John Gibson: I surely told you about O’Toole . .

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The passing of Peter O’Toole affords another oppotunity to plunder the Gibpress File. We met in the Caley Hotel. Things didn’t work out the way I’d planned for the interview.

I’d heard that he sleeps until 11 or beyond and that he could be, well, difficult. I’d visualised a dishevelled, disgruntled and thoroughly debauched O’Toole slouching around his suite in his dressing gown.

Instead I found him fully dressed and presentable at midday, peering across at the Castle through pocket binoculars.

“If I’ve disappointed you I don’t mind if you say ‘he was gruesome and nasty’. I’m a daybird only when I’m filming. Otherwise I’m a nightbird. What you’d call nocturnal.”

He’d been in the navy, stationed on Bute. Fourteen months at sea, small ships. “My profession demands ten times more discipline than the navy ever did. I was in your game, you know, from 15 to 20.

“We were all copy boys at the end of the war and we’ve kept in touch. I consider that a perk. I get phone calls from somebody wherever I go. You can see I’m alive and well. During my two years in the Royal Navy I did score a try for RN Rosyth against the West of Scotland on Bute.”

Peter O’Toole’s closing speech: “I’ll see you in 50 years. Probably at the Fringe.”

Afterwords . . .

. . . from Joan Collins: “I’ve always endorsed what Yves Saint Laurent said: ‘Fashion fades but style is eternal.’”