It was almost a disaster: my Vespa-forum friend Kate and I arrived at our seats to find them already occupied, by legitimate incumbents whose tickets had the same numbers on as ours. Closer inspection of our tickets revealed that I had idiotically booked for Brian Clemens's other talk a week later.
We explained our plight at the box office, where a very nice man swapped my dud tickets for a couple of returns, and assumed our new seats having missed a couple of minutes of the pre-title sequence and annoyed everyone in our row.
It was a cracking episode and one I hadn't seen before: A Touch of Brimstone. Steed and Peel go after John Cartney, a sinister and sexy figure played creepily by Peter Wyngarde who is recreating the Hellfire Club with the ultimate aim of toppling Parliament.
At the climax of the episode, Emma Peel is forced to dress as the 'Queen of Sin' in an outrageously erotic outfit and chased around a cellar by Peter Wyngarde waving a whip.
It was banned in the USA for years.
As for Brian Clemens, one gets the impression he was a terrible randy sod back in the day but age has softened him to a naughty old uncle. He talked about how the series came to be (brilliant title in search of a story, which ultimately has nothing at all to do with avenging) and dropped some lovely nuggets like Terry Nation being a 'right lazy bugger' and Patrick Macnee requesting that his costar wear leather because he was 'kinky for it'.
We watched a few clips, including one from the French dub (it's known over there as Chapeau Melon et Bottes de Cuir, or 'Bowler Hat And Leather Boots' - good old French) in which the voice actors talked hilariously fast and totally out of sync with Macnee's and Rigg's mouths.
Then came the usual rambling questions from geeky young men who took about two minutes to ask 'if you were remaking The Avengers today who would you cast?' in order to sound learned.
Afterwards Kate and I dined on pizza then scooted together as far as Elephant & Castle, where we went our separate ways.