The Feral Beast: Model of forgiveness

Playful, but with sharp claws

While we've all been fine-tuning our opinions of Rupert Murdoch in the light of his performances at the Leveson inquiry, many of his former compatriots retain a robust scepticism about the old boy. One such is artist Tony Sowersby, who entered the above offering, A Marriage of Convenience, for Australia's Bald Archy satire competition. It features James and Rupert Murdoch and model Elle McPherson, a victim of News International phone-hacking but who found it in her heart to forgive. Sowersby was quoted in Australia recently as saying: "Elle Macpherson was just one of the celebrities and others who had their phones hacked by the Murdochs' tabloid the News of the World. But she didn't grandstand, or complain, or play the blame game... well, except for sacking her business manager, who had nothing to do with it! True, Elle did accept an incredibly well-paid gig from a Murdoch station, but that wasn't to buy her silence. No way. She only took that money to help her favourite charity. She wanted to help tall, emaciated girls to become so famous that one day their phones would be hacked too."

Strange and even stranger

Readers of The Independent on Sunday have no need to be told what is fashionable, nor that David and Samantha Cameron have a new nanny, a potty-mouthed Australian former shoplifter called Sammi Strange. But I can reveal they came close to getting the ultimate in parental chic, a male nanny. The Feral Beast has learnt that the couple were smitten, as so many of Notting Hill's finest have been, by the need for the last word in domestic desirability, a "manny", and had their eyes on one who was working for some close friends. The friends decided to move out of the capital, which the manny, an arty Londoner, didn't fancy, and Sam and Dave thought they'd offer him a berth. They spoke to his agency, but he ultimately opted out of a stint in Downing Street. Shame.

A spoonful of Brown Sugar

Flamboyant writer Duncan Fallowell is up in arms at magazine claims that he was once into smack. It seems he was misquoted in Apartamento, the latest issue of which was launched last week at a design fair. "It is tantamount to saying I was a heroin addict," says Fallowell. So he'll be reaching for the lawyers? Seemingly not. In the course of his interview with Jonathan Openshaw, he had mentioned that he "smoked it a bit in Penang". "In those days, to have gone to Penang and not tried the heroin would be like going to Camembert and not trying the cheese," Duncan tells me. "The heroin of Penang was called Brown Sugar and highly rated by aficionados – the Stones named their hit song after it." So the dispute turns on the word "into".

"It has always been important to my personal and artistic nature that I never went the heroin route – and I've always been emphatic about this. It's a switch-off drug for idiots." He says he was keener on LSD, cannabis, various forms of speed... "I smoked opium in the Far East quite a lot. Between the ages of 18 and 30 I took a lot of drugs and tried almost everything but I was never 'into smack' and I was never addicted to anything."

Her Majesty's musical chairs

Will the monarch attend, in her Diamond Jubilee year, the Prom at which the Ninth Symphony by her Master of the Queen's Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, is premiered? "Her Majesty is always welcome," said Proms director Roger Wright inscrutably at the season's launch party. "She has a box." All eyes on the tiers at the Royal Albert Hall on 23 August, then. Perhaps she should bear in mind that for many composers their ninth symphony is their last. It could be a case of now or never.

Top of the form

Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood is extraordinarily admired by those who work with him, including grateful former PMs. For all his success, he remains modest and well liked. This is all the more remarkable given how far back his success goes. An IoS reader, formerly a young form teacher at the Quaker-oriented Bootham School in York, has let on to the Feral Beast that he was once upbraided by the headmaster for being too generous with his marking of the end-of-term exams.

The object of this alleged generosity was the young Heywood, recalls the master, Peter Braggins, who went on to become a grammar school head himself. "I discovered that he had 100 per cent for all assignments, and so this was his final percentage. The then head summoned me to protest that no boy (it was a boys' school only at the time) could have such a mark and I had lamely to say that I could discover nothing which he had done wrong." Whatever else goes on in Cabinet, it's nice to know that ministers are being advised by someone who is rock solid on past participles and the Battle of Culloden.

Eyeing up Clegg

Exciting news on the ophthalmological front. Nick Clegg has started wearing glasses, but only for reading, as seen in footage of a Cleggy day, shown during an interview with Nick Robinson on Friday night's BBC1 News. Hmmm... here's another big news story sneaked out late on Friday.

Fit as a Fiennes

Sir Ranulph Fiennes was invited as guest of honour to a dinner and dance last weekend at Ellesmere College, which one of his children attends. But when the intrepid 68-year-old arrived, he met with a set of closed, forbidding gates. Nick Pettingale, director of development at the school, reports: "Sir Ranulph had no mobile phone signal and turned up at the wrong entrance, only to find it locked. However, having climbed Everest three times and run seven marathons on seven continents in seven consecutive days, he simply climbed the main gates and found his way to the dinner, much to his and our amusement." Hats off!

Dinner gong

What was Rupert Murdoch doing quoting Leveson back to him during the Grand Inquisition last week? "I understand you're one of the few people that like Le Monde," the old boy told the judge: "You also paid a very nice compliment about The Times. I'm repeating a private conversation, I'm sorry." So who was he quoting? His son-in-law Matthew Freud, one of whose parties Leveson famously attended, maybe? From anyone with a less sympathetic demeanour, this might have sounded like the equivalent of "We know where you live."

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Assistant / Human Resources Assistant

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: An HR Assistant / Human Resources Ass...

Talent Community Coordinator

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Talent Community Coordinator is nee...

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game