I am sometimes asked if I miss visiting film sets to interview stars but my honest answer is no. Of course if I was invited to meet some star of today it would be fun but to be frank I would not know much of their work and it would not have the same buzz as meeting stars I grew up watching on the big or small screen.

The business has also changed and generally productions do not welcome journalists visiting the set anymore. When I started writing in about 1973 each film had a dedicated unit publicist attached who was given the task of encouraging publicity during production. There only seemed to be a handful of them so over the years I got to know them and that made it even easier. That is how I got to meet the likes of Sophia Loren, David Niven, Harrison Ford and so many others over the decades, and what fun it was. I cannot recall anyone giving me a bad time interviewing them, although I recall Donald Pleasance was hard work and perhaps Petula Clark but perhaps I met them on a bad day.

Peter Cushing was a gentleman, Mark Hamill was good fun and David Niven as charming as you would expect. Christopher Lee liked to use one hundred words when the reply could be ten words but that was him. Arthur Askey was full of life when I interviewed him in his dressing room at ATV Studios while he was waiting to appear on Celebrity Squares. I caught up with Vincent Price and John Carradine at Elstree Studios making a low budget film called The Monster Club. The producer was so keen to get publicity he allowed me access to all the stars, which also included Stuart Whitman, Britt Eckland and Richard Johnson.

Trevor Howard invited me to his house in Arkley and we also met at his local pub, The Gate, which is now a very nice restaurant. Let us say he liked a drink but when sober he had great anecdotes about working with the likes of Brando, Flynn and Mitchum. I guess the latter two could match him drinking which is perhaps why he liked them and detested Brando, with whom he filmed Mutiny On The Bounty. Trevor was a great cricket fan, as was Boris Karloff, who visited Trevor while filming Corridors Of Blood at MGM in Borehamwood.

I am sure many names I met are no longer 'names' to younger readers but I found them great to meet. Do you recall Edward Woodward, who shot to fame as Callan in the television series of that name? What about Sterling Hayden? Some might remember him as a corrupt cop who was shot in The Godfather and the mad American base commander in the great Doctor Strangelove directed by Stanley Kubrick.

From 1984 onwards I used to organise and host an annual event called The Elstree Film Evening. It started life at Elstree Studios as a private event and the two main guests were Anna Neagle and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. In the 1990s it transferred to the now long gone Venue theatre in Borehamwood and when that closed to the BBC Elstree Centre, which allowed it to become a public event. So many stars supported me at those events and I am forever grateful. I never paid any appearance fees and in most cases they had to make their own way there. That would never happen now. The public could meet the likes of Honor Blackman, Richard Todd, Herbert Lom, George Baker, Sir John Mills, 1930s double Oscar winner Luise Rainer and so many more. On a personal level I got a kick out of reuniting Peggy Mount and David Kossoff, who older readers may remember from the 1950s television series The Larkins. I remember having to persuade a nervous Adam Faith and Nigel Hawthorne to say a few words. Many of these events were videoed and in the early days I taped my star interviews. Alas due to copyright law these cannot be shared with the public. Well, that is more than enough name dropping so until next time take care.