“Four years ago, I worked for a TV news team in Niger, Africa. We were filming in a crowded market when I felt my leg being tugged. Turning round I was amazed to see a midget in a purple dress and dunce’s hat, bellowing through a megaphone. I tried to move away, but he pursued me, getting even louder. Worse, another midget then arrived, playing a huge drum. With quite a crowd building, I tried to wave the first midget away with my hand. But I swung my hand just as he surged forwards, and hit him in the mouth. The crowd fell silent. My translator intervened, explaining that the man I’d punched was not retarded, but a ‘griot’; a historical West African storyteller and revered local character. He’d been singing in my honour and hoped for a few pence in payment. So, once we’d staunched his bleeding nose, we gave him the equivalent of two weeks wages. Just to make sure we got out of there alive.”