When I asked you if you wanted me to say anything here tonight, you said:
'Only three words, one of them testicular...'
So I'll pass that on".
So began the speech that Tilda Swinton gave on Wednesday at the VIP opening of 'David Bowie Is...',
the exhibition retracing David Bowie's decade-spanning career at the Victoria & Albert Museum, in London.
Despite record-breaking ticket sales for the exhibition and the crowd of glitterati who attended the gala, Bowie was a no-show. Making up for his absence, Swinton, who starred in the singer's latest video, took the stage and delivered a heart-felt speech in which she celebrated the 'freaks' and 'pretty things' whose lives, like hers, were shaped by Bowie.
Wearing wide herringbone trousers and bleached blond hair channelling Bowie's Thin White Duke stage persona, the actress confessed that she has been a fan of the singer since seeing his striking Aladdin Sane album cover when she was 12.
Read Tilda Swinton's full speech here.
'David Bowie Is...' at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK. Through August 11.
Photo: Courtesy of V&A ; AFP/Getty