Diary: A job for Bay–watch
Friday 03 September 2010
Who knew Michael Bay was an animal-lover? The director of multiple Meat Loaf videos, lingerie ads and Pearl Harbor offered a hefty reward for the capture of the now-infamous YouTube puppy-drowner. "There is a disturbing video going around the news outlets," Bay's people blogged on
MichaelBay.com, "of a blonde young woman in a red sweatshirt casually tossing squealing puppies into the fast-moving river one by one. Michael Bay... is offering a $50,000 [£32,500] reward for information leading to [her] arrest and successful prosecution." Soon after it was posted, however, the blog vanished again. Maybe Bay was told the girl had already been identified by web users, and was being investigated by police in Bosnia, where she's thought to live. Maybe he realised he'd been a tad generous: the maximum punishment for such a crime in Bosnia is a €15,000 (£12,500) fine, so the girl could split his reward for a tidy profit. Or maybe he just decided she had the right stuff for Transformers 4 – a criminal record might damage her visa application.
* I wasn't the only diarist to wonder whether Boris Johnson had really got the hang of austerity when an invitation arrived to Wednesday's lavish Square Mile Masked Ball, at which the Mayor was guest of honour. I think it was the Mail that described the dinner, for which assorted super-rich City types forked out £5,000 per table, as "a display of Bacchanalian excess". But our concerns went unheeded, for in his speech Mr Johnson complained that he'd been accused by meddlesome journalists of "ignoring the recession" by attending. Upon reading this, he told his audience, he'd paused and "thought about it for a millisecond", before deciding to turn up and enjoy the high-class canapes and free-flowing Louis Roederer champagne anyway. Celebrating the event's success, Martin Deeson of Square Mile magazine declared defiantly, "Even when times are hard, bankers like to party hard". And he does indeed sound like a complete and utter banker.
* Culture minister Ed Vaizey demonstrates a disturbingly sure grasp of fashion-speak in his first column for GQ magazine, gushing that he's the UK fashion industry's "biggest fan" and that "British politicians should stop being embarrassed about fashion". No ghastly tucked-in tees or baseball caps in Vaizey's wardrobe, but rather, he claims, a 20-year-old Vivienne Westwood shirt and handmade Timothy Everest suit – both of which unexpectedly impressed the fashion department of this newspaper. In lamenting the fashion ignorance of his parliamentary colleagues, however, I fear Mr Vaizey has been remiss in one respect. "Caroline Flint, a Labour MP, did a fashion shoot... and had to spend weeks playing it down," he writes. "Ken Livingstone has been out and proud about owning an Ozwald Boateng suit. And that's about it." About it? Surely he hasn't forgotten that his own boss, David Cameron, was voted one of the 10 best-dressed men in the land for the past four years running – by GQ magazine?
* Might Sir Stuart Rose, due to step down as chairman of M&S next year, care to join the likes of Alan Sugar and Peter Jones on the small screen? Not in front of the camera, at least. "I would be hopeless," he told me at the launch of Daisy Goodwin's novel My Last Duchess. "I really don't think so." He does, however, seem to suggest that Sugar and the Dragons could learn a thing or two about business programming. "People are very interested in how business works, and there's a lack of understanding about how important it is," he says. "But there is also a danger that, in the last year or two, people have trivialised it." Some people will trivialise anything, Sir Stu.
* Still getting up everyone's noses three decades after their demise, the Sex Pistols have lent their name to a perfume by French perfumiers Etat Libre d'Orange. Sold for £32.50 (more than Britney's "Believe", or Jordan's "Stunning"), in a tartan-topped bottle, it purports to smell like "revolution in a bottle", though in fact it contains such conventional scents such as lemon and pepper. Sweat, spilt beer and urine might have been more appropriate.
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