|’My Life’ – by Peter Aliss|
Fortunately I don’t normally break into uncontrollable laughter at five in the morning while reading a book but during a recent bout of insomnia this latest tome from Peter Alliss had me in stitches.
He recalls an eve of Pro Celebrity Golf filming at Gleneagles in the 1980s when a group of contestants agreed to meet in the sauna at 8.30 am, if the weather was too foul to risk 18 holes.
With the rain lashing down outside, Alliss subsequently joined, Jimmy Tarbuck, Bruce Forsyth, Kenny Lynch and the jockey Geoff Lewis in the small wooden structure, with only small towels covering their dignity as a naked Sean Connery sat perched in the corner creating steam by pouring pine-scented water on to hot coals with a wooden ladle.
He continues: "Through the glass door we saw Eric Sykes approaching and quick as a flash Tarbuck says: ‘Here’s Eric coming, don’t say anything when he arrives. Odds on he won’t have his hearing aid in.’
"Slipping out of his robe, Eric’s ribs looked like a deck of xylophones and as he sat down he looked around and said ‘What a pity; this rain. I was so looking forward to playing today.’
"Silence. Everyone looked straight ahead and comedy writer and film veteran continued to chat away to himself.
"Eventually," recalls Alliss, "Eric looked around at the strange scene, bodies of various shapes and skins of different hues dripping with sweat. moaning and groaning in the heat. And he uttered the immortal words ‘Can anyone tell me what time this train gets into Calcutta?’ We all broke up."
Son of a Ryder Cup golfer, Alliss has spent a life pursuing the sport he loves as both player and commentator and is one of the great raconteurs of golf stories. Long may he prosper on our screens.
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