Christopher Hitchens: Erudite, honest and a great flirt

 
Christopher Hitchens Hitchens told me I had never been hotter - at eight months pregnant

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Christopher - always the full name, woe betide anyone who shortened it to Chris - Hitchens was always original, always erudite, always honest and always a great flirt.

I mean that in the best European sense of the word - harmlessly but fully appreciative of the art.

I had the uncomfortable misfortune of sitting between Christopher and his nemesis George Galloway on the Bill Maher show once. The two loathed each other so much they would not even look at me in the middle for fear of catching each other's eyes.

And yet Christopher made the evening one of the most pleasant of my life when, at drinks afterwards, he told me I had never been hotter.

I was eight months pregnant. After that he could do no wrong in my eyes.

Mr Galloway, for the record, did not stand a chance on the show. Hitchens ran intellectual circles round him with the glee and humour of a small boy destroying a cheap toy.

 
Katty Kay Article written by Katty Kay Katty Kay Presenter, BBC World News

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 19.

    Hitchens and Galloway have much in common, both opportunists to the core.Their philosophies were part of what our entertainers call "shtick."It was only natural that they would take their rhetoric on gigs, Americans like a good fight especially between two Englishmen.Neil Kinnock that champion of the working man is another.Now Lord Kinnock now dines at the public trough in Brussels and Strasbourg

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    Comment number 18.

    Religion ought to be recognized for what it is, a psychological disorder. Such a diagnosis would explain the questionable (often individual) stories in the Bible and the subsequent delusional thinking in religion.

    Courts sometimes find people not criminally responsible due to mental illness when the accused truly believe "God" told them to kill people.

    Logic and education are the way forward.

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    Comment number 17.

    HItchens was important to Brits but to Americans I think he was insignificant.Just another Rush Limbaugh/Bill O'Reilly with an English accent and a little more polish.Every Englishman thinks he's William Shakespeare and that is what Madison Avenue is selling as it's fad du jour.Hitchens' and Galloway's hatred for each ohter may have been mostly faked.They took their show on the road across the US

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    Comment number 16.

    If Hitchens was so smart why did he smoke cigarettes which was likely responsible for him developing cancer and dying? The US Surgeon General's warning has been on every package of cigarettes sold in the US since 1964 and the dire risks were known around the world ever since.Ultimately like many people he was largely a man of self indulgence and impulse rather than intellect.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 15.

    "The tragedy of Hitchens was that he had the intellect to do something great, but he used his creative gifts for self-promotion throughout his career. He sacrificed nuance for the sound bite. I don't think he contributed anything to the nation's intellectual life." - Chris Hedges

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    Comment number 14.

    Sycophant politicians like Tony Blair seem more impressed by Hitchens style than by the substance of his words.Hitchens had nothing but contempt and ridicule of all religions including Blair's (it scared me when I agreed with Hitchens.)

    BTW Mr. Blair, now that you've broght peace to the Middle East are you returning to Britain to straighten out the financial havoc you wrought during your term?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 13.

    "I had the uncomfortable misfortune of sitting between Christopher and his nemesis Galloway...The two loathed each other so much they would not even look ...for fear of catching each other's eyes."

    Nobody knew the other better than they did themselves.Their hatred for each other was surely justified."I mean that in the best European sense of the word "Hardly harmless unless disarmed & bankrupt

  • rate this
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    Comment number 12.

    Let's have journalism, not narcissism: Katty reminds us how "hot" she was, and her tribute to CH was mostly about her-- as are many of her postings. Plus, proofreading is a virtue: the home page read "(CH) could no no wrong." We expect better from the BBC. The space is not well used.

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    Comment number 11.

    I for one will miss Christopher very much, I found myself with a few tears after I found out about his death.. Galloway may be able to debate but the man is a vile creature and a compulsive liar

    Take care Hitch, the world is all the more boring now your gone..

  • rate this
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    Comment number 10.

    In George Galloway's testimony before a Congressional Committe, he showed a degree of contempt I've never seen before.Even confessed hired Mafia hit men like Joe Valachi showed more respect. If even 1/10 of the allegations made about him regarding his relationship with Saddam Hussein's regime were true, the only reason I can see that he wasn't indicted was to maintain good relations with the UK.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 9.

    I don't trust demagogues who have epiphanies.They argue as vehemently for their revealed new found truth after as they argued against it before.It demonstrates they are fundimentally unprincipled cynical opportunists.Hitchens clearly the hypocrite with his scathing denunciations of Israel.He found he could make far more money as a redeemed American on Fox News than he could as a Brit writing books

  • rate this
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    Comment number 8.

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    Comment number 7.

    Christopher Hitchens once said: "I personally want to "do" death in the active and not the passive, and to be there to look it in the eye and be doing something when it comes for me." He did.
    Thank you Ms Kay for the personal tribute.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 6.

    Well its good to know Katty that you are easy to win over but i suppose all women are when you pay them compliments.

    As for the Bill Maher show I watched it and if Hitchens was able to run circles around Galloway (he didn't) then your silence on the show would suggest you were a child looking up at the stars and didn't understand what she was witnessing.

    Galloway FTW

  • rate this
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    Comment number 5.

    To rate CH for his flirting reveals a regrettable lack of intellect from Katty Kay - another 'successful' female who degrades her sex to maintain her status in a male world.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 3.

    Come on. Let's not bury intellect with the intellectual. I know it has become the fashion to bash George Galloway but to say Hitchens ran intellectual circles around is just laughable. Galloway, love or loath him, is an intellectual heavyweight himself and tucked Hitchens in many times - including on the Bill Maher show (especially on the classic Democracy Now debate).

    RIP Christopher Hitchens.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 2.

    Hitchens ran "intellectual circles" around Galloway? Hitchens may have been more articulate and slick than Galloway, but his oratory sophistication cannot obscure the fact that Hitchens shamelessly and cynically defended the indefensible. Hitchens didn't run any "intellectual circles" around anyone, he would simply put on a show. He was a performer first, an intellectual second.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 1.

    Thanks for this contribution because it describes the actions of a man who was so unpredictable. He was one of my favorite writers...and now, there will be nothing new forthcoming: My loss, the world's loss, Christopher's loss because I just know he had a lot more intelligent stuff to say.
    Okay, Christopher, send back a message: Is there a God. If yes, have you managed to tick her off?

 

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