KILROY — Presenter extraordinaire? Renegade politician? The mature woman’s sexy devil? – My experience, Part One

To those who never witnessed any of the long-running (17 years) popular Kilroy programmes, I will describe them as being daytime talk shows with the presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk interacting with an audience of folk  — mainly women — who have some connection with the subject under discussion. 

Kilroy has many critics and some who describe him in disparaging terms, but it took politically incorrect remarks made by him — recorded in a daily newspaper — to have his show withdrawn and himself banned from the BBC. However there can be no doubt that the Kilroy programme had a large following among those at home when the show went out. It was also shown in other countries, (or so I believe)

Kilroy is a bit of a renegade, smart and good-looking for his years. He is a ‘boy from the back streets’ who pushed through the barriers of class distinction to make it as a politician and television personality, even if he did manage to trip himself up and achieve a great fall. But Robert is not one to let a setback throw him into oblivion, entering politics again he managed to get to be a member of the European Parliament — even if he did a bit of falling out with his fellow party members. Kilroy is an individualist, and, quite likely, always will be. 

It is this speaking his own mind, somewhat naively, and being never short of words that made his Kilroy programmes what they were. With a backup team to support him and organise his half hour show, he had the whole programme plan set in his mind and knew whom to chat with and where they would be sitting. How do I know? I was on one of his last shows.

I recall quite clearly how it all began. I was taking a break from novel writing by doing the weekly ironing chore. I put on the television to relieve the boredom. Robert Kilroy-Silk was already in full flood on his Kilroy programme, but, contrary to my expectations, this was a different person to the one I was used to seeing, and of whom I’d heard so much disparaging talk about. No, this was a man I could warm to, a man with warmth and understanding, a man to inspire.

The seats at the show were not packed and those there were on the elderly side. The discussion was serious. No hilarity,. Kilroy being the friendly ‘counsellor’ drawing from nervous guests the problems they suffered with their sex life. Clearly, the problems were acute. For some, precious experiences which had been shared and enjoyed for many years, were no longer possible. I only saw part of the show and I wondered how many of the women had actually experienced an orgasm and why it was not possible, especially in this day and age, to get help in overcoming difficulties. 

Most people of my generation had no sex education and there was no sex to be seen on the silver screen. Explicit sex in fiction was banned too. ‘Fumbling in the dark’ would be an apt metaphor for many a wedding night! (if couples waited that long). I recalled a friend of mine saying that her parents had enjoyed sex well into their eighties. Fulfilling sex can be experienced in many ways. Retired couples have the time to experiment, work on the preliminaries, build up the passion, and have the maturity to laugh when things go haywire.

Thus inspired, I set to work and wrote Blazing Embers (initially in the name of Angela Ashley but now in my own name — Gladys Hobson). I set the scene in my own home town extending it to the close-by Lake District. I had a clear picture of the couple, and I decided on someone with the looks of Robert Kilroy Silk (tan and all) to drop into their lives and help solve their problems (in a most delightful manner).

Some time later, after my ‘inspired’ humorous book was written — a book like no other in the market place — I had the chance to experience Kilroy in action. 

PART TWO to follow. ‘My embarrassing ordeal’

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