Graham Norton tells a story from BA’s First Class Lounge. He is sitting there, waiting for his flight, being tended to by ethereal beings and supping from a chalice (I assume that’s what happens in the First Class Lounge. The furthest they have ever let me get is to the desk, which is laden with the most polished, beautifully red apples you have ever seen. In fact, it is highly possible that BA’s First Class Lounge is run by the Witch from ‘Snow White’).
Graham is having a perfectly pleasant time, until his peaceful isolation from the marauding masses is rudely interrupted by a screaming child. This child is running all over the lounge, is grabbing things (hopefully, one imagines, a poisoned apple), is, in fact, the perfect embodiment of all the things Graham and the First Class Lounge wish to exclude. The child’s mother is unaffected by his bad behaviour, which galls Graham. He is infuriated further when she gives him a cola. (When recounting this story himself, he makes some bitchy remarks here about the mother’s inefficient parenting techniques. I’m far too pleasant to repeat them). He strides ‘manfully’ towards the mother to give her a piece of his mind. Only she looks up, and it’s Angelina Jolie. (The first time I heard this story I swore that all of my own stories would end with the Deus ex machina appearance of Angelina Jolie. ‘So there I was, at the bus stop, and my feet were hurting in my heels so I was barefoot, and guess who was standing next to me? Only Angelina Jolie.’)
There are lots of things I like about Graham Norton’s story. My favourite part, however, is that he was too frightened to tell Angelina Jolie in person to control her child, but perfectly happy to badmouth her parenting skills all over Channel 4. Presumably the TVs in the First Class Lounge are perpetually tuned to QVC, so the inhabitants can decide which new product they wish to endorse. While their children run feral, of course.