Vive the French!

In October 2000, I found myself drinking champagne in an east London bar with Molly Ringwald. I'd had the usual schoolboy interest in the coltish American actress ever since The Breakfast Club; she was visiting town and a mutual friend suggested we meet. Molly wore fishnet stockings and her hair was short and brown. (Was it ever truly red?) We talked about a sitcom she was developing, and about the U.S. presidential race. When the bottle was empty she went off to have dinner at the Ivy with Channel 4 star Graham Norton; I got in a taxi, exhilarated but slightly...

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