Pandora: Jo's keeping Ronnie in the picture
Thursday 04 December 2008
There is little doubt that Jo Wood has had her patience tested of late. What with her husband Ronnie's affair, then his claims that his mistress – a twentysomething Russian blonde – was responsible for his sobering up, few could blame the former model for wanting to sever all ties with the Rolling Stone.
Rather surprising, then, to see her turn out for an exhibition of his paintings at London's new Gallery Icon.
In fact, she insists that her estranged husband's art is still a subject close to her heart.
"I've still got loads of Ronnie's old paintings," she tells me. "I've got all the ones he did of me, plus other ones too. My favourite is a Jack Nicholson one where he looks really menacing."
Judging by the price of the works on show, her decision to keep the pictures may
be a wise one. At £2,000 a pop, the rocker's works could be a nice little nest egg.
Clegg aims to march in step with Webb
After unwittingly revealing the strained nature of his relationship with certain colleagues, Nick Clegg will attempt to present a united front at the weekend.
The Liberal Democrat leader, pictured, was left red-faced after a journalist overheard him dishing out less than flattering assessments of his team during a flight from London to Inverness.
Steve Webb, the party's climate change spokesman, reportedly came in for particular flak, with Clegg describing him as a "problem" who he "couldn't stand".
Things might be a little awkward, then, on Saturday, when Webb and Clegg are expected to join forces for the National Climate Change March through the capital. "As climate change spokesman, Steve has little choice but to be there with Nick on Saturday," a party source tells me. "Things are obviously tense between them right now, but it would only make things look worse if Steve wasn't there."
Clegg's former rival for the leadership, Chris Huhne, is also said to have come in for criticism – suggestions that he could be moved to the climate change brief were evidently dismissed by Mr Clegg, who believed someone "more emotionally intelligent" was required.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mr Huhne is not expected to attend Saturday's march. "We don't think Chris has been asked," his spokesman tells me. "It's not in the diary."
Who's partying with Bush?
Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, pictured, will be among the more unlikely guests hob-nobbing with President Bush over the weekend.
I hear that The Who members are heading to Washington to accept a prestigious Kennedy Centre Honour for their services to the performing arts.
Let's hope their encounter won't prove too strained. After all, they haven't always been the most outspoken of the President's admirers. When asked for his prediction regarding last month's US election winner, Daltrey told an interviewer: "With what George Bush has done...it is inconceivable to me that Americans would vote in another Republican."
Hesketh falls foul of US red tape
Even blue blood and top-tier political connections aren't enough to avoid the perils of red tape.
Well-bred socialite Sophia Hesketh, left, tells me her move to New York has been blighted by bureaucratic hurdles. Lord Hesketh's daughter had to fly back to Britain when airport immigration officials refused to renew her visa. "I was pretty much bounced out," she complains. "Things were going pretty fabulously work-wise but then this cropped up. I tried to get it all resolved while I was out there, but they didn't see it that way, so I've had to do a 6,000-mile round-trip. Talk about jet lag!"
Miliband coos at arrival of Clinton
A not-so-fond farewell from David Miliband to his opposite number in the US. The Foreign Secretary bid Condoleezza Rice goodbye by admitting that relations between the pair have not always been smooth. Writing his blog on the Foreign Office website, he points out: "We have not always agreed but always engaged." However, Mr Miliband wastes little time in switching his attention to her successor, Hillary Clinton, who he is known to prefer. He hails her as "a unique and diplomatic talent on the way".
It always rains on Tuttle's parade
America's soon-to-be former ambassador, Robert Tuttle, is clearly not feeling too despondent about his imminent departure from the post. Asked in an interview for this week's Country Life magazine what he would miss most about life in Britain, the Californian former car dealer remarked dryly: "The weather."
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