Diary: At least Sally mixes well
Thursday 10 February 2011
Sally Bercow is, of course, the wife of Cuban-heeled Speaker of the House, Señor John Bercow. But she is also, these days, a star. So in demand are her talents, in fact, that I'm sadly unable to stump up the necessary funds to republish that saucy shot of her in a bedsheet from last week. (You'll have to make do with the fully clothed version, gents). To deal with her hard-earned celebrity, Mrs Bercow recently engaged the services of a showbiz agency to negotiate on her behalf. The arrestingly named firm, ASM Damage, may have failed to mitigate the fallout from her recent photoshoot, but its website reveals that: "Within the last 10 years ASM Damage has been responsible for breaking... successful urban acts such as So Solid Crew & Oxide & Neutrino, as well as pop acts such as Friday Hill & Blazin' Squad." Thus Mrs Bercow joins the same roster as Dane Bowers, Aggro Santos and Lisa Maffia. An odd fit, certainly, but as her online CV insists, she's "experienced and adept at mixing with people from all walks of life, and types of background".
* Sexism is everywhere, readers – even, it would appear, in the ranks of the Conservative Party. A right pair of Tory candidates for the Welsh National Assembly are facing an internal party inquiry into laddish jokes they made on Facebook. And the rot goes right to the top: one of the two misogyny-ridden unfortunates, it turns out, was named as a rising star by the Prime Minister in his speech to the Welsh Conservative conference last year, reports Wales Online. Cllr Joel James, said Mr Cameron, "may be the only Conservative in the village [a reference to the thoroughly offensive Little Britain] but we're proud of the progress we've made". Not so proud any longer: James supposedly scrawled sexist comments on his Facebook page, including "a reference to French pornography". (Would a reference to British pornography have been more or less offensive, I wonder?)
Meanwhile, his friend and fellow candidate Dan Saxton posted a sexist joke explaining how to coax a "bird into bed". A rival Labour candidate described James and Saxton's remarks as "frankly depraved", naturally.
On the subject of sexism, Richard Keys and Andy Gray's move to TalkSport should come as no surprise to anyone who heard Keys' interview with his now colleagues, "Hawksbee & Jacobs", on the day he resigned from Sky. "I listen to you guys all the time," Keys simpered. "This was the best place, I felt, to come and be allowed the time to say what I think... It was my idea to come," he said, insisting he didn't "have an agent or spin doctor". Keys and Gray will slot into the schedule alongside Hawksbee & Jacobs, replacing poor "Saggers & Graham" (Graham's previous partner, "Parry", having quit last week). All these male double acts (and Stan Collymore): it's just a recipe for more shocking sexism, surely?
* On the subject of offence-generating TV hosts, I accosted the middle-aged motor lover James May at the Chortle Comedy Awards, where, I'm afraid, he was unable to name a date for the demise of Top Gear. ("I don't know how long it will go on for," he confessed. "I signed the contract, but I didn't read it.") He did, though, tell me he's making a new series of his BBC2 side-project, Man Lab, which he claims is less gender specific than its name suggests. "It's a bisexual show," he said, brushing a grey lock from his cheek. "No, I mean 'unisex'. I always get that wrong. Men and women can both watch it."
* While the memory of Mrs Bercow's semi-nude portrait still hangs in the air like perfume, another political wife has flaunted her smalls in the pages of a newspaper: Michael Gove's other half, The Times' Sarah Vine, who yesterday graced that paper's pages with a report on her shopping trip with a "bra expert". The "sexy" number she settled on, "felt heavenly, being made from 100 per cent silk chiffon, with a sweet little frill over the top of the cup... at £42, excellent value for money." Something for Mr Gove to look forward to on Valentine's Day – and austerity-friendly, to boot.
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