As I hover, awkwardly, for what seems an interminable amount of time, Dame Joan Collins clocks my hanging right hand. “Darling, I don’t shake hands,” she says, sashaying off.
Thus begins my lunch with showbusiness royalty and, as of the New Year honours list, a dame.
We may have got off to a shaky start but for the next 90 minutes Joan – sorry, Dame Joan – is a dream: feisty, witty and unapologetically opinionated.
Wearing a cowboy hat and Michael Jackson-esque sunglasses throughout, she exudes Hollywood glamour. I want to be Joan.
She’s 81 but she looks 20 years younger. Ahead of our interview, I was advised not to mention her age.
But I needn’t have worried – she is happy to discuss everything from Dynasty to Dignitas.