Pandora: Clipboard nitwits leave Sarah out in the cold
Monday 21 July 2008
Fickle Labour MPs might regret the day they allowed Gordon Brown to force Tony Blair from No.10, but I dare say many would have Brown's wife Sarah over her high-maintenance predecessor.
A case in point was last week, when the Prime Minister's wife was invited to the launch of the Daily Telegraph journalist Celia Walden's novel Harm's Way.
The party, which was held at the West End boite Soho House, was attended by various media luminaries, including the Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis and David Cameron's spin doctor-in-chief, Andy Coulson.
When Brown arrived, however, her entry to the venue was blocked by the clipboard Nazis guarding the venue's door. Her name wasn't on the guest list and, since they didn't recognise her, a member of staff was dispatched to verify her invitation.
Rather than inform the door staff who she was, I'm told Brown waited patiently on the pavement outside the venue, which is flanked by two of the area's more exotic watering holes.
So, for five minutes, the wife of the country's most powerful man was left stranded on a street in Soho waiting to be let in.
"Once she got inside, Sarah thought it was hilarious," says one guest. "Though once the door dollies realised their mistake, I'm not sure they found it quite so funny."
'Viva' hate? It doesn't rile Chris
Say what you like about Coldplay singer Chris Martin, he at least can take criticism squarely on the chin.
Prior to last month's release of his band's latest album, Viva La Vida, my esteemed colleague Andy Gill penned a piece entitled: "Why I hate Coldplay."
Sensing a delightful spat in the making, the French newspaper Journal du Dimanche last week asked whether he'd read the piece. Martin, however, wasn't biting.
"No, but I know the journalist. He assassinates me every time we release an album," is all he would say.
Asked how he stops getting a big head, he replied: "I listen to the Beatles. If that doesn't work, I can re-read The Independent."
Ken's out of 'Office'
Boris Johnson has provided further fuel for the joke that Ken Livingstone is the David Brent of City Hall, in that he still turns up there despite no longer being Mayor of London.
The new(ish) Mayor was a guest of honour at the recent Board of Deputies of British Jews' annual president's dinner. In a speech to guests, he said of Ken: "He's such a lost man. He comes into City Hall and wanders about like somebody who is looking for something."
A beaten man? Not yet
If it wasn't bad enough for composer Keith Burstein being declared bankrupt last week after an unsuccessful attempt to sue the Evening Standard, he had a dressing down in court.
"The judge launched into a diatribe," said Burstein, who could not pay £67,000 legal costs. "He said, 'You are bankrupt Mr Burstein. Bankrupt. Bankrupt.' For a moment I thought he was going to pull out a strap and ask me to bend over."
Jack's Rovers at home
Jack Straw's devotion to Blackburn Rovers is not just an attempt to shore up his majority. He was recently approached by the paint company Crown, who are launching "Rovers Blue" to coincide with their sponsorship of the club. They offered to repaint Straw's constituency office the new colour. He declined, as it would violate the terms of the building's lease – but he did request two tins for a room in his constituency home.
Back on the Magic Bus – fare £50m
It's like old times for Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, ahead of The Who's world tour this autumn.
Last week, the volatile duo were reported to be "at each other's throats" over arrangements for the tour, which kicks off in the US in October.
What's curious though, is that it's happening at all. Just last February, Townshend appeared to have pooh-poohed the idea of the pair globetrotting together.
"There is a chance that we might play some shows during the festival season this summer. I would want to do that purely for fun, and I don't want to turn it into a big tour," he insisted at the time, adding: "I need to stay focused on my writing."
Mind you, the tour is reported to be bagging them around £50m. Which I suppose is as good a reason for a dramatic U-turn as any.
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