I’ve just spent Hogmanay with a big group of friends up in the wilds of Aberdeenshire. Now my problem with hanging out with a large number of people over a few days is that I don’t have much to bring to the party. I can make a cup of tea and mix a pretty good Bloody Mary, but that’s not the sort of thing that really helps make a party go with a swing (although if I put enough vodka in the Bloody Mary that can produce some interesting results).
I can’t sing in tune, don’t play any instruments and generally can’t remember punch lines to jokes. Or I get the timing. Wrong.
What I generally rely on is having a show-stopping statement or two, usually about someone famous I may have encountered in a previous, more glamorous life in London.
So anyway, as a couple of people started to strum their guitars the conversation turned to how much songwriters make each year if they have managed to write a catchy Christmas tune. Noddy Holder, it appears, earns over £0.5 million a year from Merry Christmas Everybody, which is frankly quite unbelievable. Talk about being sorted for life.
In fact, I remembered that being the premise of Hugh Grant’s character in the film About A Boy – a man who never needed to work because his father had written some incredibly popular Christmas song.
At the time I thought that sounded like a piece of nonsense. How wrong I was.
So as I sat there racking my brains for a Hugh Grant story, for I had met him a few times in the Big Smoke, my friend Sarah piped up – “you know” she told everyone, “one of the best nights out my life was with Noddy Holder in Glasgow.”
For a moment I considered packing my bags and leaving.