- In an article in the Daily Mail
Weekend magazine Mary Green reviews a book by the former royal
footman Guy Hunting who for a short time was an assistant secrtary
to Noel Coward's secretary.
- "Arriving at Coward's pink
chalet in Switzerland, he was greeted by the Master - wearing
his hallmark dressing gown and doing the Daily Mail crossword.
Coward called the 6'4" footman Large Lord Fauntleroy. Hunting's
task ws to copy his vast correspondence to, so the originals
could be sent to a bank vault. 'There were letters from almost
everyone in the world of literature,' he recalls. 'From Laurence
Olivier and George Bernard Shaw, Lawrence of Arabia and Charlie
Chaplin. Coward was 67, unwell, and spent much of his day in
bed, smoking menthol cigarettes. He was struggling with a third
volume of his autobiography - and depressed that he was no longer
fashionable. He did no entertaining and seldom ventured out.
- It was too sedate a life for
a young man of 21. The chalet was a household of elderly homosexuals:
Coward, his secretary Cole Lesley and Coward's great friend and
lover Graham Payn. Cole and Graham were devotees of needlepoint;
'And they were so keen for me to get involved,' says Hunting,
Copyright - The Noel Coward Society -