Today: a celebrity customer is unmasked

YESTERDAY I brought you part of a High Court case in which Mr Ernest Thesaurus is suing the famous chef, Oskar Louis Polo, for failing to provide satisfaction at his London restaurant, the Septentrion. Perhaps a further extract will give us insight into the murky world of London haute cuisine...

Counsel: So, Mr Thesaurus, you claim restaurants run by celebrity chefs provide better food when the chef is away?

Thesaurus: I certainly do.

Counsel: And on this day you rang up the Septentrion and booked a table for two under the name of Thesaurus...

Thesaurus: No.

Counsel: You didn't book a table?

Thesaurus: Yes, but not under the name of Thesaurus. Nobody can ever spell my name, very few people can pronounce it and not many can believe it.

Counsel: So what name did you use?

Thesaurus: My nom de restaurant, which is Lord Puttnam.

Counsel: May I ask why?

Thesaurus: Because it is easy to spell.

Counsel: But there is already someone called Lord Puttnam!

Thesaurus: There wasn't when I started using it. I am the first, original Lord Puttnam! This film fellow is an impostor.

Counsel: Nevertheless, it is an offence to make a booking under a false name.

Thesaurus: What is your name?

Counsel: I beg your pardon?

Thesaurus: You know my name. It is only fair that I should know your name.

Counsel: (to the Judge) My Lord, do I have to...?

Judge: Yes, I think so. He's got a point.

Counsel: My name is Thomas Crowther.

Thesaurus: And do you book restaurant tables under that name?

Counsel: Of course.

Thesaurus: Yet Thomas Crowther is not an unusual sort of name. How do you know that you will not be mistaken for other people called Thomas Crowther?

Counsel: It is so unlikely as to be beyond worrying about.

Thesaurus: Quite so. It is even more unlikely that I will be mistaken for other people called Lord Puttnam.

Judge: He's got you there, Crowther. I'd try another tack if I were you.

Counsel: Just a moment. I'd like to call a surprise witness at this point, if I may.

Judge: If it enlivens the proceedings, I'm all for it.

Counsel: Call Lord Puttnam! Lord Puttnam arrives and is sworn in. Now, Lord Puttnam, have you, when eating out in London, been distressed by being confused with other people using your name to book restaurant tables?

Puttnam: Never. May I take this opportunity to say something about the survival of footpaths in the British countryside?

Counsel: No, you may not.

Puttnam: Then may I say how much I admire Mr Thesaurus's stand against celebrity chefs, who should stick to cooking and not ponce around on TV?

Counsel: No, you may not. Dismiss the witness! Lord Puttnam is led away, shouting: "New film scripts for old! Get your old film scripts here!"

Judge: I may be getting a little obtuse in my old age, Mr Crowther, but can you tell me what the point of that last witness was?

Counsel: Yes, my Lord. The House of Lords is being reformed and many peers are undergoing retraining. I was asked to give Lord Puttnam some work experience as an expert witness.

Judge: He doesn't seem to have got the hang of it very well, does he?

Counsel: I think he will be better when he gets out of the habit of asking questions, and begins to answer them.

Judge: Good. Carry on.

Counsel: Now, Mr Thesaurus, tell us exactly why you dislike celebrity chefs.

Thesaurus: They lower the tone of their own restaurants. I wouldn't go to eat at Rick Stein's if Rick Stein were cooking!

Counsel: Why not?

Thesaurus: Well, mainly because Padstow is a hell of a long way to go for a plate of fish.

Counsel: Be that as it may, I wish to suggest to you that you are here under false pretences, Mr Thesaurus. You say you have brought this case against Mr Polo because you have a thing against celebrity chefs. I say you are a fraud! I say you have brought this case because you wish to become the first celebrity restaurant customer in your own right!

Tomorrow we bring you the amazing denouement of this trial

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

music
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform