CONFESSIONS OF AN INTERNATIONAL TOWEL THIEF
This new book from popular TV personality and journalist John Carter, presenter of ITV's Wish You Were Here.? from 1987 to 1997 and the BBC's Holiday from 1969 to 1987, lifts the lid on the stories that never made it to screen or press, sometimes because they had no bearing on the article or destination report he was compiling, but often because they could not be told for fear of the consequences, from behind-the-scenes mishaps to hilarious encounters with famous names.
Having travelled the world for over half a century on behalf of newspapers and magazines, radio and television programmes - and, occasionally, just for the fun of it - John Carter has a vast store of tales to tell. Now he has put a selection of those stories down on paper. Of necessity, names have occasionally had to be changed not only to protect the innocent, but to save the blushes of the guilty.
As well as those and other true stories, this book is laced with 'factions': tales that are based on real incidents and encounters - on cruise ships, as it happens - but which have been 'tweaked' to provide the neat ending that real life usually neglects. Though, as this collection proves, real life is far more unlikely than the strangest of fiction.
"During my work on television, people would often say they liked what I did because I seemed to be genuinely enjoying myself," he says. "The most frequent comment was that they hoped to get as much from their holiday as I did. Which is why I have finally set down my own rather unbelievable experiences."
Whether evading Italian film companies in Yugoslavia - and accidentally encountering Sophia Loren - getting thrown out of a royal reception in Morocco or being press-ganged into acting as a tour guide on his very first trip to the USA, John Carter has enjoyed his travels and revels in the unexpected situations that he has faced along the way.