As he powers into his 80s, the photographer recalls shooting everyone from Kate Moss to Andy Warhol, shares his regrets over voting leave – and reveals how Gordon Brown pulled a fast one on him

‘You look knackered,” says David Bailey, greeting me at his studio. It’s up a small mews and sprawls so casually across two floors that it still feels like the 60s inside. “Look at you,” he says. “Your buttons aren’t even done up right.” I look down at my jacket: that bit is true. But I tell him: “I’m not tired!”

“I was watching you walking along the street,” he says. “I thought, ‘That must be the journalist, she looks knackered.’” The combination of acuity (he must be right: he is, after all, the one who makes a living with his eyes) and demonic overfamiliarity (by this point, we are holding hands; I have no idea who started it) is disarming. If this is his shtick, it’s working on me, totally and overwhelmingly. Or maybe he has a tailored shtick for everyone he meets.

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