IN an interview the other day Elton John spoke about his close friend, the late Liz Taylor.

Responding to a question posed by the model and actor Cara Delevingne - “If you could be ... one woman from the past, who would you be?”, he said he “would love to have been Elizabeth Taylor”. Among his reasons: “She was ... talented and brilliant, she was beautiful ... she had the most fantastic jewellery. And she became one of the world’s greatest philanthropists. I mean, it’s a very easy choice. She was a very dear friend of mine. She had an absolutely filthy sense of humour, very British.”

Taylor’s star quality shone through when on September 4, 1979 she arrived in Glasgow for a lunch date at the end of a Scottish holiday.

“She put on a happy, smiling face for a crowd of fans who gathered in the rain in Royal Exchange Square outside the Rogano”, reported the Glasgow Herald.

“However, once inside, the smiles turned to frowns and she shied away from photographers [among them the Herald’s Jim Connor] with a cry of ‘oh, no’ at her table in a corner of the crowded restaurant.

“The Glasgow visit by the 47-year-old multi-millionairess, now married to Senator John Warner, had been ‘leaked’ beforehand, but Liz made a far from spectacular entrance.

“Casually dressed in a baggy yellow sweater and dark slacks, she looked pale after reputedly being confined to bed with a bug over the weekend, and appeared startled by the waiting crowd”.

Taylor did at least smile for the onlookers, and she gave a peck on the cheek to Eddie Lynch, a 21-year-old fan from Cadder, Glasgow, who had waited for almost three hours in order to present her with a bunch of roses.

Inside, she was irritated by the attentions of the photographers, and drawled at them: “Have you no manners?”

She did concede that she had enjoyed her holiday with friends at Rannoch Lodge, Perthshire. But when someone asked her about her taste for oysters, a Rogano speciality, she looked bewildered, and said, merely, “What?”

Read more: Herald Diary

The Herald noted that for lunch Taylor, who had been on a £10,000 crash diet, had a starter of mussels mariniere, followed by fillets of Dover sole bonne femme with broccoli and peas. She drank Pouilly Fume Michel Redde, 1977 vintage, and ended with Highland coffee with Drambuie.

The informal lunch for four, arranged by the actress Tracy Reed, wife of the actor Bill Simpson, lasted just over 90 minutes. Taylor then left to catch a shuttle flight to London.

One enterprising newspaper reporter, intending no doubt to get another few lines out of Taylor, tried to melt the ice by sending an expensive bouquet of flowers over to her table.

“Nice to see you”, was the cheerful farewell from a Rogano bar-worker as Liz left for a waiting car.

“Nice to see you”, came the reply.

But the expensive flowers stayed behind.