Diary: An unlikely proposal
With Pippa Middleton well and truly off the market, my Fleet Street colleagues are now working themselves into a lather about the possibility of Prince Harry dating a lingerie model: his not-unattractive eighth cousin Florence "Flee" Brudenell-Bruce, 25.
While this may be considered scandalous in certain circles, it certainly solves my picture-sourcing problems. However, the most significant obstacle to Flee and Harry's future happiness has thus far gone unreported. A well-placed source reminds me that Miss Brudenell-Bruce's aristocratic family are observant Catholics – making her ineligible as a royal bride. The couple's options: either Flee must convert to Anglicanism; Harry must remove himself from the line of succession; or (my advice) take it slow, kids.
* Boris Johnson's 2012 mayoral re-election campaign is already gathering pace, with Club 305, his "private members club" of 305 elite wealthy donors, due to meet this month. However, the Mayor is demonstrably keen to involve the little people in his campaign, too. Hence his team's latest ruse: inviting fans to design a Boris-themed T-shirt. "The winning designer will have their creation featured on an official BackBoris2012 T-shirt," the blurb announces, "and have their photo taken with the Mayor, while he is wearing their shirt." Naturally, this competition caused much excitement in the sporadically air-conditioned corner of Independent Towers known as "The Armpit", where this column's staff of one resides. My crowd-sourced suggestions for T-shirt slogans worthy of the Mayor already include: "Four More Yahs", "I 'Heart' BJ", "I Went to Liverpool and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt" – as well as my personal favourite, "Who's the Daddy?" Readers are invited to submit further suggestions to the above email address; I can't promise a photo, but the best will be rewarded with a bottle of champagne.
* The recent appointment of former Manchester United captain Gary Neville to a Sky Sports pundit's chair caused an uproar on Merseyside to match the Johnson furore of 2004. Neville, 36, was known as one of English football's most passionately partisan players, once telling a United fanzine: "I can't stand Liverpool, I can't stand Liverpool people." The good folk of Malta, however, appear to be poorly versed in Premier League politics. When Neville and more than 1,200 fans sat down to dinner on the Mediterranean island this week, at an event organised by the island's Manchester United supporters club to mark Neville's testimonial year, they were serenaded by an ex-Eurovision entrant. The final number in her set was "Blue Moon" – which is, to her credit, a much-loved football anthem. Much loved, that is, by Manchester City fans.
* Yesterday, this column contained news of the Prime Minister's new-found tennis prowess. As a backbencher, Dave was always soundly beaten by former youth champ John Bercow, now the Cuban-heeled Commons Speaker. Yet since moving into Downing Street, his game seems to have miraculously improved. First he outplayed his coalition partner Nick Clegg, then (almost unbelievably) gave three-time Wimbledon singles champion Boris Becker the runaround at Chequers. All this put one reader, Roger Morgan of Surrey, in mind of another sporting leader. "On stepping down from the US presidency," Roger emails, Dwight D Eisenhower "rejoiced in being able to play yet more golf – but found that he did not win as often".
* This week sees the release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the third in Michael Bay's series of big-budget films about space robots cunningly disguised as cars and/or household appliances. The film producer Steven Spielberg says of Bay: "I couldn't think of a better director to turn a truck into a robot." And the director takes his creations very seriously, it seems. Scarlett Johansson tells GQ: "I ran into [Bay] leaving a party once and asked him if I could be the Easy-Bake Oven Transformer. He looked at me in all seriousness and said, 'There isn't one.'"
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