Diary: The comic cat who got the cream

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The Independent Online

Jerry Seinfeld has been coaxed from near-retirement to appear in Britain, for one night only, next Friday. Like his fellow stand-up superstar Chris Rock before him, he is playing the 23,000-capacity O2 arena in London. And like Rock, he remains baffled by his success this side of the Atlantic. His classic, self-titled sitcom is still a DVD bestseller in this country, but, Seinfeld tells the latest issue of GQ, "I never made a show for British audiences. It's like the cat watching the famous cook make a meal for a very elegant dinner party, and then waiting, just waiting for them to throw it all in the garbage, and then the cat gets to enjoy this fabulous gourmet meal. It wasn't made for the cat, but the cat is going to have this fantastic evening. But it's just so wrong! What I love about it, it's so wrong. I love wrong! So much more than right."

* While Dave Cameron did his bit for British meat farmers, serving Kentish lamb chops and sausages sans air miles at the Downing Street barbecue, his in-laws have been disrupting the smooth flow of meat production in North Yorkshire. Sir Reginald and Lady Sheffield, also known as Mrs Cameron's parents, have objected to the building of an abattoir within half a mile of the grounds of their stately home, Sutton Park. Though local farmers suggest the modest slaughterhouse would create a handful of jobs and "reduce distress" to the animals they plan to kill there (by reducing the distance they must travel prior to violent death), the Sheffields claimed in a letter to Hambleton District Council that the "noise and smell" would repel visitors: "All the work to make [Sutton Park] an important North Yorkshire tourist attraction will be undone if this development goes ahead." One imagines that, like any sensible meat-eaters, the Sheffields are broadly supportive of the murder of defenceless farm animals – just not in their backyard. (I should remind readers that Samantha's barbecue duties were restricted to salad.)

* Even that sorry wretch Nick Clegg was eventually granted an audience with the President, albeit with Dave hovering embarrassedly nearby. George (né Gideon) Osborne, however, failed to wangle such face-time with the leader of the free world. As the aforementioned barbecue took place in the so-called Rose Garden, Westminster watchers were amused to spot young Gideon tucking into a burger of his own – in the rather less idyllic surroundings of the Portcullis House cafeteria. Still, he was in fine company: who needs Barack Obama when you can enjoy lunch with John Redwood MP?

* Later, Mr Obama managed to carry off his speech at Westminster Hall without even the suspicion of a burger-flavoured belch, and found space to include a couple of quotes from another noted orator, former PM Winston Churchill. Among the many well-wishers eager to thrust their hands into Obama's after the speech was Nicholas Soames: conspicuous lover of lamb chops, MP for mid-Sussex, and grandchild of Sir Winston. "You quoted my grandfather," he proudly informed the President. "Hope you don't have copyright," the President quipped in reply. Which is, I suppose, nicer than saying: "Your grandfather ordered a crackdown on the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya; my grandfather was labelled a subversive and spent months being tortured in detention. Oh, and by the way, that bust of your grandfather that my predecessor had on display in the Oval Office? I sent it back. Didn't much care for it."

* James May, least famous but best liked member of the Top Gear trio, may give his colleagues a shock with his letter to this month's edition of Prospect. "Most drivers are not really interested in cars," he claims. "They see them as a convenient solution to a need." Do I hear the slap of Clarkson's toast hitting the floor?

* More inadvertent wisdom from the lips of Liam Gallagher: "I got asked to leave Soho House one night. This geezer come over and said, [whispers] 'Excuse me, I think you're going to have to leave.' I said, [whispers] 'All right'. So I left. Which was good. Because it was full of cunts."

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

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