Whenever I see the spurting fountain of Lake Geneva, I don’t think of many a closing scene of the “Confession of” film series; I think of Alexandra Bastedo.
She was my first crush.
Sadly, for me, when she first appeared in front of me (albeit through a small black & white screen playing Sharron Macready in “The Champions”) she was already 22, I was barely 11.
I loathe to use the word rousing in a public forum, but there was something about her which made me instantly regretting having started at my all-boys grammar school in Tooting two weeks prior, coupled with being a member of an all-male choir. When was I ever going to meet someone like Sharron Macready? I learned, after a few weeks at Bec School, that this kind of person wasn’t going to be teaching geography (let alone biology – I would have to make do with learning about the reproduction system of amoebas, rather than getting sex education in an after-school class from Alexandra Bastedo).
I would watch “The Champions” avidly, every Wednesday evening during 1968 and 1969 with my nan in her south London flat whilst we ate Bird’s Eye’s Cod Fillet and chips (as only nans can make chips). I often wondered what it would have been like having Alexandra Bastedo bringing my cod and chips? If she smoked copious amounts of Player’s Weights and had no teeth – quite similar!
This new-found affinity with girls had clearly kicked in. I procured, and stuck across most of my bedroom wall, a gigantic poster of Nancy Sinatra wearing pink, thigh-length boots (in which I assumed she’d walked).
I look back and feel I could have got lucky with Alexandra Bastedo as she’d dated Omar Sharif. Sharif was famed for his Bridge-playing ability – I was rather good at Beat Your Neighbour. No brainer, Alexandra.
“The Champions” ran for thirty episodes and was used in several other countries. In France, it was called Les Champions – which was, coincidentally, the name of the bloke who ran Nemesis, the organisation for whom Sharron Macready was employed as a spy-cum-doctor.
Next week: Why I tried to learn Italian in case Claudia Cardinale ever moved to Balham!