Diary: River of woe for The Boss
Wednesday 22 June 2011
It's been a bad week for The Boss. The great E Street saxophonist Clarence Clemons passed away on Saturday, just days after Richard Littlejohn had revealed himself as a lifelong Springsteen fan in his Daily Mail column. Sadly, it gets even worse. Yesterday, this tweet emerged from the clammy smartphone of BNP leader Nick Griffin: "In car for airport. Driver jolly. Springsteen on radio. The River. Great track. Great album. Part of soundtrack of my youth!" What can I say? I agree with Nick.
* This column takes pride in having zero access to insider knowledge of Simon Cowell's empire. But sometimes such things land in one's lap, like last week, when the WTA's pre-Wimbledon party in association with Range Rover took place in the club opposite my office. In attendance? Not Simon, nor Cheryl, not even Louis, but Sinitta – Cowell protégé and ex-squeeze. "We're best friends but I don't get involved in his love life," she claimed, before casting aspersions on the poor fellow's engagement. "Simon is with Paula [Abdul, US X Factor judge] at the moment," she said, "which means no other woman in the world exists!" But what about Mezhgan [Hussainy, his fiancée]? "Well, exactly. What about Mezhgan? Simon makes his own rules as he goes along." What does that even mean? What is going on, Sinitta? "I don't know... But there's one woman in Simon's world at the moment and it's not his fiancée." Less on this story as it develops.
* Tumbleweed clogs the corner of Independent Towers known locally as "the armpit", where this column's staff of one resides. It being a slow news day, I'm forced to turn to the only man upon whom I can always rely for a story: Lembit Opik, star of my notional sitcom Anyone But Lembit, and putative Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London. Lembit's opponent is former accountant Mike Tuffrey, and my favourite Estonian (I only know the one) seems confident he'll win the nomination. Should he do so, he'll have to pull off a comeback even more spectacular than the roller-coaster trajectory that took him, last year, from the depths of electoral defeat to the pinnacle of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! According to a new YouGov poll, the as-yet-undecided Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor has the support of a mere 1 per cent of the electorate, with Boris and Ken both in the thirties. Lembit could claim, in his campaign literature, that he'll more than double Lib Dem support in the city. Tuffrey, as an accountant, will be more than equipped to point out the flaws in such a boast.
* Jeremy Paxman once voiced concerns about the nether regions of the British male, emailing Sir Stuart Rose to complain about the declining quality of M&S underpants. Yet few would expect the Newsnight patriarch to host the show on the same evening its editors chose to air a debate about female under-bits. Still, there he was on Monday, trying to marshal a trio of feminists as they argued the merits of "vajazzling" (if you don't know, Google it). "Do you think it's wrong that women choose to shave off their pubic hair?" asked Paxman, suppressing his signature smirk for all he was worth. "Do you find [vajazzling] impressive?" He ended the segment only after Caitlin Moran and Brooke Magnanti – AKA former call girl Belle de Jour – began discussing "clown porn". (If you don't know, don't Google it. You're better off.)
* After the New York Post's historically dubious Rory McIlroy coverage, my series on Euro sport reported by US media continues with a correction from Newsweek: "In our cover story," the magazine admits, "we incorrectly said Manchester United's best season was 1989-90. In fact, it was 1998-99, when the team won the triple... We also misspelled Dani Alves's name." Given my history of football-factual vagueness, I can only say: there but for the grace of God...
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