04 March 2007

Sir Denis Thatcher anecdote

Too good not to share

Also in the Telegraph, and staying well clear of tales of horror such as Ferry mauling Dylan, the lovely Celia Walden runs her consistently readable Spy column.

A lovely little story via Sir David Frost and involving the late Sir Denis Thatcher is, indeed, too good not to share:

"According to the 67-year-old broadcaster, Sir Denis once found himself in rather an odd situation during a train trip to Bristol to play golf for charity. Staff at Number 10 had failed to make a reservation for the Prime Minister's husband and when he boarded the train at Paddington, it was packed.

"When he got on the train, he found it was full and so were the corridors," recounts Sir David.

"He was 74 years old and didn't want to stand for two hours. Neither did he want everyone joking about him being the Prime Minister's husband and not being able to get a seat.

"Then he came across a compartment which was absolutely empty except for a sign saying 'Reserved for Reading Psychiatric Hospital.' There were eight empty seats.

Sir Denis couldn't believe his luck and in he went and sat down.

Then the train arrived in Reading," continues Sir David. "The compartment door opened and the Reading Psychiatric Hospital group came in.

Their minder looked around and said 'There are too many people here... ' He counted '1, 2, 3, 4... and who are you?'

Denis replied: 'I'm the husband of the Prime Minister.'

And the nurse said: 'OK... 5, 6, 7, 8.' "

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