Like Sienna Miller, I know how easy it is for ‘I love yous’ to slip out

I say it to my husband, siblings, and cat - even the odd colleague

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The fact, as revealed in the Old Bailey last week, that an actor ends her phone calls to friends and family with the phrase “I love you” surely isn’t a total surprise. “Thespian in over-affectionate shocker” doesn’t really strike me as much of a story. However, because the thesp in question is Sienna Miller, the phrase was used in a phone call to her co-star and bit-on-the-side Daniel Craig, not her then-boyfriend, and said luvvieness was part of the ongoing phone-hacking saga, Miller’s affectionate adieus have made the news. “I always sign off with ‘I love you’ says Sienna” was one of the headlines I read at the weekend.

Well, I’m glad that no tabloid hacks or high-court judges are scrutinising my own behaviour. For, while I loathe luvvies and their OTT over-emotional outpourings, (I’m deeply suspicious of actors in general. How can you trust people who pretend for a living?), I love an “I love you”. My parents and I exchanged “I love yous” hourly when I was growing up, and I tell them I love them whenever I speak to them now. I say I love you to my stepmother, my mother-in-law (I’m not quite there with my father-in-law, who has more than a touch of the Victorian patriarch about him), I’m always declaring my adoration to my husband and my stepdaughter, my siblings and my cat. Soppy, but there you go.

I have also told my previous boss that I loved her. No alcohol had been consumed, I assure you. Instead, it was an affectionate aside in a text expressing how great it was to work with her. I remember telling my old deputy I loved him, in a band-of-brothers, we’re-all-in-it-together way, rather than anything untoward.

Things went a bit too far the other day, though, when I was on the phone to a writer who, over the years, has become a friend. I said goodbye and then almost ended the call with the sort of “love you” I’d say to my folks. It’s one thing to intend to say the words, another when they start slipping out all over the place. It’s like being at school and calling your teacher “mum”.

So while I don’t think shagging her very famous boyfriend’s very famous best mate was the best way for Sienna to go about keeping a low profile in a celebrity-obsessed world, I do understand how easy it is to be an “I love you” lover. Love you, Sienna.

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