Anne Haffmans + Alex Dörrie


As reluctant flyers, there was a fair degree of relief when our plane eventually touched down unscathed at Hamburg airport. Unfortunately, this solace was short-lived because we apparently looked suspicious enough for an undercover customs officer to pull us over, usher us into a small room where, with visions of half an hour spent in the company of several pairs of sterilized rubber gloves, 'swabbing' our passports proved to be the extent of his investigation - to our obvious relief.

There was a definite look of disappointment when no evidence of recent bomb-making was found, so as he waved us on our way, I reconsidered cracking a joke about failing to discover the Kalishnikov stuffed down my knickers, suspecting that a German customs man was likely to possess even less of a sense of humour than one of our regular sausage-eating friends.

In the arrivals hall, we were greeted by licensee Anne Haffmans, along with a carefully selected group of fans (German efficiency at every step), among them: Mario Topp, Danilo Topp, Silke Koeber and Anne Brink.

We were also introduced to Alex Dörrie of Another Dimension (out-of-house promotions manager) who had set up three interviews for Alan before dinner - such was the demand in Hamburg.