DIARY: Neil Patterson offers a lesson in sycophancy to his hero, Slowhand

Remember the scene in Notting Hill when the Hollywood star (Julia Roberts) walks into Hugh Grant's bookshop for the first time? Well, much the same thing recently happened to Neil Patterson.

As readers of the Diary will know, the Mitchell Patterson Grime Mitchell creative partner is also an avid fly fisherman. What isn't so well known is that this pales into insignificance compared with his passion for the guitar licks of his fellow fly-fishing nut Eric Clapton.

So imagine his ecstasy when he came face to face with his idol in a fishing shop in London's Pall Mall.

Quick as a salmon, Patterson grabbed a copy of his fishing book, Chalkstream Chronicle, off the shelf and offered Clapton a deal: One signed copy of his book for one copy signed by the rock star.

"If only I could wield a fishing rod line like you can wield a guitar," Patterson wrote. "Fantastic book. You're my hero," Clapton responded.

Who'd have thought it? Next week, Andrew Mitchell bumps into Ozzy Osbourne while queuing at Primark.

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