The Miliband brothers maintain they were far too nerdy to be considered cool as children, which I can well believe. Yet it seems David, at least, had a way with the ladies. In her new memoir, Crazy Days, Sadie Frost reveals that during her early years at Primrose Hill Primary School, "we made the boys chase us around the playground. Two of the boys we played kiss-and-chase with were called Sam Mendes and David Miliband, and they wore smart clothes." This was, of course, the 1970s, though Frost and Miliband both still live in the fashionable north London district. Sadie found the school an unforgiving place: "Most of the other kids made fun of me because my clothes weren't smart like theirs. 'Your Mum and Dad are hippies and you don't have any money, nur-nur-na-nur-nur' they would sing..."
Just one year ahead of Frost, Mendes and Miliband was one Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, now Mayor of London. Sadly, Frost doesn't disclose whether Boris preferred to mock her shabby attire, or to pursue her for a kiss.
* Organisers of this year's Ryder Cup have been telling friends they're a tad concerned about the players' accommodation arrangements in Cardiff. The golf tournament takes place down the road at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport from 1 to 3 October, which coincides with the climax of Cardiff University's famously raucous "Freshers' Fortnight". With all those nubile students filling the streets, how can a tired golfer be expected to get a good night's sleep? One of the city's most popular watering holes, for example, is opposite the Park Plaza Hotel. Its name (almost a taunt, or perhaps a siren call) is Tiger Tiger.
* Amanda Platell launched a spirited defence of the Foreign Secretary in Saturday's Daily Mail. "It would be a tragedy for Britain if my friend William quit," she suggested, recalling her time as Hague's head of media when he was the Tory leader. Perhaps Platell still feels it necessary to prove her loyalty, which was called into question when it emerged she had been filming a video diary of the disastrous 2001 general election campaign for Channel 4, without informing her colleagues. With friends like these...
* The producers of Top Gear missed a trick when they hired the Formula 3 driver and Bond stuntman Ben Collins to be The Stig. None other than Sir Stirling Moss, 80, says he would have liked the gig. "I missed out," the motor racing legend told me forlornly. "I would very much like to have been the Stig." And he would have been the soul of discretion – unlike Collins, whose tell-all autobiography now looks set to be published despite the Beeb's protests. "I think it's a shame," said Moss at a party to launch this year's Goodwood Revival motor-racing meet, where he will be driving his beloved 1956 Osca Racer. "People like a little mystery."
* I hear the publicity department at Penguin Books is a little narked with the New Statesman, after the magazine mistakenly published as its cover story an embargoed extract from a new book by Geoffrey Robertson, QC. NS editors seemed to think they'd been given an original article by the top human rights lawyer about the unique legal status of the Catholic Church, only to learn – via a stern phone call from the man himself – that they had in fact published a portion of his latest book, The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse (Penguin, £6.99). If I were the editor, I'd be hoping this case didn't make it to court.
* On the subject of editorial gaffes, Martin Deeson, editor of Square Mile magazine, has been in touch to correct a factual inaccuracy in Friday's column, where I lazily ascribed another newspaper's description of "Bacchanalian excess" to last week's Square Mile Masked Ball. In fact, the said "Bacchanalian excess" occurred at the magazine's summer party in August (3,500 bankers, champagne, burlesque dancers), whereas the masked ball (500 bankers, champagne, Boris Johnson) was a fund-raising event and, Mr Deeson writes, an "example of the altruistic and charity-minded bent for which our readers, and the City of London in general, is rightly famous".Reuse content