Artist Stella misses brush with her adoring public

The artist Stella Vine's current exhibition has been well received by the public and critics alike but it has not all been plain sailing for the organisers.

The Britart painter's work, which famously includes portraits of celebrity icons such as Kate Moss and Diana, Princess of Wales, is on display until Sunday at the Modern Art Oxford gallery.

The show got off to a shaky start back in July when Vine failed to show up at the press launch or any of the subsequent private viewings, despite the gallery organisers promising her appearance. Now she has decided to withdraw at the last minute from a talk with Germaine Greer, which was due to take place at the gallery tonight. Those who bought tickets for the sold-out event have been told they will have to make do with Greer conversing with the gallery's (decidedly less starry) director, Andrew Nairne.

"No, Stella won't be taking part in the talk on Tuesday evening. We think she may have pulled out for personal reasons," a spokesman for Modern Art Oxford said yesterday. "As for her coming into the gallery, she was in here all the time while we were getting things set up because she was overseeing the installation. But you are right, she didn't come to the opening party."

Unfortunately, Vine did not return my calls about tonight's no-show, but her apparent reticence to step into the spotlight does not appear to have hampered her career commercially in any way. I'm told that all of the works in the exhibition have already found buyers.

Peaches is happy to parade her pear shape

As someone who once waspishly compared the fashion commentator Trinny Woodall to "an anorexic drag queen", Peaches Geldof has always held strong views when it comes to fashion. So it should come as no surprise to hear her, at the launch of London Fashion Week, attacking the industry's supposed obsession with size-zero models.

"I'm really comfortable with the way I am," she told me at a party for the Moët Mirage art installation on Sunday. "I've never had any hassle from anyone but then I'm not really a model. I'm a size eight on the top and a 10 on the bottom. I'm happy to be representing the bigger lady."

It's an admirable sentiment from Geldof, who had spent the day making her catwalk debut for the label PPQ, though some might say you would be hard-pushed to describe her as the bigger lady.

"Well, the mildly bigger lady," added the 18-year-old.

Ifans is a strapping actor

The actor Rhys Ifans has reaffirmed his commitment to London's bustling party circuit. Last weekend, the Welsh scruffpot pitched up at Covent Garden's edgy new nightclub, Bungalow 8, on the arm of his glamorous chum Sienna Miller.

His appearance was not only a miracle of endurance (he was snapped out partying almost every night last week) but was all the more impressive because he was sporting what appeared to be a heavily strapped ankle.

"I've just finished speaking to him and he never mentioned it," says a spokesman. "So I can only assume it is nothing serious."

Ifans, 39, is said to be crashing on Miller's sofa at her home in Primrose Hill. Make of that what you will.

Top Twigg

The Twiggster returns! After an absence of more than two years, the former New Labour minister Stephen Twigg has reached the first rung on the greasy pole that he hopes will return him to the corridors of power in Westminster.

Twigg is probably best remembered as the MP who subjected a red-faced Michael Portillo to an embarrassing defeat in Enfield Southgate in the 1997 general election. He subsequently went on to surrender the seat back to the Tories in 2005.

On Sunday night, Twigg announced his comeback by being elected to fight the safe Labour seat of Liverpool West Derby, after its incumbent, the rebel Bob Wareing, was deselected.

The River Café, 20 years on

It is 20 years ago this week that Ruth Rogers began preparing stylish Italian food at London's River Café. By way of celebration, the chef shut up shop for the day yesterday and treated her staff to a day out at Cliveden, the Italianate stately home in Buckinghamshire now run as a five-star hotel. "There are about 70 of us in all, just relaxing and having a quiet celebration," she told me. "We're going to play croquet later and we have a cake ready too."

Aside from the River Café's recognisable clientele (it was said to be Tony Blair's favourite restaurant), its kitchens have spawned culinary celebrities such as Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. "Today, we are paying tribute to everyone who worked here, but we've only brought the staff who are with us now," Rogers added.

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

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

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...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried