Diary: Eating her own words

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The Independent Online

"Oh, thank God," Gwyneth Paltrow exclaimed, reaching for a passing tray of canapes. "I haven't eaten in days!" Not exactly on-message, given that she's due to publish her first cookbook in April. Ms Paltrow's punishing schedule, she told me, keeps her sooo busy that she's hard-pressed to find time for meals. "And I'm about to start filming a Steven Soderbergh movie [the star-studded epidemic thriller, Contagion]." The Oscar-winning actress, attending a party at her pal Stella McCartney's London store in aid of Kids Company, divulged a couple of her culinary influences: "I just love Jamie Oliver, and the River Café guys." As her website, Goop.com reveals, Ms Paltrow recently spent a day in the kitchen at the River Café, "stationed at the deep fat fryer (Delight! Fried zucchini!)" We call them courgettes, Gwyn, but anyway. Her decidedly non-macrobiotic cookbook, My Father's Daughter, will be peppered with recipes already familiar to fans of Goop, such as her "Low-Maintenance Turkey" – a phrase unlikely to fit its sales performance.

* Since her first Tweet at the turn of the month, Victoria Beckham has already acquired about 130,000 followers. But even her fashion godfather Giorgio Armani admits she's not universally popular. "She is not loved by everyone," he shrugged, at the Vogue Fashion's Night Out event at his Bond Street store on Wednesday evening. "If you don't love her, you don't love her." Never a truer word spoken. Mrs Beckham, who abandoned a promising pop career to focus on fashion, will debut her new clothing range away from prying eyes this weekend, at a Manhattan townhouse as part of New York Fashion Week. Signor Armani suggests it could earn her yet more dedicated followers. "I haven't seen her collection, but Victoria dresses in a very intelligent manner," he says, "very appropriately for her persona." And what persona might that be, Giorgio? "The first time I saw her, at Tom Cruise's wedding, she had a huge hat on – very, very thin, with lots of flying discs on it." Sounds bonkers. The hat, I mean.

* David Gandy, the budgie-smuggling body of Dolce & Gabbana, is making the move into moving pictures, by starring in a film. "I haven't had a single acting class," the Essex-born model told me. Luckily, he's playing the role of a model, though his director has forbidden him from disclosing any further details about the project. "I was really bricking it before we started filming," he admitted. "But then everyone made me feel so relaxed on set that it all just started to flow." Oh David, it's not one of those films, is it?

* Donald Sturrock's new biography of Roald Dahl, which portrays the children's author as rather less friendly than the Big Friendly Giant, contains a tour of the hut at the bottom of Dahl's Buckinghamshire garden where he wrote, and where he kept his "cabinet of curiosities": "The head of one of his femurs (sawn off during a hip-replacement operation 20 years earlier); a glass vial filled with pink alcohol, in which some stringy glutinous bits of his spine were floating; a piece of rock that had been split in half to reveal a cluster of purple crystals nestling within; a tiny model aeroplane; some fragments of Babylonian pottery, and a metal ball made, so he assured me, from the wrappers of hundreds of chocolate bars. Finally he pointed out a gleaming steel prosthesis. It had been temporarily fitted into his pelvis during unsuccessful surgery to replace a hip. He was now using it as an improvised handle for a drawer on one of his dilapidated filing cabinets." Remarkable imagination, old Roald.

* Google's new search features might be getting plenty of press, but use it to find details of Jerry Hall's new tell-not-that-much-really memoirs, and you'd be forgiven for thinking she'd let slip rather more about ex-husband Mick Jagger than even a gossip-monger like me could hope for. The top result for "Jerry Hall" (until Mr Jagger's lawyers see it) is a story from poker website compatiblepoker.com, claiming the Rolling Stone had "an addiction for poker and women... Jagger reportedly gambled away the family home, as well as the farm in poker games. Hall reveals that he was so racked by guilt that he tried to commit suicide." The site quotes Ms Hall: "He succeeded only in breaking almost every bone in his body and losing a kidney, leaving Mama with five children to raise, no home and a husband destined to spend a long time in hospital." The clue is in the word "Mama": the poker addict was, in fact, Ms Hall's father. (The woman addict was Mick.)