Celebrity Interview Number 1: Ron Atkinson

From time to time I will be bringing you celebrity interviews, where famous household names and doyens from the worlds of popular entertainment, sport and politics pop in for a chat and to share their thoughts on the "Land of Smiles".

I'm delighted that the first person joining Penfold at the bar, to enjoy an ice cold Beer Chang and bag of peanuts, is football's Goldenest Geezer, "Big" Ron Atkinson , former manager and TV pundit.

As you all know, "Big" Ron is a legend of football co-commentating and before the "Desailly-gate" scandal that led to his removal from our TV screens, was responsible for bringing us inimitable football phrases like "little eyebrows", "early doors" and "lollipops".

It must only be a matter of time before he's awarded an honorary fellowship by the chaps in English faculty at Oxford University, thanks to classic guff like..... "Well Clive, It's all about the two M's - Movement and positioning" and "On another night, they'd have won 2 - 2".

So Ron, What have been up to since your enforced retirement from the punditry profession?

"Tell you what Penfold, that Desailly incident was a blessing in disguise.........it's given me more time to spend on the golf course, I play off scratch now and I've helped the missus install a new sun-bed too, so it's all been at bit easy oasy "Chez Ron". I've also been doing a spot of DIY in my Marbella villa. I decided early doors that I'd save myself a few bob by building my own jacuzzi and swimming pool. You can't trust those lazy Spanish builders, they're not always in the wide awake club".

"You're welcome to join us for the next pool party..... Mrs. Ron serves an excellent G & T and I've just bought new pair of Versace speedos....................."

urm....Thanks Ron, I'll check my schedule and let you know!! Moving on to the next question. When did you first visit Thailand?

Well Penfold, I first went to Thailand in the summer of '79 whilst I was managing West Brom. Mrs. Ron was staying with our Tracy at a caravan in Clacton but I was looking for something more exciting during the closed season. I'd heard from my old mate Frank Bough that Thailand was good fun. So trusting my instincts, I made a gambler's run to Heathrow and hopped on the first flight to Bangers.

Boy was I in for a shock, it was nothing like Marbella, no bacon and eggs, no carling black label lager.....I thought I've done a wrong'un here. But I trusted Frank and thought I'd stay here and give it a go for a few days. I headed for the Sukhumvit road and it was a real crowd scene there.....motorbikes, street vendors and push-bikes everywhere!!! I managed to make my way to the Nana Hotel on Soi 4 and that was the start of my adventure.

I decided to have a look around town so I jumped in a tuktuk and headed for the Grand Palace. I'd heard it was a good place to start your trip in Bangkok. But, unfortunately, when we got there i was told by very kind official that the Palace was closed that day but by chance I was able to go and visit a gem shop and was able to buy some precious stones at rock bottom prices. I thought I'd able to shift a few in the dressing room knowing Laurie Cunningham and Cyril Regis liked a bit of bling. But that was a school boy error....when I got them home they turned out to be cheap imitations and weren't worth the money I paid for them....the missus almost did a Buddy Holly on me!!!

But without a shadow of a doubt.....the best thing in Thailand were the birds......there were tasty dark skinned, almond eyed beauties as far as the eye could see!!!! I could see why Frank Bough loved it so much....dirty old bugger.....I bet the doctor at the clap clinic has given him the curly finger on more than one occassion!!!!

My first meeting with the lovelies was in the Nana Entertainment Plaza, which, as luck would have it, was outside my hotel!!!! I was feeling a bit parched and decided to enjoy a few sherberts so I nipped across to Big Dogs bar. As I walked inside all the ladies smiled at me and said "hello hansum man", I had a quick look behind me just in case John Fashnu had follwed me inside!!!

I sat down and ordered a drink and within minutes I was holding court and chatting to a bevvie of beauties. One particular bird caught my eye, husky voice and long legs, reminded me of Sade; So, being the gentleman I bought her a couple of pinacoladas and we got talking!!! I was three sheets to the wind after half a dozen Changs with whiskey chasers but at the end of the night she fancied coming back with me ....so I gave all the ugly birds the eyes and I popped back to the hotel with the hottie in tow.

I was just about to start going at it to the sound of trumpets, when I notcied in the half light of my room, that she had unusually large hands. It may have been the drink, but I also noticed a distinct 5 o' clock shadow on her chin.....

We were getting rather amorous and as articles of clothing were being removed, I noticed that she was built like a Emile Heskey, but it wasn't until the undies came off and I was confronted by a portion of meat and two veg, that I'd realised my mistake!!! I awarded myself a spotters badge for noticing and I was able to have a good laugh about it after I'd washed my mouth out with 3 bottles of listerine!!!!

Now I know what Boughie was talking about when he used to drunkenly mumble about "sluts with nuts"!!!

It's happened to the best of us Ron!!!! What do you think of the current political situation in Thailand?

Thailand's a complex country and the social demograhic has changed enormously in the last 50 years. There is large rural population, who for the most part, live in poverty, but there are growing numbers of middle class families and a nouveau-riche super elite who have emerged. The rural poor, in supporting the government of Thaksin and the new upwardly-mobile middle classes who are seeking to overturn the status quo, have upset the traditional elites and challenged the established hierarchy.

So society in Thailand has reached an impasse and the recent protests and demonstrations are examples of this tension bubbling to the surface. Everyone involved in Thai politics needs to give it the full gun to create a stable and cohesive government, who have the support of the people and who will endeavour to root out the endemic corruption and mismangement in Thai politics.

Despite the current turmoil....if the beer bars and the Go-Go clubs aren't shut down then I will keep going on holiday to Thailand!!!! The current adminstration must be watching cartoons if they think they can allow protesters to close the airport without it having a knock on effect.

What does your missus think about Thailand?

She loves Thailand and Thai ladies more than me!!! And can often be found propping up the bar at Mistys in Pattaya or roaming walking Street getting an eyeful of the scantily clad tarts!!!! I sometimes find her passed out on the bed surronded by empty gin bottles and half a dozen go-go dancers!!! She been trying to convince me to buy a condo in Thailand. But our Tracy wants us to buy holiday home in Skegness.....you can't please all the poeple all time!!!!

Thanks for sharing your time with us today Ron and if you have Frank Bough's phone number we'd like to get an interview arranged with him!!!!

If any of my readers bump into "Big" Ron at any time in Soi Cowboy or Patpong, be sure to pass on my regards and get him to buy you a drink!!!

"Big" Ron we salute you....


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