The Door to a Better Life; Shereen Low Speaks to Nicholas Allan, Author of the Complete Guide to Gatecrashing, to Get Some Tips on How to Live Life Large

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Byline: Shereen Low

Sitting all alone at home with no parties to go to? Well, don't despair because now you can learn how to freeload your way to a more glamorous life.

Free food, quality bubbly or simply hob-nobbing with the stars is a surefire way to give your social life the kick it needs this Christmas - and it's an art that can be taught.

According to Nicholas Allan, gatecrasher extraordinaire and author of The Complete Guide To Gatecrashing, the freeloader is a figure of wonder. The gatecrasher looks enigmatic, seductive and charismatic.

'Gatecrashing is a skill which eventually becomes an art because you have to learn to rely on your intuition,' Allan explains.

'I've been gatecrashing for three years and in that time, you learn to become more adept at interpreting different situations.

'The best parties that I've gatecrashed have been the ones that I know nothing about - for example, where you're passing a party in a hotel. You then have to work quickly and think of a way to get in without being noticed.'

In fact, one of the parties that Allan gatecrashed was after a routine appointment at the hospital. Having noticed the champagne reception and buffet about to start, Allan immediately rushed straight there after his appointment.

Allan got his first taste of gatecrashing when he was attending a concert at London's Royal Festival Hall. While waiting for a friend, he was approached by a waiter who offered him a glass of bubbly. He soon found himself inside the party, with a glass of free champagne in his hand.

He says: 'This was an epiphany, the discovery of a case of buried banknotes. The world, I suddenly realised, was my party. If gatecrashing is an addiction, like smoking or shoplifting I was hooked.'

So how does a best-selling author turn into a gatecrashing junkie?

Allan pinpoints it to his lifestyle. 'I live alone in a flat in London. As a full-time writer, I can go for five days without talking to anyone.

'My problem is wondering what to do in the evening. I want to drink in the evenings but one of my rules is that I never drink alone.

'Therefore, I have to go out seeking nightly company so that I can have a drink. A writer wants company, but on their own terms,' he divulges.

'A party, especially a party of strangers, is the ideal milieu. I can drink and talk, and then walk away.

'In addition to that, there's the added thrill of the risk - it's always exciting to try to push yourself one step further and the fun lies in deceiving people. Not to forget the delicious free food and the alcohol.

'However, gatecrashing can be a very lonely pastime,' Allan adds. 'The constant deception of gatecrashing - the daily habit of lying - leads you into a private world, like that of a successful hitman.

'Gatecrashing can become an addiction - the need to gatecrash overrides any consideration for others. Deceit becomes, not only natural, but preferable. …