ON AUGUST 8, 1942, following a speech by Mahatma Gandhi, the All India Congress Committee passed a resolution calling for the immediate independence of India from Britain.
I didn’t realise it could be so easy to ditch us. For goodness’ sake, don’t tell Alex Salmond.
What do you think about Scotland possibly leaving the UK? If their hoped-for independence goes ahead, I wonder if will it be like the break-up of a marriage, with fights about who gets custody of the dog.
If the Scots got Balmoral in the domestic carve-up, the Queen would have to find a new holiday home. Maybe a caravan in Scarborough would do.
There is no pre-nuptial agreement with Scotland so we may have to fight for our worldly goods. Should the Scottish Independents decide to empty our shelves of Scotch eggs and porridge oats, we could always deprive them of Cornish pasties and Lancashire hotpots, of course.
There’s another important anniversary today. Well, it is if you’re Dustin Hoffman, as it’s his birthday. I’ve been a fan since I saw him in the film The Graduate, in which a youth comes of age with a little help from the predatory Mrs Robinson, played magnificently by Anne Bancroft, long before the term ‘cougar’ became commonplace.
Once, after a chat about 1960s films, I offered to lend a young colleague a video of The Graduate. It shows how long ago it was – DVDs hadn’t been invented.
The next day, after watching it, the young man couldn’t wait to tell me his flatmates decided I was trying to tell him something. (I soon put him right.)
Later, I loved my favourite actor in Midnight Cowboy and Rain Man, and Mr F and I even saw him playing Shylock on the West End stage in The Merchant of Venice.
Can you believe that the geeky teenager in The Graduate is now 75 years old?
Apparently Hoffman often took method acting to extremes, and when required to be tired in Marathon Man, he stayed awake for several days.
Co-star Laurence Olivier is claimed to have said: “You should try acting, dear boy. It’s much easier.”