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Quotes from the priceless interview with Michael Caine for the Christmas edition of Desert Island Discs, which I’ve only just got around to listening to (we recorded it, so apologies to those of you for whom this is old news):

I bought a mill house at Windsor which had a private gate on to Windsor racetrack. It was funny because I had about five or six acres there right on the edge of the Thames, and the Queen had the right to go through a gate and the path at the back of my garden. And so it was quite extraordinary, one day I’d be gardening and I’d look up and the Queen would go by in a Range Rover. She just waved.

I took [my mother] to Beverley Hills for the first time. It was in the middle of winter here, like January, and of course in Beverley Hills all the flowers were out. We were driving through it talking and I said, looking out of the window, ‘What do you think of it, Mum?’ And she said, ‘Oh, it’s lovely, all that hysteria growing up the walls.'”

I shall never think of climbing wisteria in quite the same way again. Unfortunately you can’t listen to the programme again (copyright restrictions or some such) but you can take a look at his esoteric music choices – most of them, I’m convinced, chosen by his teenagers as a wind-up for Kirsty Lang – here.

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