Diary: A right royal misery
Thursday 28 April 2011
Well, there I was finally planning my long-awaited Royal Wedding Special, when old misery guts himself Mr Morrissey has to go and bloody well stamp all over it!
Ever since I innocently suggested many moons ago that we carried out our scheduled interview at my unofficial West End headquarters – namely Leicester Square's Angus Steakhouse – the man's frankly hostile attitude towards me has been disappointing to say the least.
This, even after I repeatedly emailed the silly old sausage, pointing out that two of my closest friends used to be vegetarians. Still, I should probably accept that this is one showbiz bridge well and truly burnt and move on.
While I'm still hoping my newly appointed royal correspondent Paul "The Rock" Burrell comes through with the "gems" he's confidently promised me come the end of the week – (nothing stolen, of course!) – Morrissey grandly announces he won't be watching the happy couple on Friday. "Why would I watch the wedding?" he huffs. "I do seriously believe they are benefit scroungers and nothing else. I don't believe they serve any purpose whatsoever."
In fairness, Princess Diana did always used to prefer Duran Duran.
* Not long after limping into London with my trusty knapsack all those years ago, this then wide-eyed cub reporter had the privilege of cutting his journalistic teeth interviewing national treasure Michael Winner. Having been warned that he "didn't suffer fools gladly", I'd spent the previous night watching a grainy recording of Death Wish 3 – arguably his best work – in the hope we'd strike up a rapport. When I telephoned Mr Winner, he couldn't have been more friendly, jovially announcing he was recording our conversation, before adding he would crush my lousy little career in one fell swoop should my suspect shorthand let me down.
Needless to say, it's thanks to people such as Michael that I've become the celebrated diarist I am today. So how I chuckled when I saw our very own Prime Minister sucking up to the great man yesterday by repeating his celebrated "Calm down, dear!" catchphrase. Dave will be disappointed to learn that Michael hasn't always been complimentary – referring to the PM's casual dress sense, Winner once noted that he looked "like a man who should be leader of the football hooligan brigade, not leader of the nation".
* While daft-as-a-brush Dave (PM) is busy making a clod of himself impersonating well-known television personalities in the House of Commons, friends of his trusty sidekick Gideon Osborne are already looking forward to the Chancellor's 40th birthday bash next month. Knowing all too well that he likes nothing more than to keep his old mates guessing, I called his office yesterday in a bid to clarify just where the action would be come 23 May. "He's getting on with the job," came the unnecessarily cold reply. Trust me, that's code for "Stringfellows".
* You can imagine how chuffed I was when Seventies Eurovision stars Brotherhood of Man got in touch following my report on their biggest Westminster fan, Yvette Cooper. News that signed – yes, signed – memorabilia is now making its way to the House of Commons as a result of my efforts met with a grateful response from the shadow Home Secretary's office this week. "Thanks for getting in touch, I'm sure Yvette will be delighted about this," a spokesman assured me. Ominously, I've since been unofficially warned that her husband, Ed Balls, "can be the jealous type".
* Personally, I was too busy listening intently to Ed Miliband to notice – but the admirable cleavage brazenly on show to his left in the Commons yesterday has been causing a right old furore. With the cameras having ensured the owner's head was not on show to viewers, The Daily Telegraph's Lucy Jones led the chase, announcing on her blog: "Whose boobs are these?" Regrettably, the intrepid Lucy then found herself the target of an angry online backlash. Meanwhile, following reluctant but persistent investigations this end, the answer is Lisa Nandy MP.
* Thanks for your messages regarding my application for the post of communications director at News International. While the word is I'm among the "early front-runners", it would be inappropriate to say any more at this stage, particularly as my current employers are going to great lengths to keep me.
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