Pandora: Guppy gives his interpretation
Friday 03 April 2009
The subject at hand is his notorious phone conversation with the young Johnson – then a hack on The Daily Telegraph – in which the pair discuss beating up a fellow journalist.
After years of silence, it was broadcast for the first time earlier this week, as part of the Dispatches documentary The Trouble With Boris.
Now Guppy, hitherto conspicuously quiet on the subject, has written a defiant letter to the Telegraph, proclaiming his "pride and honour" in his behaviour.
"I was amused to hear from friends in London of a Channel 4 Dispatches programme," he begins. "Try as Mr Johnson's political opponents may... it boils down to this: we are not talking about a conspiracy on the part of 10 cage-fighting thugs to assault Mother Teresa; we are concerned with an entirely justifiable desire on my part to teach a lesson to a News of the World reporter."
Sadly, whether or not Bozza agrees – or indeed, is at all grateful for his one-time friend's show of "support" – remains unclear. The Mayor, perhaps wisely, avoided commenting on the subject.
Repurpose? Peace off, Paltrow!
Gwyneth Paltrow hasn't let criticism of her bailout-necessitating guide to London dampen her enthusiasm for absurdly unattainable lifestyle tips. Indeed, quite the opposite: Pandora has just received the latest in her series of winningly titled "GOOP" newsletters, in which she expands on the virtues of wholesome living. "Detox your nest" we're advised. "Repurpose, recreate, rethink." Mm. Personally, Pandora's favourite bit comes at the end, with the charming inclusion of the Wayne's-World-esque sign-off "Peace Out".
Another Laugharne diary Clash
Further flakiness at the Laugharne Weekend, where organisers – already prickly thanks to Irvine Welsh's mysterious double-booking – have had to accommodate yet more last-minute withdrawals, this time from the writer A L Kennedy (who has an ear infection) and former Clash member Topper Headon. Ever the gent, however, Headon has manoeuvred a not-entirely unimpressive replacement to appear in his slot at the festival in Wales: former bandmate Mick Jones, playing a set of their old songs.
Campbell gets Capaldi in a spin
"The struggle, halfway in, was not to stay in my chair, but to stay awake... I was too bored to be offended." Thus spoke the sweet-talking Alastair Campbell after a screening of In The Loop, hastily reassuring sceptics that his frown was no mere sense of humour failure. He has, apparently, been known to "fall from my chair and roll around the floor".
Not that the film's cast appear to care. Peter Capaldi – who plays the Campbellesque Malcolm – was suitably nonplussed at Wednesday night's premiere, remarking that he "didn't find Campbell's work very funny either". Director Armando Iannucci, meanwhile, gushed at his muse's critique: "We should have posters with 'A disappointment, Alastair Campbell."
Catherine keeps her Russians close
Good to see that Catherine Ostler's departure from the Evening Standard hasn't rendered her any less sweet on the title's new owner, Alexander Lebedev.
In the current edition of GQ, the no-nonsense ES Magazine-turned-Tatler editor offers her endorsement to Lebedev's son Evgeny as one of Britain's 50 Best Dressed.
"With his big drawn eyes and winning smile, Evgeny is a contemporary dandy," she enthuses. "Sharp suited and never dull."
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