The Old Fella

Sir Les Patterson has been writing a column for the readership of British magazine The Oldie.

In July, in a piece entitled The woke wizard of Oz, Les wrote on a wide variety of subjects that befits a former elder statesman.

Upon the occasion of his birth:

When I was born in the maternity ward of the Little Sisters of Perpetual Chastity, Sydney, Australia, the nurse presented me to my wonderful mother.

She was lying in bed in the antenatal ward, quietly smoking and perusing the Woman’s Weekly.

‘It’s a boy, Mrs Patterson,’ the nurse said. ‘And, one day, he’s going to be very big.’

Boy, did she hit the nail on the head!

On sexual prejudice:

However, I yield to none in my abhorrence of sexual prejudice. As for some courageous folk who claim that they were born in the body of the wrong sex, Les Patterson has this to say: ‘I’ve been there, guys. I know. I need to get into the body of the opposite sex on a regular basis.’


It’s been a funny experience for me, staying at home for months on end. I’m such an international traveller at the expense of my old mate the Australian Taxpayer that it seems unnatural to be using the same toilet 24/7.

Lady Gwen Patterson and my good self have found a new intimacy watching the box every night on a beanbag together and, as an official diversity watchdog, I’m always on the lookout for any hint of discrimination in the media.

In the September issue, available digitally, Sir Les announced his retirement as Australia’s cultural attaché:

You’ve probably heard that I have retired from the cut and thrust of Australian diplomacy — I don’t get half-cut any more and my thrusting is strictly recreational.

On recent job offers:

The jobs I’ve been offered so far include: poetry editor of the Spectator, senior judge of the Turner Prize, transphobia watchdog, opening act on the Tony Blair lecture circuit and my latest — celebrity ghost-writer.

That last job has started up already, to be honest. Protocol forbids me to name the author but let’s just say he’s a ginger-haired, royal scallywag married to a very acceptable, diverse sheila and they want to share their journey with everyone.

On not having grandchildren:

To be honest, I’m a family man first and foremost — although my two kids, Craig and Karen, have been a bit of a letdown in respect of producing the patter of tiny Pattersons, to be honest.

Between you and me, I’ve got another little family in Bangkok, where I sometimes stop over on diplomatic missions to get the old rocket polished. There must be four or five of those kids by now, thanks to an exotic little massage therapist called Jam Yang.

Not a word to Lady Patterson, please — though she won’t be perusing this publication, that’s for sure. A woman can’t watch Embarrassing Bodies and read The Old Fella at the same time.

On sexual discrimination:

Young women who have worked under me will all vouch for my considerable tolerance and there has been the odd case of gender fluidity in my typing pool.

I’m perfectly comfortable with that, to be honest — though, in the past, I might have brushed a few sheilas up the wrong way.

I once said something that had the lezzo lynch mob up my blurter, but my tolerance is legendary, particularly to poor bastards who don’t like it plain and simple.

At The Oldie of the Year Awards 2021 on the 19th of October Barry Humphries accepted the Oldie Wizard from Oz of the Year award on behalf of Sir Les. Harry Mount, in a touching tribute, wrote that Les will be turning 80 next year.

The Oldie website doesn’t have a search function but anything Sir Les related can be found using the DuckDuckGo search engine.

Sir Les


The online archive of Dr. Sir Leslie Colin Patterson. Wit, sage, raconteur, late Cultural Attaché to the Court of St James and Chairperson of the Australian Chapter of the International Cheese Board.

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