While I was in New York for those two weeks and unable to leave the MTV gig, an important TV show in front of a huge festival in Italy came up... and remember, Italy was - at that point - still one of my good territories (X’s behaviour in Rome had fortunately managed to pass unreported).

Like most Euro TV shows, this one was only miming one track... It was too good to miss, so Magenta agreed to go as me, complete with pink hair and the hockey mask on. She played the part of me perfectly, and it had nothing to do with her impersonating me when a riot erupted in the giant Roman amphitheater where the gig took place - very Gladiator! Poor Magenta got to see (and feel) what it’s like to be bottled off. The press in the UK reported that we were miming again (even though we’d been asked to by the show) and they also reported that I couldn’t even be bothered to turn up for the gig.


Just before the album came out in its Robot box cover, styled to look like a Japanese transformer toy, I had to go to New York for two weeks to be a VJ on MTV. Thank God JSP went with me because in my typically perverse style I refused to just introduce videos. I wanted it as a freaked out future chat show.. like Max headroom... and my face would only appear on a TV set in the host’s chair.

We had to sit in the hotel room every night writing a script for each of the the next day’s 2 hour show. It was a massive amount of work but a great intro into MTV. Not quite the two weeks hanging out in NYC partying I had planned, but I had the confidence then to try everything, even chat show host and JSP was brilliant, often writing the whole script for me.

For any other band, 100,000 sales of 21st C Boy would have been seen as a success... but after my fantasy number one movie that was Love Missile - and all that it released on the world - ANYTHING seemed a failure. How could anything live up to that, let alone surpass it?

Luckily there were plenty of other territories where the latest single was a hit and we did the round’s of all the TV shows in Europe. In Italy we flew to Rome in a private jet to play Berlesconi’s TV show. There were screaming fans as we arrived; it was still all happening there and I embraced Rome. Neal of course tried to get off with Berlesconi’s daughter after the show. Like Degville, Neal had also grown a new persona and again it was super confident... but not spiteful and bitchy ...no, X had become this larger than life cheeky-chappy rock star, still a far cry from the quiet, shy boy who had answered the ad all that time ago, but a lot more palatable to be around.

It didn’t work out with Berlesconi’s daughter though - I think Neal had been hoping it was a case of like father like daughter, but he didn’t stand a chance.

On the way home, as the jet landed at a private airport, I was starting to feel empowered again and recovered from that bruising press conference in London. Vicky Kyme, Magentas PR#2 was with us and left the airfield to go and see her sister Penelope Kyme who had just given birth to her son Sebastian at the Portland hospital. Little did I know as I waved Vicky off that evening that three years later I would meet Penelope myself at Roger Taylor’s, the drummer from Duran Duran’s house, fall madly in love for the first time in my entire life and we would eventually marry. The baby born that day is now my amazing son and Penelope and I have been together for over twenty years. Life changing stuff.

Tony on the MTV sofa