A hand on the knee and – ooh no, missus – a pass by Frankie Howerd
Me too. I have not forgotten the night when I first felt an unexpected hand touch my knee. It was at a corner table in the main dining room at Simpson’s, the celebrated restaurant in the Strand that has been serving traditional English fare since the 1850s. This was the 1960s. I was about sixteen and being entertained by an older woman – the glamorous godmother of a schoolfriend. The trolley bearing Simpson’s famous roast had just arrived at our table when under it, beneath the tablecloth, I suddenly felt my hostess’s right hand gently touching my left knee. I said nothing. She said nothing as softly, slowly her hand made its way up my thigh. Flattered but confused, I slipped my left hand under the table cloth to arrest hers and, as our fingers touched, I realised she was pressing a coin into the palm of my hand. It...
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