Best bib and tucker for the first night of my friend Hilary Bonner’s play at the Queens Theatre in Barnstaple. All very exciting as although Hilary has written 17 murder mysteries, this was her first stage play.

Fingers crossed then and thank goodness it all went swimmingly. As per usual Hilary had written a rattling good yarn about the downfall of a politician, plenty of contemporary nuance there.
There was a red carpet at the theatre for us VIPs, a glass of cherry gin AND several photographers. Managed to swerve that one.

Hilary and I met when we were eighteen and had just started on the Mirror Group Training Scheme based at West of England Newspapers as baby reporters.

At one point we were both film reviewers sat up in some dive of a cinema in Plymouth at ten in the morning with a glass of whisky shoved into our hands watching anything from Fellini’s Satyricon to the Sweet Sins of Sexy Susan.

A few years later we both ended up in Fleet Street with Hilary at The Sun and me at the Daily Mirror, members of a tiny group of female news reporters. Our breaks were always in the pub, the Mirror’s commonly known as The Stab, when the phone would ring and the news editor would send you somewhere frightful. With any luck, Hilary would rock up on the same job as she could be relied upon to knock on the right door first. I just followed the tall blonde person!

The play Dead Lies was originally commissioned in the mid-nineties but the production never happened so Hilary put it into a drawer and sulked for 15 years.

Even this time it has had all the nightmares of being off or on depending on Covid but finally made it and goes on tour in April, May and June. Recommended by your film critic (retired)!

Back to earth now, off to feed the alpacas.