Former US President Bill Clinton deviated from a keynote address at a London fundraising dinner last night (26SEP06) to pay homage to his acting pal Michael Douglas. Clinton embraced the star, who introduced him at The Fortune Forum Club gala event, before launching into a tribute and some anecdotes. He said, "Michael Douglas, thank you for being here. Most of you will have no way of knowing this but I admire Michael Douglas very, very much and I was delighted when I heard he was going to be here tonight. "I was delighted to see him earlier today and delighted that he and Catherine Zeta-Jones married and I realised he would be well cared for in our old age." He also related how, at a previous meeting during his term in office, he'd even begged The American President star to swap places with him: "I tried to persuade him to stay there for an hour so that I could have a break but he had no trouble saying no to the President." Other wealthy celebrities at the event to raise money for global poverty included SIR Richard Branson, supermodel LILY COLE and Yusuf Islam, formerly known as CAT STEVENS.