Wednesday 24 March 1999
THE AGEING British Fascist John Tyndall is promoting media friendliness among Britain's lunatic fringe. A four-person team filming The Lost Race, a documentary about the far right to be screened on BBC2 tonight at 9.40pm, was finally granted access to Tyndall's lovely terraced home somewhere on the Sussex coast. But before giving admittance, the 65-year-old physical fitness nut insisted that the producer, Ben Lewis, who is Jewish, sign an agreement to prohibit filming inside, or indeed the crew entering, the property's lavatories - something nasty in the bathroom cabinet? When quizzed about this by Lewis, Tyndall advised the crew to empty both bowels and bladder in advance. How prudent.
POPES HAVE been chosen and baby whales gestated with less fuss than that surrounding the selection of our next Poet Laureate. The front-runner Andrew Motion has been looking good for landing the literary double of both winning the laureateship and writing the biography of the former incumbent Ted Hughes. But while he's still short-priced for the Butt of Sack, the Hughes's biography may be slipping from Motion's grasp. Last November the literary renaissance man published a valedictory poem "In memory of Ted Hughes". It described the final meeting between Hughes, Motion and their wives in a pub garden, and was widely viewed as Motion's master-move to seal both deals. But it seems that the Hughes estate is now seeking alternative arrangements; the word is that the poet's widow, Carol, didn't like Motion's verse one bit. Or perhaps she was offended that she was omitted from the watercolour that accompanied it?
NORTH LONDON Conservatives have combined a moral message with a dash of tangy Euroscepticism in a flyer circulating in Hampstead. Councillors Andrew Mennear and Martin Davies vow to keep a vigilant watch on an application for table-dancing at Secrets, a local night-club. "There must be no street- visible advertising of semi-naked girls. This is Hampstead, not Hamburg."
POOR LORD Hollick. After curtly knocking back a cash offer for The Star from an Anglo-Irish syndicate last year, he ordered minions to expedite a share swap with Chris Evans's Ginger Group to unload the underclass tabloid. But the deal fell out of bed, leaving Hollick in the embarrassing position of having his red-top stepchild (The Star) financially supporting his ailing Express titles. Prisoners of the Grey Lubianka, less than thrilled by The Express's disaster-prone advertising campaigns, have taken to pre- emptive strikes on the latest, which features the absurdly optimistic tag line "Full Speed Ahead". "Yeah," one hack said. "On the road to nowhere."
THE SUCCESS of Shakespeare in Funds is forcing some out-of-the-box questions among West Coast types. Heard poolside in Palm Springs this week: "But how do we make iambic pentameters appeal to the hip-hop demographic?"
THE FRIENDSHIP between Blur's Damon Albarn (pictured) and the Kinks' Ray Davies has fuelled hype that the duo are to collaborate on a musical. No so, says a mouthpiece. Sure, they're buddies, and yes, they have discussed doing a musical together. But for now, Davies's dance-card is full with his storytelling act and work on his own show, provisionally entitled Come Dancing. But when that's done, and All-Bran has finished promotional chores on Blur's new album, yes, the pair may well be singing off the same songsheet.
THE UNEXPURGATED version of Alan Clark's diaries are to published later this year. What could he have left out last time?
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