"These days, I don't lie about anything. I've learnt from bitter experience that you will either get found out or the lie sits there and congeals. When I was married the first time, I wasn't entirely faithful; I told porkies about all sorts of things. In the days before mobile phones, it was a lot easier. You could call from a phone box in Dublin and pretend you were in Belfast on business and she was none the wiser, so long as you could remember the lie and stick to it.
"I almost got caught once, though. My first wife went away for a few days and a female friend came round to, er, play. When she left, I cleaned the flat top to toe. My wife came back, walked in and said, 'Why is this place so clean? Why have you spring cleaned? You've been up to something'. She went into our bedroom, picked up a hairbrush and found a long blonde hair in it. My wife was Japanese with short, black hair.
"There was meltdown, but I remembered a wonderful film about comedian Lenny Bruce, who believed that, even if you are caught red-handed by your wife, you have to deny everything and keep denying it until eventually she comes round, because fundamentally she wants to believe you. And he was right.
"I made up a story, she called me a lying toad and for three days my life was hell. But I knew that if I gave in, it would be worse. Three days passed and it was never referred to again."