Turning on the Screws

You may be wondering why my mobile-phone voice messages were never leaked by the News of the World. Could it simply be that they are so fruity and controversial that even a bottom-feeding rag - sorry, I mean fearless crusading newspaper - would think twice before revealing their contents?

Or is it that my privacy is guaranteed by my long-standing relationship with Rupert Murdoch? After all, Rupert is probably my second-best friend in the whole world. My best friend is Roman Abramovich, but only because Roman has got more money than Rupe. If the News of the World had been tapping my phone, this is one of the messages it would have heard last week: "Alan? It's Rupert. Are you there? If you are, put that Sheila down and pick up the phone, you Pommie bastard.

“OK, never mind, I need a favour. I want someone I can trust to get round to the News of the World offices and find out what the fuck they're playing at. I mean, this cock-up is going to cost me a minimum of 20 million. That's three weeks' pocket money for Chrissakes! Be even more if I paid tax! I'm depending on you to get to the bottom of this.

“Now I've got to go and get ready for Berlusconi's latest party. I think he's going to call it the Christian Democrat Bunga-Bunga League."

So, late that night, I slipped into News International headquarters, using the pass key that the flame-haired editress Rebekah Wade gave me, back when we were really close. (She only got together with Ross Kemp on the rebound from yours untruly.) I wasn't indulging in these heroics merely to oblige Rupert. I was curious to discover exactly what the NoW had been up to. After all, most of the phone tap-ees whose names have emerged so far are, let's be honest, trivial second-raters and self-publicists.

How can you pry into the secrets of "celebrities" who tweet every time they have a bowel movement? The most controversial thing Sienna Miller ever said is: "Walked past the mirror today and was shocked to realise how beautiful I am." Surely the NoW hit list must have included some meatier targets?

That's why I was sneaking along the corridor to Andy Coulson's old office, now quarantined behind striped crime scene tape. Limboing under said tape - those erotic yoga sessions have paid off at last - I crept into the opulent office and crawled across the velvety carpet towards the concealed safe, which I opened using the combination supplied by Mr Murdoch.

Inside the safe, next to the signed photograph of Samantha Cameron, I found "The List". My suspicions were confirmed. Two dozen of the world's heaviest hitters, exposed! Even for someone as wealthy as I, the blackmail possibilities were mouth-watering. Never in my funkiest fantasies had I imagined that

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Next week: Gideon Donald