Pandora: A single serving for Mr Freud

Despite Lucian Freud's reputation as Britain's most celebrated portrait painter, the reclusive artist prefers to keep himself to himself. Still, diners at The Wolseley restaurant were surprised to see Freud eating alone at the chic Piccadilly eatery last week.

"It's happened a few times; he was in on his own just a couple of weeks ago too," I'm told. "I suppose there's nothing too unusual about it since Lucian uses the place like a canteen, but he usually pops in with beautiful young girls."

Perhaps it's an artistic thing. David Hockney often dined solo over the road at Langan's, where he used to scribble doodlings on the paper table covers, which enterprising waiters would pocket once he'd gone.

The verdict of Chris Rea: Blair's on the road to hell

Of all the revelations that spewed forth from Lord Levy's memoirs over the weekend, possibly the least surprising was that Tony Blair was a devoted fan of veteran rock warhorse, Chris Rea, pictured right.

It's a feeling which, these days, is definitely not reciprocated.

According to Levy, when he informed Blair that he had invited Rea to his house one Sunday back in 1995, the then leader of the opposition made a mad dash back from Scotland to meet him. He was so keen to impress, apparently, that the ever image-conscious Blair even popped upstairs to change out of his suit and into jeans and a T-shirt.

But it's unlikely he'll ever get a repeat audience. In an interview Rea conducted just weeks ago, he branded Blair a "bastard murderer".

"I hate Tony Blair," he said. "There is nothing more heartbreaking than a frightened child. He talks about this international shit while our country has children who are living on the poverty line and battered women with nowhere to run. Can't we deal with our own backyard before we go to Africa? It makes me froth at the mouth. It slices me up."

It's not the first time Blair has sought the approval of rock stars who have later turned on him.

He famously invited Noel Gallagher round to Number 10 for a celebratory drinks party soon after the 1997 election, only for the Oasis songwriter to later brand him "a politician like all the rest".

Acting rules strike fear into heart of Lincoln

Like many British actors before him, Andrew Lincoln finds plying his trade across the pond can be a demanding experience.

The blokeish star, best remembered for his role in cult series This Life, is currently working on an as-yet untitled TV series with Men In Black creator Barry Sonnenfeld.

"It was very difficult though, I have to admit," he told me at a recent party in aid of Barnados.

"It's not just the accent, it's completely different culturally. It's like playing baseball. You are under so much pressure to get the take right – three strikes and you're out. It has been more like controlling one's own fear rather than acting."

No matter, since Lincoln will be back working on these shores soon. He informed me he's just been cast as Edgar to appear alongside Natalie Portman in the latest big-screen adaptation of Wuthering Heights.

Gwyneth is ice cool in Alex

Interesting to see Gwyneth Paltrow is still lending her influential patronage to British designer Alexander McQueen.

The dainty actress arrived on the red carpet at the recent London premiere of her new movie Iron Man sporting a rather dangerous-looking pair of stilettos which she told reporters had been designed by the sulky Londoner.

Now I'm no fashionista, but I'm pretty sure McQueen was responsible for Paltrow's "frock horror" at the 2002 Oscar ceremony, where she wore a morbid see-through outfit that led to the fashion police unfavourably comparing her look to goth-rocker Marilyn Manson.

Clearly all is forgiven and, as my picture shows, on this occasion she looked positively fragrant.

Daffy McGowan

Time for the latest stunt by endearingly bonkers performance artist Mark McGowan.

This Saturday, McGowan, whose previous feats include crawling across New York dressed as George W Bush wearing a sign saying "Kick My Ass", is to be buried in the sand on Margate beach for 48 hours.

The performance, he says, is an attempt to save the great British seaside holiday and the environment.

"The traditional British seaside holiday is in decline and everyone is flying abroad. This year, 30 million people will go on holidays abroad. This is due to cheap flights, sunnier climes and bargain bucket destinations," he says. "I want to encourage people to think, and don't just book a holiday abroad, come to Margate." Rather him than me, but best of luck all the same.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions