"They say I'm finished. I'm not finished," spat a defiant John Simpson from the underground fastness of his secret HQ today as the forces of the Young Correspondents Coalition inched ever closer through war-ravaged Tripoli.
"I saw off Khomeini, Mugabe and Saddam. Belgrade, Bucharest, Beijing....none of those hell holes could tame me. I marched on Kabul single-handed. I fathered a child at 61. I am strong, virile....a man....a lion...not like those pygmies who conspire to do me down."
He went on to list his enemies, stabbing his fingers in the air: "Matthew Price - a lily-livered public school boy, mewling at his mother's breast. So called Rupert Wingfield-Hayes with the bullet-proof vest. I needed no vest - only the hair on my massive chest to protect me. Orla Guerin - a woman - the final insult - strutting through the desert like a man. She will be making my supper when this war is over."