Telepathy, Russians, Ice Cream

My book signings can go on for hours, because I meet so many fascinating people that we can’t stop talking. But I don’t think I ever stayed so long in a bookshop that I missed a dinner date with a princess.

When modern humans want to broadcast important news, we need television and newspapers and the internet. All ancient man required was the power of the mind, and telepathy. Our ancestors knew how to hear mental messages — by contrast, we’re tuned in to ourselves and nothing else.

If you want to experience telepathy, obey your instincts, Don’t try to impose rational ideas on your brain, because telepathy isn’t rational. It’s a prehistoric ability, trying to function in a post-modern universe.

I have tried to let my instincts rule my actions all my life. Hanna is so used to the bizarre behaviour this creates that she didn’t even raise an eyebrow when I stopped the car at the gate as we headed off to meet our son, Daniel, in London, the other afternoon. 

I ran back into the house, and emerged a minute later in a different shirt. The urge to ditch my yellow Hawaiian and replace it with dark stripes had been overwhelming. If you’d offered me a million dollars, I couldn’t have explained why this was necessary. It just was.

We discovered the reason when Dan strolled up to us in Hyde Park. He was wearing the identical shirt.

I’m certain that, as my son selected an outfit for our get-together, his brain pulsed a silent signal to mine: “I like the shirt with blue stripes.” That message hit my brain instantly, and without any way of evaluating it, I reacted by changing my own shirt. If my instinct had told me to dial 999, or go back to bed, I would have obeyed that as well. Telepathy can be a life-saver as well as a bewildering source of fun.

It’s difficult to switch on the power at will, though. I’ve been tested more intensely for paranormal abilities than anyone who ever lived, at some of the most prestigious universities on Earth. The gift which functions effortlessly when it’s not expected is often inaudible when I’m trying to show it off.

That’s not surprising. Telepathy is a kind of inspiration, and there’s nothing inspiring about white-coated scientists and poky labs. Turner couldn’t have created gorgeous landscape paintings if he was stuck in Room 114b on the physics block in the University of London — he needed to be on a city bridge, gazing at a fiery sunset. And Mozart composed his great works in palaces, theatres and Viennese bawdy-houses… if he’d been surrounded by men with clipboards, he couldn’t have written anything more magical than a jingle.

I once asked George Harrison why he’d waited until the Beatles were falling apart before revealing that he possessed a songwriting genius to rival Lennon and McCartney. He was shy about agreeing with me, though most fans must share my opinion that his songs Something, Here Comes The Sun and While My Guitar are as gorgeous as anything John or Paul ever created — I know John Lennon thought so.

“There was a lot of pressure in the early days,” George said. “The other guys were so great. It was only when I discovered something greater than Beatles, you know, that the pressure came off.”

For George, the spiritual awareness he discovered through meditation was far more meaningful than fame and adulation. When he tuned in to a higher power, his own powers were magnified.

That’s why I was so delighted to see Dan and I had picked the same shirt. It means we’re aware of something far more real… even if it does vanish under the cold light of science.


I met Vladimir Posner, the journalist who helped Americans understand what was going on as the Soviet Union opened up to democracy under Gorbachev. He speaks impeccable English with a hint of a New York accent — the clearest clue that he’s not, in fact, an American but a Russian is his passion for good cigars. They smelled Cuban to me!

Vladimir, the promoter Nadia Solovieva, and Olga Sviblova, a highly respected Russian photographer, were knocking the idea around of helping me stage a show in Red Square. They worked with Paul McCartney on his triumphant concert there — and I have to confess I’d love to bend spoons in the shadow of the Kremlin.

One of the great benefits of being forever linked in the public mind to cutlery is that I keep getting asked to advertise food. This week I jetted off to Spain for an ice cream ad. The product was delicious and fat-free, which was a good thing since I had to guzzle about a litre-and-a-half of it during dozens of takes.

Naturally, the gag was that it’s hard to enjoy ice cream when your spoon keeps bending. I shot an almost identical advert in the US a few years ago, which helped the product become one of the bestsellers in American chiller cabinets, so it’s a good thing this Spanish ad is booked to run on TV for 18 months. A generation of children in Madrid and Barcelona will grow up knowing me as the ice cream man.


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