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The Feral Beast: Celebrity pots and pans, a Clacton B&B and a Black Eyed Pea


Nigella Lawson has maintained a dignified silence since Charles Saatchi used a Sunday newspaper to announce he wishes to get a divorce. But behind the scenes, she is wasting no time in sorting out her new life.

I can reveal that last Tuesday, Nigella consigned a load of personal effects to be sold at the twice-monthly Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park. Among the star lots was a saucepan rack and a collection of pots and pans. "There were a few good pieces," says my man with a van. "She's clearly having a clear-out, but it wasn't the whole lot. There wasn't any furniture, it was mainly kitchen equipment."

Nigella has moved out of the couple's £12m house off Chelsea's Kings Road, and rented a four-bedroom house in another part of London. I gather her saucepans were snapped up pretty sharpish.

Clacton Rock

Hip Californian duo Deap Vally have been ripping it up round Britain, playing at Glastonbury, Reading and Latitude. So why did they end up in the forgotten Essex resort of Clacton-on-Sea?

The band, likened to an all-female version of the White Stripes, went there straight from Glasto to film the video for a single. But according to Jess Holzworth, their LA-based director, the whole thing was a mistake. "We were told Clacton is just like Brighton, but cheaper," she tells the Beast. "The truth was slightly different."

It's certainly good value: they stayed in a £20-a-night B&B, and rented a house from a pensioner called Beryl, in which they shot the song "Bad for My Body". "They are totally hard core and super cool," says my source. "Whereas Clacton..."

Angry young things

On the subject of cool meets cringe, the new album from Drenge lands on my desk. Political nerds will know this is the "awesome band" Tom Watson recommended Ed Miliband listen to at the end of his resignation letter. Song titles include "People in Love Make Me Feel Yuck" and "Dogmeat". So, what's it like? Angry, noisy, and it doesn't half go on. I can't think why Watson likes them so much.

Gnat again, David?

Our dear Prime Minister once admitted he has a "problem" with women, in the sense that there aren't enough of them in his Cabinet. But he hasn't always been quite so endearing to the opposite sex.

As the sporting summer continues, a friend recalls a remark Dave once made about women preferring to watch tennis to cricket. The reason, said Dave, was that "most women have the attention span of a gnat". Apparently, tennis provides instant gratification, whereas cricket requires a greater investment of time.

He made the remark some time ago, in what friends refer to as his more "effusive, even bumptious days", and no doubt has changed his mind since. As Dave's late father once observed of his son, "he always has something to say for himself". It's why we love him.

Second time lucky

When Bill and Hillary Clinton threw a fundraiser in London last year, it went down as "the worst party ever". Guests, some paying £1,000 a ticket, complained of enormous queues and sweat dripping off the walls of the Old Vic Tunnels at Waterloo. Despite the high celeb count, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Lily Cole, guests were so angry they demanded refunds.

So how brave of the Clintons to do it again. This year, they're not taking any chances, and have hired a far less edgy venue, the Guildhall. Curiously, they have booked it for two nights, suggesting the first might be a dress rehearsal. Can't be too careful.

The cook's fed up

Twenty years ago, Clare Latimer was hounded out of her home after wrongly being accused of having an affair with John Major. Today, the former Downing Street cook is fleeing again, this time because of workmen.

When Latimer was wrongly named as Major's lover by the New Statesman and Scallywag magazines in 1993, the press pursued her so relentlessly that she sold her home and moved to Primrose Hill. Now, the excavation of a neighbour's basement has driven her to leave for Cornwall.

"I couldn't go on living there any more," she tells the Camden New Journal. "I could no longer sleep properly. I didn't want to move – but I knew it was time to go when the stress caused me to break out in eczema rashes." But will Cornwall in the school holidays be much quieter?

'Fusion can cause confusion'

Will.i.am flew into London last Friday to launch the new edition of Wired magazine, which he has guest edited.

Though best known for songs such as "Shut Up" and "Scream and Shout", the Black Eyed Pea is also a big tech geek. Speaking at a party held at CNBC's Fleet Street studios, he admitted he might not seem like a natural fit for the gadget mag. "It was brave," he said. "Fusion can cause confusion. When you fuse two worlds together that shouldn't go together."

But editor David Rowan seemed pleased. "I was editor until about a month ago," he intoned gravely. "And then I lost my job to somebody who's actually far better than me at editing a magazine."

He should be all right: the rapper isn't hanging around for long. I gather he wasn't able to check into his usual hotel, because the Rolling Stones had booked the whole thing. Who says rock'n'roll is dead?

Adaptation angst for Rupert

Rupert Everett has starred in plenty of film versions of great novels, including Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Parade's End. But he reserves a special hatred for the badly done adaptation. The recent remake of Brighton Rock starring Helen Mirren was, he says, "adapted supernaturally badly, which was a great shame".

Everett is spending more time reading and writing these days, after the success of his memoirs Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins and Vanished Years. He tells me he has no summer acting plans, but is heading to Naples. "I'm taking a book called Sleepwalkers, which is about the beginning of the First World War, and one called Play It As It Lays, by Joan Didion, about a Hollywood actress having a nervous breakdown. I'm also doing a lot of writing."