JIM BERRYMAN has known Sting since he was a rebellious schoolboy called Gordon Sumner.
Now the jester at the singer's court, Jim has written a revealing portrait of the star and his high-society friends.
They were two working-class schoolboys circling each other on their first day at St Cuthbert's Grammar School in Newcastleupon-Tyne. Their shared love of ribaldry and of baiting the masters, the other boys and, when all else failed, each other, was to be the foundation of a lasting friendship. For now, James Berryman, the son of a silkscreen printer, addressed the other boy, Gordon Sumner, whose father was a milkman, by his surname. 'I wasn't aware I was your butler,' said Gordon. 'Have you got servants at home in Longbenton? Well, you can call me Gordon and I'll call you Berryman.
Spiffing, Berryman. Go feed the hounds.' Jim, as James was always known, still doesn't run to a butler at his council flat. Gordon didn't become Sting (his nickname because of his habit of wearing a yellow and black striped sweater) until he was working as a teacher and doing gigs in the evenings.
Today, he has several butlers at his seven homes across the world and an estimated fortune of [pounds sterling]185 million, which continues to rise with royalties from his days with The Police and his solo career. His English base is Lake House in Wiltshire, a 17th-century manor with 800 acres.
'I first went there a few weeks after he bought it,' says Jim. 'If there was ever a sense that he'd truly made it, that was the defining moment. The grounds are fantastic and you get tired just walking around them. There's a staff of 80, who work there all the time, and 100 people worked on the renovations. A French guy was there for three weeks, just examining the curtains and …