A memoir of Peter O’Toole from George Parker, Heston’s crap mince pies and various Chinese whispers

Famous British actor and hell raiser Peter O’Toole (of Lawrence of Arabia fame) died last week, which is a great source of regret.

My friend and sometime colleague George Parker recalls an occasion when he joined a poker school consisting of O’Toole, Richard Burton, Oliver Reed and someone else whose name eludes me: anyway all pretty bad hats to be playing poker with.

Oh, I know, the other one was Sean Connery. Try getting your winnings from him.

Anyway, George’s account of this encounter is here.

Unknown-2I never much liked O’Toole in his films, to be honest, but I do regret once missing him playing the lead role in Keith Waterhouse’s ‘Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell’ (left) about the celebrated and bibulous Spectator columnist. I think I suffered a Bernard-ism or two on the way to the theatre. But, apparently, he and it were brilliant.

***While we’re tittle-tattling, my dear wife bought some Heston Blumenthal mince pies from Waitrose last weekend (they were reduced). And I have to say, these were probably the worst mince pies ever made (and there’ve been some stinkers).

Flabby tasteless pastry, almost no mincemeat. I don’t like mince pies at the best of times but these were truly horrible.

***I was talking to someone who should know the other night about the rumours about Tony Blair and Wendi Deng becoming too close for comfort. Or Rupert Murdoch’s comfort anyway. What Wendi wants Wendi gets he said, gnomically. He also mentioned Google president Eric Schmidt in the same conversation.

I disregarded this information – It’s just scandalous what people in the upper echelons of politics say these days.

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Eric Schmidt George Parker Heston Blumenthal mince pies Peter O'Toole poker game Tony Blair Waitrose Wendi Deng

About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. All the juicy bits… Loverrrllly! As I say on “AdScam” today, I’m not surprised that Wendi is shagging war criminal, Blair, but Schmidt, he is an ugly fucker, although shitasmically rich, and based on Wendi’s track record that would be the prime requisite. Billionaires don’t grow on fucking trees Ya know!
    Merry Christmas to all “Mad Men.” All “Math Men” can fuck off.
    Cheers/George

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