Diary: Gordon Ramsay's box-office blues
Thursday 30 June 2011
Bulldog-browed superchef Gordon Ramsay's business-based woes continue, I can report. The kitchen supremo had what's commonly known as a "nightmare" at the box office this weekend, when the film Love's Kitchen – which features his debut acting performance – achieved UK ticket sales of just £121.
The film's bafflingly awful trailer proves that its cast also includes some genuine actors, such as Dougray Scott, Michelle Ryan and Simon Callow. (Perhaps they were promised a free dinner at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.) Ramsay, who plays himself, is said to be unconvincing in the role. He joins another sweary tabloid favourite, Danny Dyer, in the nether regions of cinematic history: Dyer's film Pimp attracted just 24 viewers, and £205, in its opening weekend in June last year.
* Shocking news from Wimbledon, where Pippa Middleton was yesterday spotted on the arm of her boyfriend, utter banker Alex Loudon, thus invalidating approximately a fortnight's worth of news coverage based on their alleged break-up. More troubling still, however, was Ms Middleton's choice of attire: the same NW3 Wyldes Dress in Admiral Red – £89 in the John Lewis sale – that she had been spotted wearing, while shopping for shoes, the previous day! Thrifty princess-in-law, or dirty stop-out?
* Congratulations to the Liberal Democrat leadership, which has successfully persuaded Brian Paddick to compete against his fellow former I'm A Celebrity... contestant Lembit Opik for the party's London mayoral candidacy. "For those critics amongst you," Paddick wrote in a statement launching his campaign, "my news and current affairs appearances outweigh my light entertainment appearances by at least 100:1." Given his participation in All Star Mr and Mrs, Celebrity Come Dine With Me, Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and Bargain Hunt Famous Finds (as well as his stated interest in my notional sitcom Anyone But Lembit), Opik may not be able to make quite the same boast. However, the pair's sleeper opponent, ex-accountant Mike Tuffrey, has (by my count) precisely zero light entertainment appearances to his name, and at least two current affairs appearances: a 100 per cent record. Beat that, Paddick!
* This column has often carried news of the 1988 model "Margrave" Mini (complete with fully reclining leather Recaro seats) that hosted a late-night tryst between Lord Archer and his mistress in a Mayfair car park. But what of the mistress, aka Mrs Sally Farmiloe-Neville? Farmiloe – who was also squired, in her time, by Eric Clapton, Andrew Neil and Sir Clive Sinclair – is in the pre-production phase for her documentary series, More Than A Mistress. Each episode will feature a sympathetic portrait of a different scarlet woman, and Farmiloe has already lined up some interviewees. "I've got Lady Buck," she told me at a party for Cetuem skincare (I like to maintain a healthy glow, okay?). "And Sarah Symonds, who had [allegedly] an affair with Gordon Ramsay [and, er, Lord Archer]. Funnily enough, Antonia de Sancha [David Mellor] isn't too keen; I think she's worried about how she might come across... I've approached Monica Lewinsky, but I haven't heard back yet." The series is, Farmiloe admits, unlikely to be broadcast on BBC4. But I expect Channel Five will snap it up.
* According to the Evening Standard (or so says the Daily Mail), Boris Becker recently allowed Dave Cameron to beat him when they played a spot of tennis at Chequers. "I was being a good guest," said Becker. Sources suggest, however, that he is not the first opponent to let the PM best him on court. When he knocked some balls about with his Coalition partner Nick Clegg, claims Dave, he won despite Clegg being the better player: "I was more wily," said the PM in a subsequent interview. Of course, he does have a few defeats to his name. Perhaps, as he glared at the Cuban-heeled Commons Speaker during PMQs yesterday, Dave was recalling how Señor Bercow (a one-time youth tennis champ) used to crush him regularly on the court when they were mere backbenchers.
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