Diary: Beatle's ex-PR at rock bottom
Wednesday 23 February 2011
It's said Sir Paul McCartney and his ex-publicist Geoff Baker fell out when Heather Mills decided that Baker was a bad influence on her then-husband. Baker claims he was offered £150,000 to write a book about his 14 years with the Beatle, but turned down the opportunity to tell all. Instead, he's penned a novel, Rock Bottom, about a world famous rock star, which took six years to get into print because mainstream publishers uniformly rejected it for fear of litigation. Eventually self-published, however, Baker's book has now earned itself a review in local newspaper View From Lyme Regis. Rock Bottom, writes reviewer Philip Evans, "romps and ruts through the conjoined stories of flagging rock star Ian Taylor, his demented PR Peter Forth and a blackmailing fanchild who threatens to ruin the pop idol's reputation by unmasking a long-hidden sexual secret." Much to the chagrin of muckraking journalists such as myself, Baker maintains that Ian Taylor is in no way based on his former boss.
* Trouble-prone footballer Andy Carroll's bail conditions remain in force, despite his having left Newcastle for Liverpool: the 22-year-old, charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend, isn't allowed out between 7pm and 9am without adult supervision. At his former club, this caused a nuisance for captain Kevin Nolan, who nobly invited his young team-mate to move in with his family. The Nolans' garage door was subsequently defaced by graffiti, Carroll's 4x4 was set ablaze in the driveway, and the News of the World accused him of hosting a "drug-fuelled orgy" – a claim he strenuously denied. All this, however, pales in comparison to the hardship endured by Carroll's current chaperone, the Liverpool manager, Kenny Dalglish, 59. On Monday evening, the unfortunate Dalglish was dragged by his eager £35m signing to the city's Echo Arena – to see a Boyzone concert. Photographic evidence fails to reveal whether they swayed in unison to "Father and Son". But I like to think so.
* Like some disgruntled Sunderland fan finding himself in Kevin Nolan's driveway with a dry rag and a lighter, ITV political editor Tom Bradby set the Twittersphere alight on Monday with his musings on Andrew Marr's £600k BBC salary. Yesterday, he warmed to another theme, devoting seven tweets in about as many minutes to the subject of Matt Damon's Iraq war movie Green Zone. "It's thoughtful, intelligent and exciting," wrote Bradby, abandoning any vestiges of impartiality. "I'd like to start a campaign to have it termed a mini classic. Otherwise, it is going to be years until Hollywood attempts to make another blockbuster with brains." ITV declined to comment.
* Events in the Middle East have undoubtedly put off many potential travellers to the region. But staunch thesp David Suchet tells me he won't be deterred. "I am off to Israel for two weeks with my wife," the actor revealed at the Olivier Awards nominees' lunch yesterday. Suchet has been shortlisted for best actor for his performance in Arthur Miller's All My Sons. "It was supposed to be a tour with lots of other people," he went on, "but 30 of them dropped out, so it is just me and my wife. I couldn't believe it. They have offered us a private tour of the Holy Land." Of course, one assumes Suchet's fellow travellers cancelled due to the local political unrest, but it may have been the prospect of a holiday with Poirot that put them off.
* One performer who won't be travelling abroad in the immediate future is Boy George, last seen at Liberty (though not quite at liberty), where he joined Fashion Week revellers to celebrate the "androgyny issue" of Love magazine. "I've a new album out in the US," George told me, "but promoting it is a bit hard because they still won't let me in. I've been doing lots of interviews by phone." Sadly, some countries tend to become a tad close-minded when they hear you've been convicted of falsely imprisoning a male escort, handcuffing him naked to your bed and beating him with a chain.
* So John Prescott is the "star in a reasonably priced car" on this Sunday's Top Gear. I'll be stunned if he laps in under two minutes. When did he last even drive his own Jag(s)?
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