In September 1973 Jane Birkin appeared on The Russell Harty Show. Best known for her orgasmic gasps on the 1969 single Je t’aime… moi non plus, the British singer-actress was in a playful mood, coquettishly giving Harty a cigarette sweet, saying: “Suck it.”
Although you can’t tell from the YouTube video, according to her new memoir, Munkey Diaries, she was also “absolutely pissed”. The evening of “sheer hell”, with its mix of insecurity, alcohol, sex and backstage drama, epitomizes much of Birkin’s life. Covering 1957-1982, the memoir is based on diaries written to her treasured toy monkey and begins with her privileged childhood. Her father’s family had made a fortune in lace, her godmother was Winston Churchill’s daughter Sarah and the family home was in Chelsea.