While government ministers and banking executives feature at the top of most people’s current hit-lists, the Liberal Democrats’ very rational Treasury spokesman, Vince Cable, can seemingly do no wrong.
Cable’s measured approach to the economic meltdown has made him a popular choice to be Chancellor in a potential coalition government. So immune has he become from the public’s bile that the theatre impresario Clive Conway has booked him to appear in a series of one-man shows.
Cable will make his debut appearance at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford next month with a 45-minute talk about the state of the economy, as well as more general musings about his “life and times”. Afterwards, I’m told, the audience will be given the chance to pose direct questions. “It is rather like a reinvention of the public meeting,” explains Conway. “I had thought about approaching him for some time. Then he did his Desert Island Discs show, which was great and everyone was talking about him, so we invited him to do it and he accepted.”
If it goes well, Cable’s talk could be the first of many. Though no firm plans exist as yet, I’m told |he is keen to |continue once the economy has calmed down and “he’s not so busy”.
Rampling’s rap pal misses the party
Charlotte Rampling’s foray into the dog-eat-dog world of hip hop has suffered a setback. The screen siren recently recorded a track, “Revivre”, with the French rapper Joeystarr. Promoting it, however, could prove tricky. On Friday, the bad boy of French music was jailed for three months for beating up his ex-wife and spitting at her in front of their children.
It was his 12th conviction since 1996, although many French cultural commentators reckon his career low came in 2003, when he punched a monkey live on national television.
Knopfler serenades Garrick chums
Members of the Garrick Club, favoured watering hole of some of England’s foremost men of letters, enjoyed something of a first on Sunday. About 120 members gathered in the club’s coffee room to hear an acoustic performance by Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler. Knopfler, who recently entered the Garrick’s hallowed membership book, performed a number of inoffensive hits including “Brother In Arms” and “Sultans Of Swing”. Guests included a throng of QCs, as well as the former Observer editor Donald Trelford.
In-laws are Fisher’s first critics
Sacha Baron Cohen’s mother, Daniella, has passed on a critique about her soon-to-be daughter-in-law Isla Fisher’s new movie Confessions Of A Shopaholic. “It was fun nonsense,” she told Pandora at the film’s London premiere on Monday. “It was nice to see a film that is more light-hearted and uplifting. Usually everything is |so depressing. It was a little boring in parts, but they did it well.”
Fisher, who converted to Judaism for her forthcoming nuptials, recently gave birth to a girl.
“The baby is gorgeous but does not have red hair like Isla,” added Mrs B-C. “I don’t know if they’ll teach the baby Hebrew. As a mother-in-law, I have learnt not to interfere.”
Opik tries single life for Ant & Dec
It was only a matter of time. Lembit Opik, the Liberal Democrats’ answer to Keith Chegwin, has recorded a pop song. He will appear on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend, taking part in “Ant and Dec’s Challenge”. Opik recorded S Club 7’s “Don’t Stop Movin’”, and the song is released on iTunes today, with profits going to ChildLine, Help the Aged and the Teenage Cancer Trust. “Whether people agree with my politics or not, I just hope they’ll buy the single,” he said.