A STAR IS BORN ON SATELLITE TV.
The Beatles cracked America thanks to 180 screaming seconds of prime time Johnny Carson.
Billy Connolly was transformed from Scots entertainer to British celebrity on the Michael Parkinson Show, thanks to a shipyard joke about parking your bike
And then, God forgive him, there was Clive James and a certain Miss Margarita Prakatan.
My chance came this week when I was invited to appear on a show from Paris called World Cup Undercover.
My phone has never stopped ringing since. But then again, it never actually started ringing either.
Bravo Television is one of those satellite channels that's listed in newspapers between real television and the racing section.
But there's a perverted insomniac out there somewhere who likes it.
Otherwise, no-one would possibly stump up the bill for 10 men with earphones in a rented room in Paris, who pretended to know what they were doing.
From memory, the Beatles co-starred with Dean Martin and Billy Connolly made his Parkie guest debut alongside Anthony Hopkins.
I was sharing the bill with a tasty French lassie called Sabrina - and Madam Mou Mou .
Miss Mou Mou is a member of the oldest profession in the world.
By the looks of her, it was a new profession when she got started in it.
Her breasts were so big I'm sure I heard the cameraman say he couldn't get them and her face in focus at the same time.
Old Mou Mou had been invited along to discuss how business was doing today during the World Cup. Sabrina was there to advise England fans on how to pull a French girl.
Thank goodness I resisted phoning my daughters to tell them the old man was on TV.
This wasn't low budget TV, this was no budget TV.
I was introduced to the producer, who visibly winced at the realisation that one of his guests was a big Jock in a kilt.
Then I met a presenter called Brendan who wanted to run through what we would talk about.
"We'll need to mention that the Scots fans were involved in a bit of trouble in Paris," he said.
"I don't know anything about that," I replied.
"But it's been in all the headlines," he told me.
I might have looked like a diddy in a kilt, but I resented being taken for one. Talking down the Tartan Army was out of the question
I mentally rehearsed an answer, repeating that I wasn't aware of all the facts and IF a couple of Scots had been in trouble in Paris, about 15,000 others hadn't.
Thankfully, the pouting Sabrina and Miss Mou Mou's ample bosom came to the rescue.
My three minute interview was being cut back to give the British audience more ogling time at the girls.
The studio was a ninth floor office across from the hotel that overlooked the Stade du France. I'd been filmed standing at an open window with a view across to the slumbering stadium.
"What did you have for breakfast?" asked Brendan.
"A croissant," I said.
"Yeah, and some haggis..." said Brendan.
The whole crew began to fall about laughing. I was wondering how long Brendan would fall for if I accidentally blootererd him out the ninth floor window.
But when it came to the real thing, joker Brendan was really a big pussycat.
No, I wasn't gutted about being beaten by Brazil. Yes, I did think Scotland could beat Norway. We even got a mention of the Daily Record's Tartan Army bus into the 90 seconds somewhere.
Madam Mou Mou was pulled in to say her bit but they needed a translator, since she only spoke French.
"What's the most perverted thing anyone's asked you to do?," was the first question.
If only they'd asked me that I could have had the whole show to myself and maybe a follow- up series.
The second presenter, another Brendan, was gutted. He'd had a sleepless night and waited all day just to ask her that one.
"How much would you charge if I asked you to paint my house?," he asked, which not only foxed Mou Mou, but the translator as well.
We never did find out. The hooker who was well past her sell-by date was also well past her air time.
There must have been ex-servicemen tuning in who could tell you what she was charging when they liberated Paris in 1944.
Sabrina's tips on how English fans could woo a French girl also failed miserably.
All the crew were too busy drooling over her they forgot to ask her any questions.
The after-show hospitality was zero. Another round of beers and my big TV debut had set me back pounds 50.
Sabrina put her advice into practice and was wooed in a corner by an Englishman while Madam Mou Mou was last seen squeezing her breasts into a lift beside a drunk salesman.
So far nobody has called to say they saw the awful programme.
World Cup Undercover is the one TV show that has lived up to its name.
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Jun 17, 1998|
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