Pandora: Hay is a-Blaize over smouldering stripper
Monday 09 March 2009
The organisers of the Hay Festival's decision to invite the stripper Immodesty Blaize to address this year's audience has turned out to be even more gutsy than I thought.
Last week, Pandora reported the self-styled "Queen of Burlesque", real name Kelly Fletcher, would be appearing on stage in Hay this May to read excerpts of her debut "bonkbuster" Tease.
Now I'm told that, prior to her reading, she has agreed to perform a steamy "routine" for the cerebral audience.
It is thought to be the first time a stripper will have performed at the prestigious festival, which is widely regarded as the pinnacle of the literary calendar. "The audience can expect an uberglamorous performance with lots of rhinestones and feathers," she smoulders seductively.
Ms Blaize is no stranger to entertaining establishment types. Three years ago, she performed at the Cartier International Polo event. Among the well-groomed onlookers loosening their ties were Princes William and Harry.
Morning Glory? A five-mile run
*Liam Gallagher was among the guests at the wedding of Champneys owner, Stephen Purdew, on Saturday.
The Oasis singer, who attended the reception at Claridge's with his wife Nicole has, I'm told, been an unlikely visitor to the famous health farm over the years and these days is an unlikely fitness freak.
Just recently, he was reported to have cut short a drinking session in Amsterdam so he could jog his customary five miles in the morning.
Author sticks her beak in library row
*Following Children's laureate Michael Rosen's recent comments that Britain's schools were teaching "literacy without books", fellow author Jacqueline Wilson, of Tracy Beaker fame, has waded into the debate.
"Youngsters are being brought up to see [reading] as something that is old fashioned and not relevant," she says. "It's sad that schools can have a very small library but large, state-of-the-art computer rooms.
"I'm not anti-computers but nothing beats the pleasure of reading a book."
Marr's book is pulp non-fiction but copies are not hard to find
*The mysterious decision to recall copies of Andrew Marr's book, A History Of Modern Britain, set literary tongues wagging over the weekend.
Marr won't comment on the matter, though it was reported yesterday that a "well-known figure" had taken legal issue with one "silly phrase" in the best-selling book.
The fuss, however, has so far failed to have any impact in the second-hand book trade. Usually when a book is sent to the pulping factory it prompts a flurry of activity on the "previously enjoyed" market. When Lady Colin Campbell's novel, Empress Bianca, was sent to the pulping factory in 2005, after a legal complaint from socialite Lily Safra, copies were exchanging hands for as much as £500.
Alas, there is no such excitement over Marr's book. Copies were still available on eBay last night for just under a tenner.
Just a three-minute job
The Duchess of Cornwall's nephew, Lord Irwin, continues to enjoy his post-Wall Street career as a handyman.
Irwin set up his company Handy Squad in 2005. Nowadays, the London-based firm counts the likes of Lily Allen and Loyd Grossman as regulars.
"We've had a few odd requests, like carrying a statue of Superman up a flight of stairs for a party or searching for a customer's pet mouse," he says. "The most unusual job has to be fixing a lady's egg timer – she was thrilled."
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