Every day when Barney and I set off for our run across the fields, he stops to lap some water from the ancient spring that bubbles up behind my home.
But that was nothing compared to the shock he gave me when we started chatting, a few minutes later.
I became a fan of Sting’s hypnotic voice and his jazz-inflected music after The Police had split. The director Ken Russell, who was making MindBender, the movie based on my life, played me some of his songs and told me: “This is the man I want to portray your mentor, Dr Andrija Puharich. He has a real enthusiasm for science’s strangest phenomena, and when he acts he projects an underlying menace. He’ll be brilliant.”
In real life Andrija looked nothing like Sting, but I knew that the man who introduced me both to worldwide fame and to the CIA had a streak of vanity — he wouldn’t mind being played by one of the world’s best-looking pop staTo our delight, Sting readily agreed to the part when he read the script. But as the schedules were shuffled — an inevitable problem in the movie business — he had to pull out. I still have the charming card he sent to me, saying how sorry he was that we wouldn’t be working together.
And I remember that my daughter, Natalie, joked: “It should have been a Message In A Bottle!”
Sting has rerecorded that pop classic to promote the Prince of Wales’s SOS appeal, a campaign to stand up for rainforests with mobile phone text messages.
Everyone who supports the principle of an international deal between government heads to end rainforest destruction is urged to text SOS to 60777.
Prince Charles is a passionate advocate of global action to oppose climate change, and his words are always inspiring. I wanted to cheer when I read what he had to say: “Rainforests are utterly essential. They absorb nearly a fifth of all our carbon emissions, and yet they are being destroyed at the rate of a football pitch every four seconds.
“To solve the problem, we have to find ways to ensure the trees become more valuable alive than dead so there is no incentive to cut them down.”
And I loved the message from actor Stephen Fry, like me a Twitter addict, who pointed out that one person with a mobile phone could do virtually nothing to save the world — but a million, or ten million, who acted together were suddenly a very powerful voice indeed.
The Prince will be in a unique position to make that voice heard when the SOS petition is presented to world leaders at the Copenhagen summit later this year.
I was invited to Sting’s charity anniversary by the actor Justin Thompson and his brother Ronald. As we strolled in, I had an idea in the back of my mind that Sting was more of an expert on para-science than most people knew.
One of The Police albums, after all, was called Synchronicity, a word coined by Gustaf Jung to describe meaningful coincidences, the kind that occur when a higher intelligence guides our lives. And another album, Ghost In The Machine, was inspired by paranormal investigations described by Arthur Koestler.
But more than that, I had remembered that before he was famous, back in the Seventies when he was still a teacher, Sting — or Gordon Sumner as he was then — had been interested in the spoonbending phenomenon, and he had visited Birbeck College in London to witness the experiments Dr John Hasted was doing with gifted children.
Some of those youngsters had the power to bend metal like soggy spaghetti, with their thoughts alone. Most lost the power as they grew up — the cynical world’s disbelief and disapproval often affected their confidence.
I decided to ask Sting about his experiences, but then I caught sight of the photographs on the wall and forgot everything else.
The gala exhibition was titled People Of The Forest: Twenty Years Of Images From The Rainforest Foundation, and many of the pictures on display were stunning in their simplicity and beauty.
They depicted the indigenous people of the Brazilian forest, and I was reminded that it’s not just our air that is affected by those trees. For some people it is literally everything — their home, their sustenance, their hunting ground.
I bought two phographs, one of Sting as a young man, and one of him with a group of native children. Rather than pack them up straight away, though, I left them on display, to be signed by Sting at the end of the exhibition.
Towards the end of the evening, we bumped into each other in the crowd, and I got my chance to ask him about his interest in spoon-bending.
“I wasn’t just an onlooker,” he replied. “I had to try it for myself. And after focusing my mind, I discovered that I could do it — I could bend a spoon with the power of my thoughts, or my mental energy, or… I don’t know. I can’t explain it. But I did it.”
“You understand as much as I do,” I assured him, “and I’ve been doing it since I was four.”
I was amazed by his words — and he was so earnest that there is no doubt in my mind that he meant what he said. This was not a joke. But maybe it is a good thing that he didn’t join the cast for MindBender.
Two spoonbenders is one too many.
As I count down to the launch of my Greek TV series, the PR team of Nick, left, and Yotta are working overtime. The host Christos, right, is one of Athens’ biggest TV stars.
Tatiana is the Greek answer to Oprah, and everyone I met in Athens was dying to know what she was like when she interviewed me. Of course I told them the truth: she was charming. We’re pictured with George Leventis, head of entertainment at the station, and Giannis Latsios, head of programming.
Motivational Inspirational Speaker
Motivational, inspirational, empowering compelling 'infotainment' which leaves the audience amazed, mesmerized, motivated, enthusiastic, revitalised and with a much improved positive mental attitude, state of mind & self-belief.
“There is no spoon!”
“The world needs your amazing talents. I need them”
“Uri Geller gave an absolutely resonating talk on his life and career. He had every single magician in the room on the edge of their seats trying to digest as much information as they could. Uri emphasized that the path to frame is through uniqueness and charisma and that professional entertainers must be creative in their pursuits of success and never shy away from publicity.”
Tannens Magic Blog
“The man is a natural magician. He does everything with great care, meticulous misdirection and flawless instinct. The nails are real, the keys are really borrowed, the envelopes are actually sealed, there are no stooges, there are no secret radio devices and there are no props from the magic catalogues.”
James Randi (In an open letter to Abracadabra Magazine)
Sir Elton John
“Eternity is down the hall And you sit there bending spoons In your mind, in your mind”
“I Have watched Uri Geller… I have seen that so I am a believer. It was my house key and the only way I would be able to use it is get a hammer and beat it out back flat again.”
“Better than watching Geller bending silver spoons, better than witnessing new born nebulae’s in bloom”