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SUNDAY 19  MAY 2024

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Joan Collins invited me into her bedroom which left her with only one leg to stand on

By GEORGE DEARSLEY, former Daily Star reporter


Joan Collins’ 90th birthday recently reminded me of the time she invited me to her bedroom.


I'd gone to meet her in a Manchester hotel to help publicise her autobiography Past Imperfect. But I was also under orders from my editor to promote a crazy newspaper competition called "Standing On One Leg Only", or SOOLO (pronounced like the Star Trek character, first portrayed by George Takei) as we called it. A prize of £10k was to be given to the reader who could do the most ingenious thing standing on one leg.


Reporters on the Daily Star were required, whenever they went to interview anyone famous, to ask the celebrity (after the story in hand had been covered, of course) whether they wouldn’t mind posing for a photograph …yes, you’ve guessed, Standing On One Leg Only.


I glided alongside the actress who was then starring in Dynasty and trying to make my ridiculous request sound as if it was an offer to play a potentially Oscar winning role I put my question. Joan smiled, put down her plate, which contained barely enough food to keep a gerbil going and said: “We’ll go to my room!”


Sadly it was more than 20 years into the future that reporters were able (indeed required) to take photographs as well as write stories so we were soon joined in her boudoir by one of Fleet Street’s finest snappers, Jamie Milne. All I got was her autograph.


Like the trouper she is Joan struck a series of comely poses which duly graced the pages of my tabloid. The political correspondent sent to interview Mrs Thatcher was not so lucky.


I know what you're thinking: who won the contest? Do you know it was that momentous I can't recall.