August is the cruellest month, for gossip columnists at least. Little gets “launched”, “premieres”are postponed and story-barrels are well and truly scraped.
So rather than telling you which starlet was seen where this week, I’m taking the opportunity to answer the three questions I’m most often asked about my peculiar job.
What’s the gossip?
How to answer? Were I better at my job I might keep a couple of choice anecdotes to satiate the scandalseekers: what the actress really did say to the bishop at the royal wedding, or which TV star’s fetish is to snort miaow miaow off a Belgian transsexual’s backpack. Neither of the above are true, though (or are they?). And unfortunately any seasoned Twitter-user will already know the provenance of most of what I can offer. When a “leaked”list of superinjunctions went round the internet faster than that monkey who drinks his own urine, it was copied, amended and, in parts, turned into pure fiction. But tell them that the real “gossip”is now separating fact from fiction, and you’re just raining on their tittle-tattle parade.
Who is the most famous person you have met?
Another no-win question. Whoever is asking will always have a different view of who is more famous than you do. You might have met everyone from sporting superstars to Hollywood heartthrobs, major royals to world leaders, and members of the Beatles to X-Factor finalists, but say the wrong one to someone and they just look blank and disappointed. And as though you’re just making it all up.
Is X gay?
Male celebrities, from family men to swaggering swordsmen, will often find their sexuality the subject of speculation, making this a perennial piece of small-talk. The number of openly gay actors or sportsmen is, admittedly, statistically small. I am sure there are one or two burdened by religion or the fear of career sabotage, but Rupert Everett and Gareth Thomas continue to thrive in their fields. However, if the past few weeks have taught us anything, it is that if so many of them were gay, the terrible tabloid pack in its hacking heyday would have outed at least a couple of these Hollywood homosexuals. That argument rarely works, however, and whoever asks will usually go off thinking that they know better. Which they may well do