Prime Minister’s Daughter in Live Sex Show – how Carol Thatcher first hit the headlines.

Carol Thatcher is rarely out of the news these days, but she might like to draw a veil over the incident that first put her on the front page. Or, maybe, seven veils ..

It was September 1984. The country was embroiled in the miners’ strike and Carol and myself were living it up in Thailand, on a press trip organised by Kuoni, the upmarket long-haul travel company.

At the time, Carol, aged 31, was a journalist on the Daily Telegraph and I was working for the Mail on Sunday’s YOU magazine.  There were about 10 other journalists on the trip.

At first Carol was wary and kept herself to herself but soon she and I were having long heart-to-hearts in hotel bars about her delicate position in the world, especially as a national newspaper journalist.

Carol admitted there were downsides to being the daughter of the first female prime minister in the Western world, but agreed that in the main, she was hugely privileged and very lucky. As she relaxed, she began to join in the fun of the trip. A bit too enthusiastically, as it turned out.

One night, our organisers suggested that we should all go to a live sex show at a night club in Bangkok. Well, it made a change from listening to powerpoint presentations and being shown round hotels, so we readily agreed. We were on our honour not to write about it, as it was secret, a special concession, and most emphatically not part of the advertised itinerary.  Kuoni had their good name to preserve.

There was a small stage in the middle of the floor on which a group of young and completely naked men and women were having full sex with each other, pounding away in time to pounding beat music.

None of us had seen anything like it before and we were mesmerised. Then, suddenly, Carol got up on the stage and began dancing around the naked couples, gyrating to the music although she did keep most of her clothes on.  “Come off the stage, Carol,” we implored. “You’re not supposed to be part of the act.”

But Carol was enjoying herself too much and carried on dancing among the writhing couples.  Eventually, we managed to pull her off the stage and got into our taxis back to the hotel.

By the time we returned, all hell had let loose. The Sun, Daily Mirror and all the other papers had somehow already heard that Carol Thatcher, the prime minister’s daughter, had taken part in a live sex show in Bangkok, and reporters were ringing each of us in turn, including Carol, for more juicy titbits to add to the story.

It didn’t help that this was the time of the Tory party’s Victorian values, and of course the story was too good to miss. None of said a single word to the papers, but even so, we were caught up in the unsettling phenomenon of the press hounding the press.

The upshot was that a version of the story was in every single newspaper the next day.

The organisers Kuoni were predictably furious. They threatened to cancel the rest of the trip and abandon us there and then. But then they realised, probably, this would make an even better story (‘Top journalists abandoned in Bangkok by leading travel company’) and they calmed down. But the trip never recovered from this betrayal and although Carol was desperately ashamed of the consequences of her exuberant prank, it was far worse knowing that one of our own party must have tipped off the newspapers.

There was sadly, on this occasion, no honour among thieves. We never discovered which of us was responsible, but Carol soon recovered her high spirits, put the incident behind her, and went on to become a celebrity in her own right.

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