Diary: Crafty George calls the shots
High Street Ken
Wednesday 29 June 2011
George Clooney's split from Elisabetta Canalis, his long-term lady friend, came as only a mild surprise to those acquainted with his "guy's guy" reputation. Clooney would much rather hang out with the lads, it's said, than stay in with the missus. Yet, according to William H Macy, who appeared with him in 2002's Welcome to Collinwood, the Cloonster is dangerous company – with a clever trick to deceive his drinking buddies.
"He destroyed the crew two nights in a row," Macy tells ShortList. "They all went out with George, came in the next day and they were useless. But he was great. So I went out with him, and do you know what he did? Everyone would go: 'George, I want to buy you a drink,' and they'd do shots of tequila. I thought: 'That guy's done, like, 30 shots.' You want to know the truth? He hadn't had any. He'd go: 'Here's to you.' Then he'd pour the shot on the ground and pretend to down it by throwing his head back. Every drop was on the floor."
* Troubling news for fans of E4's tragicomic "reality" programme Made In Chelsea: Caggie Dunlop may not return for the newly commissioned second series. "I need to make a decision soon," she whispered as we foxtrotted across the dancefloor of my dreams, "because filming begins in a week". The disarming Ms Dunlop, you see, is planning an acting career. "I love doing the show," she assured me, perhaps resting a hand on my thigh for the briefest of moments. "But I trained as an actress and I have a great agent, so I have to decide if I want to continue with Made In Chelsea or focus on auditioning." Caggie (may I call you Caggie?) studied at New York's Lee Strasberg school, and has been snapped up by ARG – a world-renowned agency that also represents Lynda Bellingham and Anton Du Beke. Made In Chelsea may have to stagger on without her. "I'm very replaceable," she insisted, modestly, as we parted (such sweet sorrow!). "If I don't do it, they'll just get somebody else."
* Still, if you can't face the thought of Made In Chelsea minus Ms Dunlop, fear not: its creators are preparing the ground for a new series, about (naturally) farmers. Monkey Kingdom, the production company behind Caggie and co's show, is planning to don wellies and head south-west in search of "born and bred country folk who live and work in the farming community". Preferably, said folk would be aged 20 to 30 and (reports The Cornishman) have "genuine West Country accents". The buxom milkmaids and shirtless farmhands of the Devon Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs are said to be "wary" of the so-called "constructed reality" format. "It concerns me if they are looking for a stereotype of the farmer," said one local, as he (I imagine) chewed on a stem of wheat.
* Epic poems will one day be written about the contest to decide the 2012 Lib Dem London mayoral candidate. The lucky loser was to be unveiled last year, but the process was delayed when only one eligible contender put himself forward: Lembit Opik, star of my still-uncommissioned sitcom Anyone But Lembit. The party recently announced that it would name a candidate in August, and convinced ex-accountant Mike Tuffrey to stand against Citizen Lem. Perhaps concerned that Tuffrey's name recognition was insufficient to prevent the dreaded outcome, however, Lib Dem HQ also hopes 2008 candidate Brian Paddick will toss his hat into the ring again. And I'm now told that there's been a rethink behind closed doors, meaning the winner will finally be revealed at the party conference in September. "This way the winner gets more publicity," my source suggests. My advice: stick to August.
* When I last mentioned the minimalism aficionado and accomplished leftish comedian Stewart Lee, he sent me an angry email in the middle of the night. Such are the risks of telling clever jokes that nobody gets (as he well knows). I'm happy to no longer be the focus of his ire, however – that honour goes to whomsoever established a fake Twitter account in his name. "A [C-word] is pretending to be me on Twitter," Lee tells fans in his monthly newsletter, "It is not possible for me to stop this [C-word] without joining Twitter, which I will not do ... It would be good if this [C-word] would stop pretending to be me before he creates problems." That ought to do the trick.
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