“I used to be a reporter on the Leicester Mercury. In the late 1990s, the Leicester City manager Martin O’Neill was being linked with Leeds and the paper launched a campaign to persuade him to stay.
“The news editor told me to get some celebs to back it. So after working my way through the usual Leicester Mercury list (Bill Maynard, the singer of Showaddywaddy, the long-suffering David Attenborough) I decided to ring Barbara Cartland, not really expecting to get through.
“She was only too happy to talk. ‘In the days when I would dance all night, I used to enjoy football,’ she said. ‘Of course he should stay.’
“Then things took an odd turn. ‘The Germans are taking over our hotels,’ she said, with sudden urgency. ‘Only you can stop them.’
“We left it there.”