For all Didier Drogba's questionable behaviour on the football pitch, the Chelsea striker is not quite the petulant brat we have been led to believe. A mole recently found himself sharing a cabin with Drogba on a British Airways flight bound for Los Angeles.
"He had forked out an extra £1,500 to get bumped up into first class, only to be told there wasn't a first-class meal left," I'm told. "Having seen Droggy in action, I was expecting a hissy fit – but he just calmly told them he was happy to go without. He really couldn't have been nicer."
Such diplomacy will certainly come in handy one day should the 30-year-old Drogba, as is tipped, make the foray into politics in his native Ivory Coast.
Burstein faces bankruptcy as 'Standard' turns screw
The long-running legal feud between the British composer Keith Burstein and the London Evening Standard is about to turn seriously ugly.
Last year, Burstein lost a libel case against the newspaper after trying to argue that one of its critics had unfairly suggested in a review that Manifest Destiny, his 2005 opera featuring suicide bombers, glorified terrorism. Burstein was ordered by the High Court to pay the Standard's legal fees, thought to be somewhere in the region of £70,000.
Although Burstein claims to have no way of paying up, the Standard has now begun to turn the screw. Last night he was due to be visited by process-servers, who planned to serve him with a bankruptcy petition.
"The whole belligerent campaign appears to be oppressive and about vindication," says Burstein. "I don't have any money. I don't even own a house or a car or anything. It's just the way I have always lived, I just write music. As far as I can see, bankrupting me will just incur the Standard more costs."
No one from the newspaper or its solicitors at Foot Anstey was available for comment last night. However, Burstein insists that he still hopes to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights. "They won't be able to get anything out of me because I haven't got anything," he adds. "Unless, of course, they want a blanket or a plate or something like that."
Alexa's keen to make her Primark in reportage
Alexa Chung is not taking Channel 4's decision to pull her documentary about Primark lying down. The feisty presenter's investigation into the British fashion outlet's overseas working conditions was removed from last week's schedule by Channel 4 executives at the 11th hour, amid rumours of legal concerns.
Although no announcement has been made about when the documentary might now be aired, Chung insists it will see the light of day. "It has not been cancelled, just postponed," she told me at a cocktail party. "It is still going ahead, it is just something to do with the editing. I think they couldn't edit it all in time, although I don't really know what went on as I was on holiday when it happened."
Chung is regularly snapped leaving nightclubs while hanging off the arm of a budding young rock star, but has now clearly developed a taste for reporting. "This was just a one and-a-half hour special but I am really keen to do more."
Old rockers keep it in the family
Both Pink Floyd guitarist Roger Waters and singer Patti Smith are said, at one stage or other, to have had a tetchy relationship with their former band-mates .
How apt, then, that the two musical veterans instead chose to perform at Sunday night's Human Rights Watch show at the Theatre Royal in London with members of their own families.
Smith, 61, took the stage with her son Jackson, 26, on guitar, while Rogers, 64, also played a short set, with his son Harry, 31, accompanying him on the piano.
"The Waters boy is a bit of a crusty," reports one guest. "He had dreadlocks and an enormous beard which went down to his ankles. For a moment, we thought he might have been a member of ZZ Top."
Bayfield sets things straight
Last week, I wrote of the former England rugby player Martin Bayfield's speech at the Derby dinner.
Bayfield was forced to cut short his speech to the prestigious audience after a drunken guest began to heckle him.
He has asked me to point out that, contrary to my report, he didn't storm out of the venue but remained at the dinner. He also stresses that when he was booked by the evening's host, Lord Derby, it was never intended that he would speak about racing.
Happy to do so. Besides, Bayfield is a 6ft 10in former police officer and I, for one, am not about to start an argument with him!Reuse content