Hello, my darlings!

I was lucky as a kid as my Dad would frequently take me “up West” to the pictures and the theatre.

Soon after it was released in 1966, Dad took me to see “The Professionals”

There were mixed emotions for me throughout during the film: the highlight being when Claudia Cardinale appears – washing topless.  This then followed with the feeling of mortification, as I realised my dad was sitting next to me!  I didn’t know, as my Nan used to say, whether to laugh, cry, pooh (not her actual word) or have breakfast.

On the Tube back Dad asked which part of the film I liked best?  This was probably a trick question; I suddenly became the Northern Line’s answer to Barry Norman and suggested that they could have given Lee Marvin more song numbers?

But this world of nudity had peaked far too quickly for me as Dad and I then travelled to see Charlie Drake in panto – not exactly “Oh! Calcutta!”; we then saw “Ice Station Zebra” – no women allowed on board the submarine, let alone any having a wash and finally a walk up Balham Hill to the Odeon to watch “Patton” – I was more likely to see Rommel naked in that film then any Hollywood star.

Growing up I watched TV with my Nan.  As TV programmes got riskier, there was the ever-increasing chance of seeing some nudity; any desire was soon quashed as my Nan would shout at the TV, in a style of a more common version of Mary Whitehouse, “get some bleedin’ clothes on, love”.

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