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Bookends

The Diana effect

5 January 2013

9:00 AM

5 January 2013

9:00 AM

My favourite joke of all time concerns Diana Dors, whose real name was Diana Fluck. She was invited back to Swindon, her birthplace, to open a fete. The vicar, terrified he’d mispronounce her name, mispronounced her name. ‘We have with us today Diana Dors, whom many of you here in Swindon will remember as Doris Klunt.’

Diana’s ambition was to have ‘a big house, a swimming pool and a cream telephone’. She achieved these, plus psychopathic husbands, bankruptcy and an early death from cancer. It is a wonderfully sleazy and vivacious tale, told in po-faced fashion by Niema Ash in Connecting Dors (Purple Inc Press, £14.99).


No fool, Diana ‘always knew she would have to leave Swindon to make her dream come true, because nothing magical could ever happen in Swindon.’ An early boyfriend was Desmond Morris, ‘the renowned zoologist’. Even so, sex-wise this was a bewildering time for Diana — particularly as she believed ‘a girl could become pregnant by sitting on a toilet seat vacated by a man’.

Overcoming such obstacles, soon she was in Hollywood, with her first husband, mad Dennis Hamilton. ‘I’m in love with Rod Steiger,’ said Diana. Dennis stormed into Rod’s dressing room waving a knife. ‘Fortunately Steiger was not there.’

Fast forward a few years and Diana is married to actor Alan Lake, ‘a shy man from a village background,’ who went to prison for ‘inflicting grievous bodily harm and causing malicious damage’. A few months after Diana’s death, he blew his brains out. Charlie Kray attended both funerals. Ronnie and Reggie sent wreaths.


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