John Gibson: If only I’d managed to meet Gore

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Met ‘em all, met ‘em all, the long and the short and the tall. Not strictly true. During a globetrotting jobbing journo’s odyssey that spanned North Bridge and Holyrood, I was fortunate to meet a disparate handful.

Regrets, I’ve more than a few. Wish I’d broken bread with Orson Welles, Woody Allen, Kate Hepburn, Duke Ellington, Noel Coward, Fred Astaire and Bogart.

And I still wish I’d met Gore Vidal. The same Vidal who this week has been vilified, scandalised and comprehensively rubbished in a hung-out-to-dry piece in a national paper. Mind you, he was pictured shaking hands with President Kennedy and, as you’ll have gathered, any pal of a US President is a pal of mine.

When Gore’s no longer here to defend himself with his rapier wit he is unfair game. Still wish I’d had an audience with him. Died last year at 86, his “mourners” are haggling over his £23 million estate.

The relevant book, In bed with Gore Vidal, is naughty and not nice, to be read past the kiddies’ bedtime.