Driving the dictator
Another classic trip from 20 years of TG mag: delivering Admiral General Aladeen to a big telly interview.
Posted: 28 Oct 2013
Twenty minutes later, I’m outside Leo’s hotel in Paddington. Leo meets me by the front door. He leans in and whispers, “I tell them Russian guards are too bad to drive car in London. You are not TopGear. I tell you are friend from cricket in Riga.” Before I have a chance to process this information, a bearded man in trendy jeans grabs me by the hand.
“You must be Sam, Leo’s cricket friend?” I nod, trying to figure out what the hell is happening and whether I should pretend to be Eastern European. Last night, I mentioned to Leo I’d visited Riga once, to play cricket against Latvia’s national team (this is true). Leo must have transformed this into a stonking lie. Smile. Nod.
“I’m Derren,” says Derren. “I’m running the stunt today. Get dressed.” I’m handed a black shirt, black combat trousers, an army beret and a huge pair of black leather boots.