I hatched out of my shell on the 3rd of March 1964. I don’t know the exact time because I wasn’t wearing a watch. But I DO know that I cried a lot. Well, who wouldn’t? Brighton Hospital is hardly the Taj Mahal. Then lots of people said things like, ‘Ooh, isn’t he beautiful!’ and ‘Cootchy, cootchy coo!’ They still do, even now, and I really wish they would stop!

I started off life in a bungalow in Saltdean on the South Coast. The bungalow wasn’t mine of course, even bankers as barking as ours tend not to dole out mortgages to babies under the age of one. No, I was living with my mum and dad and a beautiful labrador called Buster. He used to go for walks on his own and bark loudly when he wanted to come in (the dog, that is, not my dad). Mum said that half the dogs in Sussex were related to him. Half the humans too by the look of them.

Then I grew up a bit, learnt how to walk (and poo and wee without covering everybody) and suddenly I wasn’t a baby any more.