Freud began, as ex-politician entertainers do, with some vulgar jokes involving corgis, erections and The Prince of Wales. Even Henry, Freud's media companion and canine analogue, didn't escape the accusations of an erectile nature. Henry was the dog (in fact dogs plural) who helped him advertise "Minced Morsels" dog food in 1967. Henry had a facial expression that exactly matched Freud's, as though he were doing a deliberate imitation of the man. Both looked doleful and hungry. The story goes that that Henry the dog had to be replaced by Henry the bitch because he was after something a bit more tasty than "Minced Morsels", and it was showing on camera. I don't know that I believe it, and my credulity was stretched even further when the human star of the "Minced Morsels" duo started to recount some of his parliamentary japes. In one incident Freud accidentally insulted a female constituent by calling her "Mrs Horseface". But just the same happened to Michael Portillo, who was playing Headington last November. And they're in good company because Churchill made exactly the same mistake. Still, the show is billed as "Clement Freud Entertains", and why shouldn't he use good material wherever it comes from? Even reviewers have been known to do that.
After the interval, Freud answered questions from the audience: "What is the best recipe for Minced Morsels?", "What do you think of Paul Merton (his co-panellist on Radio 4's 'Just a Minute' show) ?". The question that raised most laughter was "Who is the current leader of the Liberal Democrats?". There was a momentary hesitation and a smile before Freud, the former Liberal member for the Isle of Ely, gave the correct answer. Clement's grandad Sigmund did not get much of a look in during the evening and, mercifully, no wiseacre in the audience applied the adjective "Freudian" to anyone or anything. Clement made a few brief jokes about the illustrious surname, and he mentioned with some sadness how his grandfather suffered from mouth cancer. But it was right that Clement was Freud for the evening, sitting behind his desk like an elderly doctor telling slightly wistful, obscene stories. He has been a soldier, chef, hotelier, journalist, celebrity and member of parliament, and has glory enough of his own. At 83 years old, Sir Clement Freud still entertains.