Having said all this I have to repeat my confession. I have literally no idea what has been said about me over the past week. When I say that I do not read papers I mean it. For 12 years I have assiduously avoided them, the British ones at any rate. Occasionally I will see an article online, and during the Pope debacle I was sent jpeg images of a front page which alerted me to the besotted and obsessional problems that the Daily Mail in particular has with me and my existence.

I was made aware by wild flutterings in the Twitter dovecots and incessant sympathetic tweets earlier this week (before I hastily disengaged from the service in order to save myself from more unwelcome details), that the press had picked up on the Attitude article and that all kinds of figures had then expatiated on my lunacy and folly in different newspapers over the next few days. And that this was followed by other papers taking the opportunity to give me the damned good kicking that a swine like me so richly deserves.

You may wonder why I duck out of Twitter at such times: well it may seem pusillanimous but it’s really, as I have said, just to avoid being sympathised with or told about an article I would otherwise never have got wind of. I soon enough slink back and before long it’s as if nothing happened. Clears the air. Does good on all sides.

So how do I feel about it all? Well, these hullabaloos tend to follow an established pattern. First outrage, then hurt, next amusement and finally the whole thing is forgotten.

And what do I learn from it? Hm. That’s harder.

  1. Never ever read any tweets or direct messages sent to you the moment you get wind of a media shit storm brewing
  2. No more print interviews, Stephen. No matter how small and worthy the publication you can’t be trusted not to say something that will make you look a tit when reproduced elsewhere.
  3. Pretend you’re a politician and only say things after weighing all the consequences and potential offence caused.

Let’s be honest, I’ll never stick to point 3. I’m probably doomed to lurch from embarrassing moment to embarrassing moment for the rest of my life. Heigh ho.

Fool Britannia

I write this on an aeroplane bearing me to Los Angeles for my annual date with the Britannias, BAFTA’s American award ceremony, an evening I’ve intermittently hosted over the last decade or so. I suppose there might be British print journalists on the BAFTA red carpet tonight and I suppose I might have to find a way to avoid saying something monumentally stupid that finds its way back to Britain. If that’s the case … don’t let me know. Agreed? Hurrah. We have a deal.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I am sitting on an aeroplane writing a blog which tries to reassure the world that I am quite aware that women enjoy sex. No one can say my life isn’t unpredictable, interesting and … well, Fryish…


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13 comments on “Silliness”

  1. Piglette says:

    I am female, fifty and no fool. At first the comments took my breath away and then 2 seconds later I thought what a load of rubbish. Stephen Fry would simply not say such things. His humanity and kindness shine through in everything he does. I follow his work and Tweets in a casual way but I have to say if I was having a dinner party…. no I grew out of entertaining but if I was organising a picnic I would choose to have Stephen Fry there 100 times over than all his screeching detractors and media nitwits. I know Stephen’s too busy for a picnic and besides the weather at the moment is so dreadful the rain would soak the sandwiches. But it is his ‘good eggness’ that makes you feel you could a: ask him and b: enjoy it when he came along. I am pretty certain that the hot air merchants chastising him could not pass the same picnic invitation test.
    So please keep entertaining and drawing us into your life I don’t believe you would deliberately offend us; although Mrs Stephen Fry’s hat does come close.

  2. Mandi M says:

    I’m female, I’m a feminist, and I’m also rather fond of sex when it’s on the menu.
    Fortunately, I have not had my sense of humour surgically removed.

    From the moment this latest song & dance exploded I was sure that it was a huge storm in a teacup, entirely innocent from your side with no offence intended beyond a little light humour. But sadly, as you well know, the media loves to anoint folk as “national treasures” only to tear them to shreds at the first opportunity.

    Please pay no attention and put all this nonsense behind you and carry on being the same old Stephen we know…

    …oh, and for the record (purely academic for you, I know), we DO like sex. But then chocolate ranks pretty high on our sensual Top 10 too

    Hoping to see you back online with us again soon.


  3. RoxieDiva says:

    Never explain–your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.
    Elbert Hubbard

    Kind of sums it up – but I get why you posted this

    I do wonder if people dont get carried away by their own indignancy (sorry long day and I am sure that isnt a word but you know what I mean) and forget that behind it all is a person who still has feeling and can be hurt just like everyone else.

    Chin up babe xx

  4. adamdv says:

    Non illigitamus carborundum!!

  5. Aidanthingy says:

    Dear Mr Fry,

    I am appalled to learn that you have been loudly insisting that the Pope does not enjoy having sex. You scurrilous deviant!

    Cancel my subscription immediately.

    “Disgusted of Dublin”

  6. Ophiuchus says:

    I noticed the story in the media and thought ‘he’s been got at again’! I have just registered to say what a complete non story this was from the start. And yes, sure it causes upset and it won’t be the last either. The whole thing is such an idiotic proposition that no one would surely believe it came from anyone with a cubic centimeter of brain tissue, let alone you? One would hope…

  7. in-this-light says:

    Dear Sir,

    I read one of the aforementioned articles and discussed it with my girlfriend. We came to the conclusion that it seemed out of character and wondered if there had been a falling out with Edna over the matter (perhaps involving her at number 38?).

    We hope that if that was the case, that things have been sorted out and any cracks papered over, for the sake of your offspringand would like to wish you the very best for the future.

  8. bertyboy says:

    A little tale to hopefully make you smile.
    When I left school at 16 about to start an apprenticeship as a silversmith,my local rag – The Basingstoke Gazette came down to interview me.
    I said when asked if any of my friends were doing unusual jobs,I replied ” no,most of my mates are doing ordinary jobs” this was quoted as – “Dave says most of his friends are in dead end jobs” ! you can imagine how popular I suddenly become !

  9. hdiamond says:

    There is one positive to your having to post a reply, people like myself get to read more of your words.

    Personally I’ve had one experience with journalists which scarred me for life. Speaking with The Sun (I was just shoved in their general direction at the time) about a mass-nude photograph I did many years ago, the man (not gentle) managed to twist my simple straight answers into something that fit their agenda. The last question for example: do you have a boyfriend? At the time the answer was no. From this they turned me into a sex-crazed stripping harridan, desperate to snare a man under any circumstances. I just thought it would be a laugh. Oh well!

    The point I’m getting to is most of your admirers will be well aware of the twisting nature of the press. Welcome back.

  10. dansumners says:

    If only one person learns from reading this post that all is often not as it seems, that one should withhold judgement until appraised of all the facts and respond in a measured, rational and generous manner, it was not at all an ‘ill-judged’ conversation. In any case, as you say yourself, it was simply not judged, but undertaken in a spirit of humour and honesty. And we must not be deprived of the pleasure of such conversation, especially in public. It would reduce us to uttering the hollow, calculated and passionless statements, soundbites and scripts with which we are so familiar thanks to our front bench politicians.

  11. lugubrioustide says:

    Hi Mr F. I have just checked with my wife and she says that she doesn’t enjoy sex. It’s not because of her gender…I’m just rubbish apparently ;(

  12. ashleymills says:

    Wow, first time I’ve read your blog. Really nice writing style, I’ll be back :)

  13. Edward says:

    Regarding lessons:

    1. Seems entirely reasonable, but very difficult.
    2. As above.
    3. I recommend the opposite: explore the limits of the most outrageous and self-evidently untrue things you can convince the press that you earnestly believe.

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