Narcissistic media type puts on a dress and grows breasts using hormones and thinks he’s a woman.
It has to be said that the woman I encounter today is a world away from the man I knew during a period in the 1990s when, as journalists, we would frequently find ourselves writing on opposite sides of the gender divide. But the fact that we are now two 60-something women – hopefully on the same side – is not as strange as I expected it to be.
The reason it’s not as strange as you expected is possibly because he’s still the guy you knew, only with a dress and lippy.
There are, it should be said, certain areas of Diana’s past life that are not up for discussion. We do not, for instance, talk about her ex-wife (they were married for 30 years) or their three grown-up children; two daughters and a son
No, we don’t talk about them, because that’s rather awkward, isn’t it?
I don’t go into a ladies loo to oppress women. I go in there to have a pee. I go into a cubicle where no one can see me, pull up my skirt, sit down – well actually sometimes I have to stand because of my prostate
How much more ladylike can you get than having to sometimes stand up to pee because of your prostate? I’m amazed you’re not already the pres of your local WI.
And I absolutely don’t deny the guy in me. I am not pretending I am not still him in many ways. I mean I still do that thing of sitting down on Saturday and watching Sky Sports before the game, during the game and after the game because four geezers talking football constitutes entertainment to me. But I also blub my eyes out to Strictly Come Dancing and I rather like the fact that I can do both of those things.’
A guy who likes football and has emotions, that’s never been heard of before, you must totally be a woman and nothing else.
Are there, I nervously ask, now boyfriends in Diana’s life?
‘No, I wouldn’t enter into a relationship until some time after I have had the operation,’ she says carefully after a thoughtful pause.
Yes, well, it’s a bit hard to pretend you’re woman having sex with a man when there’s a big hairy cock and balls in-between you both. Who do those belong to? ‘Oh, sorry, darling, I don’t know how those got there, the cleaner must have left them behind, just ignore them and put your manhood into my womanly vagina, the one that looks and smells like a man’s bumhole, but isn’t’.
But surely, I persist, part of the dream she is pursuing must include the idea that one day her prince will come? ‘Yes, yes is the answer.
Yes, I do want my prince to come.’
It’s almost like you’re … a gay man.
And actually I think that ultimately I would make somebody a really good wife.
Good luck convincing a man to think the same.
I love creating a beautiful home, nothing makes me happier – except possibly cooking a lovely meal or going shopping.
You spent years writing blokey novels and editing Punch magazine. Somehow I can’t see any man being convinced that you’re just a sweet little homemaker.
Seconds later, though, that other Diana is back – the sharp, sassy, witty one who owes quite a lot to her former self and is determined to amuse, bemuse and entertain us all as we follow her on her journey. ‘I mean look at me – long legs, brand-new breasts, knows the offside rule and the LBW rule, and can tell a googly from a flipper and if you want to watch endless documentaries about World War II be my guest! I think I have a lot to offer any man, don’t you?’
I don’t know about other blokes, but ‘Is actually a woman’ comes higher on my list of desired female characteristics than ‘Can tell a googly from a flipper’.