Christopher Hitchens: Erudite, honest and a great flirt

Christopher Hitchens Image copyright AP
Image caption Hitchens told me I had never been hotter - at eight months pregnant

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.

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