That should be enough to put people off.” I suggested we get Brendan Gleeson or Colm Meaney to play Bono, a good Irish character actor, preferably old, overweight and balding – the ultimate revenge.

In the event, they cast young Irish actor Marty Mc Cann.

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The title was inspired by Bono’s joking suggestion that we were cosmic opposites and I had soaked up his bad luck. And mine.” He was right, of course, it’s a better title, which was preferred by the US publishers.

“If you want your life back, you’ll have to kill me,” he laughed. “I know a lot of people who would wear that T-shirt.” He took to calling and leaving messages on my answer machine: “Neil, it’s Bono. Nick Hamm contacted me after my book came out in 2003 to say that he wanted to option the film rights.

In February last year, I found myself sitting in a ramshackle club outside Belfast, brooding over a Guinness while a band pranced about on a dingy stage beneath red and blue lights.

Smoke hung in the air, near-naked girls were shaking nipple tassels in my direction.

But I was distracted by the handsome singer on stage – posturing and hiccuping, reeking of youthful ego, ambition and pretension, while his deluded band murdered a half-decent song.

I sat there, grey-haired, stocky and wrinkled, caught in a vortex of conflicting emotions: nostalgia, shame, pity, empathy, pride, anger, embarrassment. ” What I had seen was an actor, Ben Barnes, playing me in Killing Bono, the film version of my rock-and-roll memoir.

Internal voices become dialogue, metaphor becomes action, and with each rewrite it became more detached from my life as I remembered it. Writing my story, I was able to acknowledge my worst characteristics with the ironic awareness of an older and wiser self.

Maybe I was the butt of the joke, but at least my narration allows me the grace of acknowledging that I am in on the joke.

“You have ruined my life, darling,” he told me during one call.