When a survey of the ambitions and mindsets of those under 25 was conducted recently, over 90% said that, more than anything else,they wanted to be famous.

For what?

I had an insight into the torture of fame for wrong reasons. A few years ago I was walking down a street in London and I saw a woman getting into a car. We caught each other's eye and I recognised her. She was Antonia de Sanchez, whose moment of fame came during the dog days of the Major government when she had an affair with David Mellor - he of the football stripe in bed. In that instant, where nothing was said, I knew that she knew that I had recognised her for probably the single thing she most regretted in her life. It was a horrible experience - for her and for me.

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