One loathing the public celebrations of racing driver Stirling Moss's 65th birthday at the weekend was his namesake - a persecuted Pc at Pinner police station. Every time he gives his name in court he is subjected to howls of laughter from elderly magistrates. 'We need more 15- and 16-year-olds on the bench,' he moaned from hibernation on Sunday. 'You see, they're more likely to chuckle at Damon Hill.'
Woops] The magazine that, as we all know, never gets it wrong has slipped up in a more elementary fashion than usual. This week's Hello] magazine shows GMTV's fitness instructor, Mr Motivator, gathered in large towny house - which ought to look rather familiar to all those who bought Hello] magazine last week (I confess I am not one of their number). With a fresh eye, therefore, I compared the two - Ah yes . . . I see exactly the same mantlepiece, the same ornaments, the same decor in both; trouble is last week's text dexcribes the background as 'the Surrey home' of the picturesque Valerie Campbell (mother of Naomi). I rang the magazine. 'Did Ms Campbell generously loan her house to Mr Motivator?' I inquire. 'Of course not,' a woman snaps rudely. 'Well - they're photographed in the same setting - which you describe as her home,' I reply. 'And you want to write a story about that?' says the Hello] mouthpiece incredulously. I click: the term is unfamiliar. 'Yes that's right a . . . STORY.'
Evidence that Tony Blair's socialism is already proving acceptable to the establishment has come my way. On my desk is a copy of a letter from the traditionally conservative Institute of Directors asking the rather radical Tony Banks, Labour MP for Newham North West, to join its ranks. The letter offers Mr Banks, who lists trade union history as one of his interests, free use of meeting rooms at the Director's Club in Pall Mall, a Visa gold card and a half case of wine upon joining. Unsurprisingly, Mr Banks, often found chaining himself to railings in support of animal rights, ha s decided to decline. 'I don't care if their membership fee is tax-deductible,' he said bluntly. Pause. 'To be frank, their choice of wine is appalling.'
The transfer of Channel 4's headquarters to the new Richard Rogers building in Horseferry Road is not without alarming repercussions. News presenter Jon Snow (below), seldom encountered about town without his hard hat and bicycle, has discovered that there is no bike rack there. 'I have taken the matter to the very top,' he tells me grimly, but adds: 'Actually I think a rack might be a blemish on this building - oh well I can always chain my bike discreetly to the army barracks next door . . . '
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