McEntee tries to give the drinks A mis

At 78, Mail columnist Keith Waterhouse has become so curmudgeonly that he rarely ventures out of his Earl’s Court garret and declines virtually all invitations to social gatherings.

Last week his friend John McEntee of the Daily Mail ‒ described by Keith as “my social secretary” ‒ managed to lure him to his favourite restaurant in Knightsbridge to have lunch with former Mirror colleagues Mike Molloy, John Penrose (soon to be the ex-Mr Anne Robinson) and John Edwards.

All went swimmingly as they enjoyed pre-lunch drinks on the restaurant’s terrace. With the clock ticking and McEntee the only one who was obliged to return to work, he suggested that they might adjourn to the table and take a glance at the menu.

Waterhouse gave him a withering look and asked the loquacious Irishman if he knew what Kingsley Amis described as the worst phrase in the English language. It was: “Shall we go straight in?”

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