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Ex-journalist recalls day he ‘kidnapped’ Lauren Bacall

A former regional daily journalist has recalled the day he “kidnapped” the Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall.

Western Daily Press writer David Foot, left, had arranged with Bacall’s agent to interview her during a visit to Bristol bookshop to promote her autobiography in 1979.

However Bacall, whose death at the age of 89 was announced yesterday, became impatient with the number of photographers outside the shop and left, getting into the back of her limousine with her assistant.

Arriving just at that moment, David then jumped into the front of the car himself and ordered the driver to take them to a nearby fish restaurant.

Despite initially leaving Bacall fuming, the incident ended happily, with David getting his interview and the film star a dish of Dover Sole and a gin and tonic.

David, now 85, recalled the episode in a piece in the Western Daily Press published today.

“It was one of the few occasions on which I showed journalistic enterprise,” he said.

“She was spluttering and had no idea what was going on. She wanted to get back to London as soon as possible, and here was this person whom she had never seen before giving directions and taking over. The driver took us to the restaurant and she was still confused but followed us in.

“I got her a double gin which seemed to settle her, that was good psychologically, and I ordered a Dover Sole for her.

“I just wanted to have a civilised conversation with her. She gradually calmed down and I got my interview.”