Diary: Kasabian's loss, Oxfam's gain
Friday 29 October 2010
Elton John opened his own pop-up shop in Covent Garden to sell his old outfits. Kylie Minogue's costumes were the subject of an exhibition at the V&A. Yet despite being the frontman for the band named "Best Act in the World Today" at this week's Q Awards, Kasabian's Tom Meighan chose to dispose of the contents of his wardrobe at his local branch of Oxfam, in Leicester. The singer recently made two trips to deposit more than 100 items at the charity shop, including an £800 Vivienne Westwood jacket, signed T-shirts and Leicester City football strips. Meighan wore many of the garments at gigs and festivals; they have, allegedly, been washed since. "He was quite interested in how much money we made," store manager Ahsan Sheikh told the Leicester Mercury. "I said I'd let him know." (Let us know, too!) Among the apparel from Meighan's collection available to buy online is a pair of black jeans, which staff have helpfully placed in the "Women's Clothing" section of the store's website. Hmm. I always thought they looked a bit tight.
* He may not be sacrificing the weekly Ocado shop, but buried deep in the Comprehensive Spending Review are vague details of the Prime Minister's personal contribution to Coalition cuts: "There will be a reduction of 25 per cent," it says, "in the costs of providing support to the Prime Minister, including reducing travel costs... energy efficiency and wider efficiencies." Staff at the No 10 press office, who have, presumably, been told to turn off the lights whenever they leave a room, assure me Dave's recent trip to the US on a scheduled flight rather than a charter is a practice likely to be repeated. "The Prime Minister is acutely aware of the cost of travel, be it by air, train or car," I'm told. Didn't stop him hiking up the train fares, did it?
* As well as their forthcoming tour, man-boy band Take That have announced the release of a fly-on-the-wall documentary called Look Back, Don't Stare, following them in and out of the studio over the past year. So far, so familiar. But this "raw, intimate meditation on the process of friendship and forgiveness" (to be shown on ITV next month) was produced by Pulse films, whose last documentary, No Distance Left to Run, could be described in similar terms. That film, about Blur's reformation, made grown men (this one included) weep. Look Back, Don't Stare is likely to have the same effect on grown women.
* A new detail from the melancholy post-political life of former future Labour leader, Miliband (D), still yet to attend one of his brother's stirring duels with Dave, PM, at the dispatch box. Courtesy of the winning image in the Times/ Canon Young Photographer of the Year competition – a portrait of Miliband (D) and his wife, Louise, in their front room on the day he left the front bench – we now know that Miliband (L)'s gift to her husband for his 40th birthday was a large painting of 13 women happily prancing across an ill-defined landscape in the altogether, jiggling bits aplenty, which now hangs unframed above the sofa. Echoes of Matisse, Jenny Saville and, er, Spencer Tunick. What do their young sons make of it, I wonder?
* Another missive from my erstwhile Cotswolds correspondent, recycling sceptic and amateur Tory-baiter, Crispin Mount. Local Conservative-Lib Dem relations are at an all-time low, Crispin writes, with fully five councillors storming out of last week's district council meeting. "However, there is a ray of hope in a brave member of the public, 17-year-old Joe Harris, who was mugged in Cirencester and turned up to ask a public question. He berated Cllr Barry Gibbs, Tory cabinet member for Safer Communities (who is old enough to be his grandad), for slashing the funding of CCTV by 50 per cent. When the minutes of the meeting were produced," good old Crispin claims, "sharp-eyed Joe was convinced that the formal record did not match the answer he had been supplied with... He was so aghast he has decided to stand for election in May 2011 as one of the youngest candidates in the country. I, for one, will be fully supporting his efforts!"
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