For a good 20 years I've been telling the story of how I went to great lengths at my Sidcup drama school to fix up my lonely friend Robert with a bouncy blonde called Juliet, only to learn, after all the details of the assignation had been laid out, that I'd been wasting my time.
When my editor was at Sussex University some time ago, he shared a house with two privately educated boys from rich families.
This week there's going to be no airy-fairy analysis of recondite technical matters. Instead, as William Hague recommended, I'm going to deal with the "kitchen-table issues" that concern ordinary people.
As he wallowed like a manatee in the coral reefs of the Indian Ocean, fighting attempts by BBC reporters to wrench off his breathing-mask, John Prescott might have wondered how his globetrotting plays back home.
Institutional racism is the fashion of the moment and now we have it in education. Caribbean boys, we are told by a report from Ofsted, the schools watchdog, do worse in exams than almost any other group.
He is one of Britain's great Marxist intellectuals, yet now he seems a strangely conservative figure
Whether or not General Pinochet is sent for trial, the question looms: who is next? Henry Kissinger and George Bush come to mind. Their terrorism is documented from Chile to South-east Asia.
For devotees of Westminster gossip, the really interesting thing about Ir'n Broon's third Budget was the advance spin put on it by Tony Blair's people.
Independent and newly authoritative, this great institution is Labour's biggest threat
It's good to be back where you belong. To be put firmly in your place is one of the joys of writing for the New Statesman, after all.
If my reception at the "Culture Wars" conference is anything to go by, my three weeks on Colgate Platinum are already bearing fruit. I was initially put off the new whitening toothpastes when I trotted down to Safeway one morning for my customary semi-skimmed and Farmhouse Crusty.
When the kilt-clad and puff-cheeked pipers marched into the dining room, the sun-browned Miami millionaires and their bleached blonde wives let rip thunderous applause. The clapping was not for the pipers, though, but for the balding chinless man accompanying them, HRH Prince Edward.
One of the most moving and impressive responses to the brutal killings of the western tourists in Uganda last week was a letter in last week's Guardian. Bill Dalton lost his son a year ago when he was shot and killed in a "border incident in the Congo".
It is just as well that Jack Straw is taking the flak, because the other cabinet Jack would otherwise be under heavy fire. Jack Cunningham is firmly set on a path to the back benches. "Junket Jack", as he has become known, has always had a taste for the finer things of life.
A kindly reader sent me an e-mail observing that I had seemed a little gloomy of late and wondering whether it was attributable to the distressing process of moving house. And I thought I had been so stoical and brave about it.
My editor required that I write a personal account of my experiences of racism. I was not enthusiastic. Slightly stunned, I left the office in Victoria rolling the camera back to a once-upon-a-time period.
Once, the names of Mansfield, Sedley, Robertson et al infuriated judges. Have they sold out?
Last week, the Guardian devoted three pages to Germaine Greer, who has written a book called The Whole Woman. Other famous feminists were asked to comment. "We should not feel guilty for cleaning our toilets if we want to," said one.
First of all we looked at the X-ray. "This is your spine," said my doctor with a degree of assertiveness that suggested there had been occasions in the past when patients had been churlish enough to contradict even this initial part of his diagnosis.
Another bloody section drops out of my newspaper. What is it? An "East Timor - the new Bali" holiday section? A guide to designer beach huts?
It was September 1972 when word got around York that the alto saxophonist Joe Harriott was coming to town. We were ecstatic. For years we'd bored our friends with Joe's great records, the ground-breaking Indo-Jazz Fusions, and the sheer virtuosity of Free Form.
The general view at Westminster is that Jack Straw, the most authoritarian home secretary since Henry Brooke, has taken a serious hit in his fight with the newspapers over the Lawrence inquiry report. To a great many MPs, his failed injunction looks panicky.
There are certain people who always have the same thing said to them.
We are being bombarded with opinions, which all stem from a white British judge's definition of what racism is. Hereafter, Sir William Macpherson replaces Franz Fanon, W E B Dubois, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and C L R James as the authority on this 400-year-old experience.
Here, Britain's new establishment moves and shakes. There are even a few artists
I await with bated breath Sir William Macpherson's report on the Stephen Lawrence inquiry. But I am more interested in the big headline than in the minutiae.
The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles is to be demolished. "I don't understand," says Mitzi Mogul of the Art Deco Society, "why in LA we tear down our monuments to build shopping malls; it's sickening." The answer is that a shopping mall is one of the American century's twin symbols.
The Oprah Winfrey of Ulster, huggy-kissy Mo has won over the nationalists - but can she keep the pea
I feel better now that I've finally told Paul the truth about the half-hour we both spent in a Times Square massage parlour in December 1982.
Some of my best friends are German. But then, I'm half Italian and though my grandfather fought in the resistance, you couldn't live in Italy during the sixties and seventies without absorbing the sense of guilty complicity that was Mussolini's legacy.