly during. He talked non-stop male anatomy with Dale Winton. He went on and on about sex.

Now, you, on your TV show, never talked about sex and drugs at all. Your wickedness was all kept for off-screen. Jonathan Ross talked naughtiness, nay filth, the whole time. Off-screen, he seems to have the most innocent and harmless of images. Would it not be safer for people like you to have a sex life on TV and a life of celibacy off?

Angus Deayton writes: Indubitably.

Dear Angus Deayton,

It is often said that you have introduced several new catchphrases to the English language – "Allegedly", is one of them. "And we now end up with the predictably entitled final round" is another of them. Also, to indicate puzzlement at something said by Paul Merton, the single word "Meaning ?".

Oddly, I have never heard any of these phrases being used by anyone in everyday life, so to say that they have entered the English language is perhaps going too far. But I have wagered with a friend that when you come to write your kiss-and-tell memoirs, as undoubtedly you will, you will use one of these phrases as the title for the book. May I plead with you to tell me now which one it is, so that I can win my bet?

Angus Deayton writes: Is the wrong answer.

Dear Angus Deayton,

Well, you may be right and you may be wrong. When Barry Norman published his book of memoirs recently, he gave it as a title the only catchphrase he has ever been associated with, 'And Why Not?', and what is so very odd about this phrase is that he never said it. It was something foisted on him by impressionists. Did you in fact invent any of your catchphrases or were they dreamt up for you by the vast army of scriptwriters without which most of us imagined the programe could never have functioned?

Angus Deayton writes: Moving swiftly on...

Dear Angus Deayton, I am one of those poor innocent souls who believe everything they see on TV. I believe that a newsreader is an expert on the news. I believe Tony Robinson is an archaeologist. And I believe that you personally sought out all those minority magazines which provided such comic moments in the Headline round. I think, for instance, of 'Diarrhea Digest', the magazine featured in your last ever show.

Well, since then I have heard an interview with the American author Geoffrey Ionides who said that while researching for his new novel 'Middlesex', about people who had physical features belonging to both genders, he had had great help from reading a Californian magazine called 'Hermaphrodites With Attitude'. If you ever got back on the programme, would you bear that publication in mind ?

Miles Kington writes: I am afraid I have just realised that none of these questions is about readers' personal problems. They all seem to be about Angus Deayton. Could the next batch be a bit different, please?

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