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Adam Lee-Potter celebrates an enduring friendship

PUBLISHED: 10:59 12 December 2012 | UPDATED: 22:29 20 February 2013

At the wedding‘down under’

At the wedding‘down under’

A friendship that started with a shared hairdo, features a crazy cycling trip from Poole to Italy and culminates in a wedding 'down under'

Adam Lee-Potter celebrates an enduring friendship


A friendship that started with a shared hairdo, features a crazy cycling trip from Poole to Italy and culminates in a wedding down under


Ive known my best friend James since 1989, back when we both had Flock of Seagulls hairdos and 30-inch waists. But it is, frankly, a miracle hes still talking to me, let alone asking me to be his best man.

The last time I stood up to talk about him at his 21st he was so incensed by my references to his hapless love life that he grappled me to the floor, swearing incoherent threats. It took half of Manchester Universitys 2nd XV to prise him off me.

And my track record is patchy. I am yet to be forgiven for my last best mans speech 20 years ago in which I opened by telling how the groom had memorably appraised his new wife after their first night together as sleazy but athletic.

But then James is as a lawyer - far too canny to divulge anything to a journalist like me. He is, despite being my oldest friend, my one failed interviewee. Myleene Klass is garrulous by comparison, Gordon Brown gushing and Simon Cowell a pushover.

Our friendship was set in stone when we cycled from Poole to Italy and back one summer, many years ago. Hopelessly ill-prepared, we wore Doc Martens and rugby socks. We downed a bottle of vodka after every 1,000 kilometres and ate nothing but cheese. We rode cheap plastic saddles and absolutely refused to wear padded shorts.

As a result, we suffered horrendous saddle sores that looked more like a fungus than a rash. I will never forget our desperate attempts at self-medication. In our tent one night, we liberally slathered ourselves with the only lotion we could lay our hands on Factor 12 Hawaiian Tropic.

Ive known my best friend James since 1989, back when we both had Flock of Seagulls hairdos and 30-inch waists. But it is, frankly, a miracle hes still talking to me, let alone asking me to be his best man.
The last time I stood up to talk about him at his 21st he was so incensed by my references to his hapless love life that he grappled me to the floor, swearing incoherent threats. It took half of Manchester Universitys 2nd XV to prise him off me.
And my track record is patchy. I am yet to be forgiven for my last best mans speech 20 years ago in which I opened by telling how the groom had memorably appraised his new wife after their first night together as sleazy but athletic.
But then James is as a lawyer - far too canny to divulge anything to a journalist like me. He is, despite being my oldest friend, my one failed interviewee. Myleene Klass is garrulous by comparison, Gordon Brown gushing and Simon Cowell a pushover.Our friendship was set in stone when we cycled from Poole to Italy and back one summer, many years ago. Hopelessly ill-prepared, we wore Doc Martens and rugby socks. We downed a bottle of vodka after every 1,000 kilometres and ate nothing but cheese. We rode cheap plastic saddles and absolutely refused to wear padded shorts.
As a result, we suffered horrendous saddle sores that looked more like a fungus than a rash. I will never forget our desperate attempts at self-medication. In our tent one night, we liberally slathered ourselves with the only lotion we could lay our hands on Factor 12 Hawaiian Tropic.
Our thinking was that a) it couldnt make the pain any worse and b) that the intoxicating whiff of coconuts might just distract from the preposterous fact that, off the bike, we walked like arthritic cowboys. We were, of course, wrong on both counts. James and I spent the next week in pungent agony, understandably shunned as deformed pariahs at every campsite. But two men who have shared a bottle of Hawaiian Tropic under canvas and the resultant ridicule - forge the rarest of friendships.


Lying there, he looked up and said mock-bravely, in the manner of a downed World War II pilot: Just leave me here chaps. Ive had it. It took two Mars Bars, a Croque Monsieur and a taxi to shift him

Not that our friendship has been seamless. James still infuriatingly prefaces the very few things he does tell me with the words: youd jolly well better not print it. And I was beyond murderous when he once ironed a shirt on the floor of my flat, leaving a dirty great big hoof print in the brand new carpet. He then made it even worse by adding: Its your fault for buying something so disgustingly cheap.



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