Max Clifford Interview

I don’t drink or smoke, but I love good food and good company, so on Friday evening I meet my fiancée Jo Westwood and some friends in Il Camino, an Italian restaurant in New Maldon, south east London. I’ve been going there 30-odd years. It’s relaxed, social, and the fish is beautiful. We often talk about my work, but I also love a good story. One friend runs a retirement home for all the Variety acts. The stories that come out of there…!

Max Clifford

So it’s a relaxing social start to the weekend, winding down from a manic week. Afterwards it’s a 15 minute drive home to Burwood Park in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.


I usually wake up about 8.30 on Saturday. I have a pool so I swim for half an hour most days. Then we go out for breakfast at Cafe Da Vinci in Weybridge. I’ll have eggs and bacon, or an omelette – hence all the swimming. After breakfast, we buy flowers. I love flowers. The house is always full of them.


My daughter Louise lives nearby, so the two of us have lunch every Saturday, just a coffee and a sandwich. She works for me, so we see each other in the office, but we never get a chance to chat. Saturday lunch is a chance to catch up.


I play tennis every Saturday afternoon at a court five minutes from me, for a couple of hours. I’m a squash player really, but I got too old for squash – and football and water polo – about 10 years ago. Back home, I’ll watch the football if there’s a live match on. I’m an Arsenal fan, but whatever’s on I’ll watch. It’s relaxing after swimming and tennis.


Then it’s dinner with friends again, perhaps at a Turkish restaurant in Weybridge called Cafe One. As well as good food, it’s extremely comfortable. I do like comfortable seats. Or, about once a month, we’ll have a dinner party at home for perhaps eight people. I have a housekeeper, Linda, who’s a very good cook, as is Jo, so I keep out of the way as much as possible. I’m told I’m a hindrance in the kitchen.


After a Sunday morning swim, we would have a drive out. I don’t know much about cars, but I like quality, so we’ve got nicest of the Bentleys, which just purrs around. My dad had a push bike, so I’m very aware of what having a Bentley means, and I’m very comfortable with it, because I’ve done it myself. No one’s given me anything.


We’ll pop into Chase Children’s Hospice at Artington near Guildford, where I’m a patron. I became involved because Jo volunteered there when I met her. My industry is disconnected from reality, especially working with stars, but when I go there and see the little ones, their families and the volunteers, I’m meeting real people. To call the hospice a happy place seems a contradiction, but it is.


We’ll drive on to a gloriously pretty Surrey village called Shere for a late breakfast, followed by a wander around the village. We’ll buy a few bits and pieces from the little shops, and probably go into the church. I’m not religious, it’s just a beautiful building. Often the kids’ choirs are practicing, which I quite like.


The it’s home, probably via Newlands Corner, where you can have a little walk or just park up, sit with an ice cream and look out for miles over Surrey.


Once back, we’ll take our Shitzu Ollie for a walk around Burwood Park. My wife died six years ago, and Ollie came with Jo when we met four years ago, but I’ve always liked dogs.


I might play tennis again, then it’s home for a Sunday roast. Jo’s mum and dad will come over, Louise will pop round, plus perhaps a couple of friends and my two brothers who live nearby.


Sunday is the only evening of the week that I’m in. Usually we’ll settle in front of the telly and watch shows that we’ve recoded during the week, often ones that I’m involved with. It’s a nice time although, as with the rest of the weekend, I’ll be taking the odd call from clients – perhaps Simon Cowell might phone from the States for a chat. I don’t mind that though. I love what I do so much that I don’t see it as a job, it’s just a way of life.


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