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Thursday 23rd October 2003

Today saw the premiere of the Italian Talking Cock, “Il Pene Parlante”, so I was fortunate enough to be heading out to Rome to see it. Italy is one of my favourite countries and Rome is an amazing city, so I’ve been looking forward to it. The only downside is that I can only stay for one night as I have to be back in the UK by Saturday to do a gig in Morecambe. I will try not to resent the town or people of Morecambe for this. It is not their fault.
I had hoped to get a bit of sight-seeing in in the afternoon, but unfortunately my plane was delayed by a couple of hours, so most of my sight-seeing had to take place in the wonderful setting of Terminal 2 at Heathrow. I haven’t been in Terminal 2 before and let me tell you, it’s no Terminal 1. There are limited facilities and I had to queue for 20 minutes just to get a cup of coffee. Not that it really mattered. I wasn’t going anywhere. But if anyone from Café Nero is reading this, I would suggest you get more staff at your coffee counter in Terminal 2. I saw about five or six people lose the will to live (or at least to drink coffee) and leave the queue. The money they would have spent would easily have paid the wages of another couple of staff.
When I had finally got my coffee and was waiting to find out if my plane was going to board any time today I looked back at the queue and saw that Damon and Alex from the Blur were now in the line. Not for them the luxurious surroundings of the first class lounge (that I’m sure they had access to). No lackies to get them their drinks. They were happy to wait their turn as if they were normal people (of course, they aren’t. They are celebrities). I thought that was pretty cool. Also they were left unmolested, despite the fact that the café was packed with teenagers on a school trip. I think a lot of celebrities who complain of being molested actually enjoy drawing attention to themselves. The Blur are a pretty big band, but because they didn’t behave like flamboyant arseholes, they didn’t get treated like them. Though I stared at them a bit. Making me officially the least cool person in Café Nero that day.

I did finally make it to Rome and had time for a couple of drinks before the show. After the very different experiences of Norway and Finland I didnÂ’t know what to expect. It turned out to be on in a pretty small venue, with less than a hundred seats, though it was full. The Italian me is called Diego Ruiz and is a smiley, handsome chap and at around 32 years of age, the youngest cockster yet. I thought that I might have a better chance of following things in Italian than in either of the previous languages, but I was mistaken. Diego talked very fast and as it turns out my understanding of Italian is almost zero anyway.
As in Norway the show had been changed quite significantly. There were a lot of cuts and quite a few additions. I canÂ’t work out if this bothers me or not. I actually quite like the extra stuff, when the show is given a local flavour (in this case used to satirise right wing Italian politicians), but it is hard not to get a little perturbed by parts of your own script being jettisoned.
Once again though a great performer had been found to do the material and he got quite a few laughs and even some rounds of applause. Whether that was for stuff that I wrote I am unable to tell you.
We then went out for a late-night four course (though I didn’t have any pudding) Italian meal. They served the wine in tea and coffee pots. I had such a mixture of drinks and thought the white wine tasted a bit rough and felt I was sure to suffer in the morning (though to be honest with you I feel fine today, so my fears were for nothing). Everyone was very friendly and generous, though most of them had only limited English (much less limited that my Italian. I really must learn to speak it. I love this country). I gave Diego a copy of my book. Which he appreciated, even though it is very unlikely that he will be able to read it. I signed it “to my Italian Cock Brother”. He seemed to like this.

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