A little Safranic verse
I shared this a fortnight ago, with the airing of the final episode of Neighbours. Sadly, with the attempt on Salman Rushdie’s life in New York, it’s become topical again.
The UK secret service was seeking a safe house for author Salman Rushdie. The Ayatollah in Iran had put a price on his head, in the form of a fatwa, for blaspheming in his book Satanic Verses. Totally coincidentally the landlord of the house selected by the secret service was Neighbours’ actor Jason Donovan. He agreed to have his front door bomb-proofed and Salman moved in. I know this because Jason once invited me to breakfast. He needed someone to write up his film script idea, an Australian spy comedy called James Bondi. And after he pitched the idea and we were eating omelettes, the Salman Rushdie incident came up. I remember thinking to myself that should be the film.
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