Perhaps it is the fate of life-long dedication to life -coaching that your earlier clients eventually shuffle off this mortal coil, and one is left to ponder anew the triumph that was their lives. Ian Paisley was a politician famous for his fast, self-mocking, bitchy patter, his raspy voice, and his borderline offensive material. Joan Rivers was seen as a firebrand comedienne and the face of hardline stand-up. Charismatic, eloquent, energetic and malevolent, Rivers succeeded in splitting every broadcasting organisation in which she became involved. Too arrogant ever to follow, both could only lead. And now they both face the Late Show in the same autumnal week.
I coached each of them through many of the various explosive episodes that were to colour their lives; and I must say I felt i was earning every listening- soaked penny, especially during the Seventies. They were never to meet until 2006 when Ian had fallen so low that he was even thinking of hiring the sadly deceased Max Clifford (if your remember also a client of mine), while Joan’s plastic surgery jokes were wearing as thin as the skin on her forehead.
I suggested to Ian that time with Joan could really help him lighten up his routine which had become hard and gloomy; while for Joan hanging with Ian would give her a template for a husband to challenge her to the core. Joan saw potential for them doing a double act and the early rehearsals in my Earls Court basement proved really promising. They considered calling themselves the Chuckle Twins and would have toured this show had it not been for the late and surprising call to Stormont for Ian. Easily conceding the compromise to Sinn Fein none thought him capable of, he then under my advice enlisted the coaching of Joan to put him and Martin McGuinness through the Chuckles routine. The rest as you know is the hand of history. May they both ‘rant in peace.’