He wore trainers to a restaurant, so I asked, ‘Where are your proper shoes 

 Last week, I told you I spotted the first man I (chastely) spent the night with, circa 1978. I didn’t find Russell in the flesh. The BBC interviewed him in 1974 after he had seen The Exorcist. He was wearing a car jacket. He was London’s most beautiful man.

Since then, I’ve been googling him, without much luck. I then went on the actors’ database, had to subscribe to ‘professional’, and found out he was in Cry Freedom, alongside Kevin Kline, Denzel Washington and a very young Josette Simon, whom I once saw emerging from my flatmate’s bedroom.

So, I downloaded the film to my iTunes account and watched it relentlessly. In an attempt to find out whether he was married (hopefully), i went to MyHeritage. This website is useless. Upgraded and resubscribed. It was completely useless. Someone with his name got married in Brentwood, Essex, in 1988 but I can’t be certain it was him.

It was too expensive so I sent him an email. I also found his contact information on his website. Ha! I wrote that I’m sure he doesn’t remember me, but that I had just seen him on TV.

He replied. ‘Hi Liz! Of course I remember you.’ He said he gave up acting, and hopes I’m well. I refused to give up. ‘Every movie star I’ve ever interviewed is paranoid and miserable, so you made the right choice. It was so nice to receive an email from someone we agreed was the best man living in London. X’

I sent it from my laptop, so he’d be sure to see the ‘Columnist of the Year’ signature at the end. He replied, remarking that if I thought he was the most handsome man in London, I can’t have got out much (tbh, that’s true, as I had agoraphobia on top of everything else*), and he included a photo of himself, in 1977, in my flat! He has a cigarette hanging from his generous lips. A terrible poster is stuck to a wall. In those days, I didn’t care about décor, or cleaning. Russell was all I cared about.

I replied, saying, ‘You once took me to a wedding (not ours, sadly).’ And enclosed a photo of me now, which, The Devil Wears Prada Miranda Priestly fashion, I made Nic re-size, so it’s smaller and doesn’t show wrinkles. ‘That is me now,’ I told him. ‘I had just done a 42-mile walk for charity.’ I wanted him to think I’m nice, not self-obsessed. This email, along with the attached photo, is my best attempt at flirting. If only I’d not been too shy to have sex with him when I had him in my narrow single bed, I’d have more of a claim on him now.

What has happened since? It has been a while since he was last seen. After a forensic examination of his emails, I can’t ignore the fact there are no ‘X’s. Which makes me think he’s married. Still, I feel a little too excited to order the Nearly New Cashmere Co. milky tank top. I am considering booking the dental hygiene professional. Last night I was able to sleep in a mask. He promised to scan and send more photos of parties in my flat, but it’s now four days later, so he’s hardly feverish. My God. He might have googled my name.

Depressed, I decided to leave for London in order to find work. To see if he replied, I continue to check my email. Come Monday morning, and it’s nothing, nothing, nothing. It’s like my birthday all over again.

Two pieces of good news follow. I go to see the doctor in Harley Street, and after an expensive battery of tests (a contraption is strapped to my head and I have to follow dots on a screen with my eyes), I am told I haven’t had a stroke. I don’t have a tumour. My left ear is causing me some discomfort. I am being prescribed water pills to correct the problem. The next step was to upgrade my hotel room from a Tiny into a Large. I sit in it in the middle of Soho, with my new lease of life, and I think, I’m being wasted.

So I do it. So I sent a message.Everyone is talking about Liz Jones’s Diary: The Podcast! ‘Do you want to come to my hotel tomorrow night?’

Problem is, I’m about to have sex with the wrong man.

*Please see last week’s missive


               ★Everyone’s talking about Liz Jones’s Diary: The Podcast! ★

Join Liz and her trusty (long-suffering) assistant Nicola as they dissect her weekly YOU magazine diary and delve into the archives to relive the bust-ups, betrayals, bullets… and much more in this brilliant podcast. They’re outspoken, outrageous and utterly hilarious. Listen Now on Apple Podcasts. Spotify. Google Podcasts. Mailplus.co.uk