I have been writing a never-ending poem of Ogden Nash couplets for years and years about all the famous people I've ever met – Arthur Miller and Timothy Spall are the starring roles – and Mel Smith features because I've run into him several times on racecourses.
Once at Sandown he barged right past me in a desperate rush to back his own horse at 6/1, spilling notes in his wake. I took this as a sign to get stuck in and shoved a couple of ponies on it myself even though I knew it to be a flatulent old rogue akin to its owner, because even those of us engaged in smacking the arse of poor pricing are inclined to get caught up in the moment. The horse ran with the athleticism of its owner. Fat Bastard.
He plays a bit role in the poem - an ellison of people I've met racing and people I've physically bumped into. He's the set-up for the day I bumped into Pauline Quirke, which was a disaster because I was aiming for Michelle Collins.
Whatever I was a fan. He was an unlikely hero in my life – Jack Duckworth, Mel Smith and TS Eliot...