A great lady called Breda Foley – my other mother – introduced me to P.G. Wodehouse when I was very young. I used to love visiting her house with its panelled library. It seemed huge to me then, but it was probably a fairly modest room. I remember you needed one of those special rolling ladders to get to the upper shelves, which was way cool.

I picked up a copy of Ring For Jeeves at my favourite second-hand bookstall the other day [a nasty paperback – a far cry from Mrs Foley’s wonderful, musty first edition] and 30+ years later, I was instantly transported back to that library. I came across a passage early in the book that inimitably captured Wodehouse’s sideways style:

“It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that caused A.B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead and the lion thought it wasn’t. The result being that when he placed his foot on the animal’s neck preparatory to being photographed by Captain Biggar, the White Hunter accompanying the expedition, a rather unpleasant brawl ensued and, owing to Captain Biggar having to drop the camera and spend several vital moments looking for his rifle, his bullet, though unerring, had come too late to be of practical assistance. There was nothing to be done but pick up the pieces and transfer the millionaire sportsman’s vast fortune to his widow …”

Musical comedy without the music indeed.