As imagined by Brian Beacom

THANK you for taking the time to interview me young man, and I appreciate this is perhaps the first time you’ve spoken to someone who’s an entirely ethereal creature. Although I did read that you interviewed Lorraine Kelly, so I’m guessing you have experience of talking to someone who’s not quite real.

Oh, should I have said that? It’s quite naughty. Anyway, if what I say doesn’t go down too well, I can always say that this medium, Doris, whom you’re talking to me through, has misquoted me, so let’s not worry.

So, what did you want to talk to me about? Was it about what it’s like to meet Vera Lynn in the afterlife? Well, I can tell you the woman doesn’t stop singing and she wants me to duet with her all the time, just because I agreed to do that song with Michael Ball.

And to be honest, if I’d had to sing with Michael one more time I’d have had to say to him, ‘Michael, you’re a lovely man, but I feel you’re piggy backing on my career at little, so go off and work with Alfie. You’ll be fine with him.’

Sorry, I’ve wandered a little. Where was I? Vera? No? What, you say you wanted to talk about something more serious? Did I regret going to Barbados and catching Covid? Well, not really. I’d reached 100, you see. And I got to meet Cliff. He was wonderful. And, don’t spread this around, but a much better singer than Vera.

You’re not going to ask me if I still like Boris, are you? Well, let me say ‘Not so much.’ We get multi-channel viewing up here and I’ve since learned the PM isn’t the sort of chap you’d wish to lead your platoon. But we die and learn, don’t we! Tee hee.

No? It’s not that? You want to know what’s going on with all this charity commission probe? Yes, I notice they’re looking at my charity which raised £38m – just from me strolling around the garden – and the link with my daughter and her husband’s private company, which has been using the trademark Captain Tom’?

Well, to be honest, I think it’s quite nice to have my face on everything from gin bottles to greeting cards, from lunch boxes to water bottles. And even skirts.

And you know people will always be a bit cynical. But it will all be fine in the end. You see, when I used to drink my tea in Burma out of an old rusty can it looked a bit dark and tasteless. Yet, when you drank it, it was fine, as long as you bunged in a few sugars, if you could get them.

Meantime, I’m off for a stroll before Vera finds me. The great thing about being up here is you can walk about all day and your feet don’t get sore. No need for Compeed up here.

Goodbye, young man. And God bless.