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Account by a writer on Twitter shows he is a pro

  • That phrase, "he/she is a pro" takes me back to my childhood and a massive misunderstanding.

    It was 1963, there were scandals in government, the Profumo affair was raging and the Steven Ward trial was under way and this was filling all the newspapers every day - broadsheets and tabloids alike. Everybody was talking about it, not least our family because we had lived in the same village as Christine Keeler and had known her when she was a little girl. Well, I didn't really know her though she knew me - I had been just a few months old at the time.

    So.. was 1963 and the family had booked tickets to go and see an amateur play production at the village hall in the community where we now lived. I can't remember the play but I remember sitting with our family a few rows from the front when my mother - who had been a professional repertory actress - leant over me and, talking about the lead actress, whispered to my father, "You can tell she's an old pro, can't you?"

    I think I had only ever heard that expression before in the context of people like Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies and I think I must have turned a delicate shade of beetroot red and become desperately shy. And people asking me what was wrong with me only made things worse. Afterwards, when - sheer horror! - we went backstage to meet the cast I was so embarrassingly awkward and it was only later, at home when my father teased out of me what had been wrong, that he was able to explain there were other uses of "that" word.