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I'm not ashamed of what I do, although I dislike the term "honeytrap" because it's not very masculine. I came up with "bee sting", and then "hunk snare", but neither of them caught on. Suffice to say I'm still working on it. A lot of my colleagues disapprove of my style of journalism, of the way I use my wiles on female "victims", but in private they all ask me the same thing: how do you do it?

You know how I do it? I talk about myself. Women love it. Once you've got them in the hotel room, they're all ears. It's not as easy as it sounds, because you have to keep talking without stopping, never letting her get a word in edgeways. You can talk about anything - work, or your childhood, or something you saw on television - but strident opinions work best. Women are flattered that you feel comfortable enough to let loose. When push comes to shove, they love to listen.

After a while I excuse myself and go to the bathroom to switch on the tape recorder. I check the microphone wire, which runs across my shaved chest, through my hair and into a tiny microphone disguised as a mole over my eyebrow. Then I go back in and help myself from the minibar.

It's important to get good and drunk, because it puts women at their ease. It makes you seem more charming and funny, and in the end they feel like they can tell you anything and you won't remember it. I will drink wine or champagne, but I prefer beer, just in case I have to belch the alphabet later on. When I start to feel a little bit dizzy, that's when I make my move.

What comes next depends on the circumstances. You have to be able to think on your feet. With Madeleine Albright I just tossed her the bag of grass and said, "I've never been any good at rolling". Before I knew it she'd skinned up something that looked like a parsnip and fired it up right in front of me. I got the whole thing on the Tie-cam. My editor said the story was too hot to handle, but I bet they run it after the war's over.

It still amazes me what women will say after a few hours with me. One minute I'm explaining to Caprice how my air filter caught fire on the M25 last year, and the next she's confessing her Satanist past. But you do have to know when to shut up. At some point when you're alone with a woman, you have to stop talking and start channel surfing. Then you let them do the talking. You let them hang themselves. I call it the "magic moment". You get a feel for when it's the right time to switch over to the football scores on Ceefax, and that's usually when it all happens. That's when Janet Street-Porter suddenly began talking posh. That's when Rachel Heyhoe-Flint started dirty dancing with me. I said I could get her a Sainsbury advert, and the poor deluded creature believed me.

To be honest I think a lot of them say things that aren't true just to impress me. They think they're in with a chance, so they go for it. My guess is that Charlie Dimmock has never eaten the brains of a live monkey. At one point I said that I really liked veal, and she wanted to go me one better. From the way she kept looking at my bum, I could tell she'd have said anything.

There is no doubt that there is something about me that makes women want to tell me things. They get a sense that I am someone who will understand. It's a subtle signal, something they pick up from my laid-back sexuality, and my stories about how everyone at work is plotting against me. I project strength, but also vulnerability, and also tolerance, and also an attractive musky odour, the combination of which can be mesmeric. Why else would Zoe Ball tell me that she used to play racquetball with Sloboban Milosevic? Why else would Anita Roddick tell me a joke about a black guy, an Irishman, a rabbi and an overturned Viagra lorry? Did she really think it would help her land the Big Breakfast gig I was pretending to offer?

That would have been front-page stuff, that one, if only the videotape were clearer. I had the transcript, of course, but it's the way she tells them.

Yes, people get hurt, but that's journalism. I like to think I'm a good journalist and, more importantly, a gentleman. That's why I always send flowers the next day.

Jeremy Clarke is on holiday.

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