Sir Patrick Stewart has garnered much attention in social circles for tweeting a photograph in which he says that, at the age of 72, he has had his first slice of pizza. He spoke to Eddie Mair on Radio 4's PM. This item contains singing.
EDDIE MAIR: You took a photograph of yourself eating a pizza. You announced to the world it was your first ever slice and you've gone viral. How does it feel?
PATRICK STEWART: Eddie, I look on this as maybe being the high point of my career, if not my life. To have something like this happen is like a dream come true and I'm so excited I can barely think or speak or move.
EM: Do you know, I think we're both getting emotional.
PS: Yes, I know. I'm sorry about that, I'll get a hold of myself. OK I'm fine now.
What can I tell you about this experience? You know there's a little history to this pizza slice. And it is true - although the world is amazed - that was my first slice. Of course I've eaten pizza before. But I've never gone into a slice. The fact is yesterday morning my fiancee and I were a little hung-over. I know that's something you wouldn't understand having never had that experience but my fiancée said what we need is a slice of pizza and a fizzy drink.
So here in Brooklyn we went to this little neighbourhood place and innocently somebody took a photograph of me and the rest, as you know, is history. But here's the thing about pizza. This is a little bit of history. I didn't eat or even see a pizza until I was in my twenties. I grew up in a small little town in the Calder Valley and I went to Bristol. There were no pizza parlours in Bristol where I was doing my training. So it came as an exciting new part of my life.
That's the thing, my brother and I, when we were small we would listen to a BBC Home Service programme called Children's Favourites or Children's Choice and they played on a Saturday morning Songs for Kids. My brother and I listened to it every Saturday, we learnt all the words and we sang along to it. One of the hit songs at the time was a song called Volare and the opening line of this song Volare was "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie". Well, my brother and I, we didn't know what pizza was so we decided that line must be "when the moon hits your eye like a big piece of pie". And for years, whenever I sang this Dean Martin song I sang, "piece of pie" until, one day of course, someone corrected me.
EM: I'm a little disappointed you didn't sing for me.
PS: Do you want me to do it?
EM: Why not.
PS: 'When the moon hits your eye like a big piece of pie, that's amore.'
The song wasn't Volare, of course it's Amore. But it's an Italian word, they all sound the same to me.
EM: And your singing's very good.
PS: I know, it's so much trouble in so many different directions. I think it's probably just a good idea that I get in the car and go to the airport.
EM: It's fine, it's fine. Well I need to know a couple of things first. First of all, what was on the pizza slice, what did you choose?
PS: It was a plain cheese pizza, no meat - which I don't eat much of. And I kind of think it was a trick, this one, she was right. A fizzy drink and a pizza. I think you need grease when you have a hangover. This was new information to me. But this is why I'm in love with this woman - she has information for me like that.
EM: I read in the New York Magazine online that maybe you may have met your fiancée in a pizza restaurant.
PS: Oh really. Well she likes to say that when we met she was a pizza waitress. That's not strictly true. They did serve pizza in the restaurant she was working in. But this was - and only Brooklyners know this - gourmet pizza. Not just a regular everyday Dominoes you know. Pizza has linked our lives for the last five years and now, as the world knows, continues to do the same.
EM: I'm filling up again, so just before we end this, is there anything - obviously you say you have had pizza before, this was your first pizza slice -is there any food stuff that you can think of that you still simply have never had.
PS: Thousand year old eggs.
EM: Thank you Patrick.
PS: Never had one. Or four hundred year old eggs.