As the protagonist of the very first celebrity porno, dashing West Wing star and celebrity memoirist Rob Lowe knows a thing or two about inappropriate sexual activity. But even he was shocked by the erotic hobbies of one British couple.
Lowe, who was at the Hay Festival this week to promote his autobiography Stories I Only Tell My Friends, recalled playing the lead role in the original London production of A Few Good Men at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. During one performance, his focus was somewhat disrupted when he looked up to see a couple rutting energetically in the Royal Box. "They were directly in my eyeline and at it in the middle of the show," said Lowe, 47. "I asked the other actors if they'd had this experience and [his co-star] Alex Kingston said the same thing had happened to her at another theatre. I gather this couple was trying for some sort of record by having sex in every West End theatre. I'd love to know how they're getting on."
As (it almost goes without saying) would I. Do report any further sightings to the above email address.
* And so celebrity hairdresser James Brown turns out to have even less in common with the Godfather of Soul than previously suspected. After outing himself as the deliverer of a racist tirade to a fellow guest at the Baftas, Brown blamed his repeated use of the "N-word" on his "out-of-control" drinking – and will doubtless submit to a penitential spell in rehab in due course. The episode naturally brings to mind the last time a racist tirade was attributed to "a leading figure from the fashion world" (as Brown's victim, Ben Douglas, generously described him). Soon after a sozzled John Galliano told Jewish visitors to his favourite Paris café that he loved Hitler, you'll recall Dior spokesperson Natalie Portman declared herself "shocked and disgusted". At the time, this column saw fit to consult a leading fashion figure on the controversy. "Natalie Portman is a fucking idiot," said the man, holding forth at a fashion party. "She should fuck off. I'm so fucking angry with her. You shouldn't condemn someone before you know all the facts." And who was this spittle-flecked Galliano fan? Why, none other than celebrity hairdresser, and fellow (alleged) racist, James Brown.
* Like Rob Lowe, Steve Coogan was once the subject of a sex-based tabloid exposé: he and his wife, Caroline Hickman, divorced in 2004, soon after the Sunday Mirror's report of his cocaine-fuelled, Alan Partridge-themed romp with a lapdancer. Yet it seems this incident, along with his other assorted (alleged) encounters with lapdancers over the years, may have been merely a form of long-term method acting. According to Paul Willett, biographer of Paul Raymond, Coogan is in talks to star in a biopic of the late porn baron, who founded Britain's first strip club, Raymond Revuebar. According to Chortle, Willett revealed Coogan's connection to the project during a public talk at Westminster Reference Library this weekend. The film, based on Willett's book Members Only, is to be directed by Michael Winterbottom, and currently boasts the working title Paul Raymond's Wonderful World of Erotica. Back of the net!
* Whether she's duffing up photographers or coaxing tears from reality television stars, hard-as-nails chick-lit author and Sky News anchor Kay Burley manages to maintain her youthful complexion. How? Ladies, take note: "I had the bags removed from under my eyes for my 40th birthday," the erstwhile ice dancer, now 50, admits. "If I'm going to a function, I have a spray tan. If I go away on a job, I'll try and fit in a massage... I run and go on fitness weeks with friends three or four times a year." I'm reminded of a moving extract from Burley's soft-porn debut novel, First Ladies: "Her 50th birthday was already so far over her shoulder she could no longer even see it in the rear view mirror. Surprisingly, Sally was still completely relaxed about Mother Nature, the old bird hadn't managed to mug her yet. She had, of course, made some concessions to her maturing years, including a silk anti-wrinkle pillow case just like the one Nigella said she had."
* Sexism is rife in public discourse, as I'm sure the fragrant Kay would agree, so it's heartening to learn of a significant victory for political women. I have been studying the rankings on sexymp.co.uk, a new website that lets users rate the relative sexual attractiveness of Members of Parliament, and I'm pleased to report that – Zac Goldsmith notwithstanding – as of 6pm yesterday, the top 24 entries are all female. Go sisters!