Turns out Paul Henry is my brother from another mother

Poor Pete will need a lie-down after this.

“F*** ’em!” Paul Henry said, having just walked in on a conversation about organisations that want him to attend their evening events.

“What are they morons, these people?”

His publicist said: “They’re like, ‘he can just have a drink and mingle’.”

“Yeah, because that’s what I really want to do,” Henry said. “I’m hanging out to have drinks and mingle.”

He doesn’t like doing interviews, didn’t want to do this interview, and particularly didn’t want to do this interview in a place where there might be other people. He was hungry and I had offered him the opportunity to talk somewhere he could also get food, but he instead chose to stay in the photo studio, where we had just finished the photoshoot he hadn’t wanted to do.

Over the several hours we spent together, the theme of his not particularly liking people came up more than once, in sometimes-astonishing verbal onslaughts, such as the following:

“I don’t like airports,” he said, “I don’t like them at all. I don’t like people and I particularly don’t like people at airports.”

“Do you really not like people?” I asked him.

“No, not really,” he said.

“Why?”

“They are a huge disappointment.”

I asked if he was being a bit disingenuous.

“No, I’m not,” he said.

The publicist said, “He is not.”

People are. ?In general. ?A fucking waste of oxygen. ?

“Okay, let me talk about a person at an airport,” Henry said. “When you’re standing in the queue and you know you have to take things out of your pockets and out of your briefcase, do you know you’re going to have to do that?”

He waited for an answer, so I said, “Yes.”

“So why – the f*** – do you get to the front of the queue and have all this – ‘Oh f***! Oh shit! Oh my f***in’ Christ! I had no idea I had a hand grenade in my pocket! Oh, do I need to put my laptop in a separate thing? Do I need to take this out of my sock? Do I need to take my shoes off? Am I a complete f***in’ moron who can barely breathe on my own?’

“Do you have any idea how much that infuriates me? And I’m standing behind these c***s and I think, ‘What is it about you that is so f***ing special that you can hold me and all these other people up because you are so without your own f***ing mind that you can’t prepare in all the f***ing time you’ve had to get your laptop – ‘Oh, what have I got in here? Oh, what have I got with me? Oh, I’ve got two litres of plutonium. Do I need to put that in a separate tray?’

“You know? And you think, ‘What is it with you, you complete f***in’ moron?’ And you’re going overseas, you’re going to f***in’ Sydney or wherever you’re going, to a f***in’ CEOs’ conference and you can’t f***ing get the two litres of plutonium out of your briefcase in advance, you complete f***in’ dipstick.’

“So,” he said, “that pretty much sums up my view.”

I asked him if he felt the same about people outside airports.

Paul Henry on the set of his breakfast programme.
Paul Henry on the set of his breakfast programme.
He paused for a long time, which is something he does rarely. “I mean, there are lovely people about,” he said. “There are lovely people about. I don’t meet people very often.”

“Is that by design?” I asked.

“Well, you said we could sit out there,” – he gestured in the general direction of the outside world – “in what is a much nicer environment, with fewer ceiling tiles missing and even probably food – and I am quite hungry – but I’d rather sit in here just with you than be out there and run the risk of people seeing us.”

Asperger’s.

It’s actually quite a lengthy rant. ?The law won’t allow me to copy it all, so if you want to get to read all of it, you can do so here.

Speaking of Pete…

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– Canvas

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