Steaming in from the flank: rugby club's punt on Prezza

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The Independent Online

As Tony Blair prepares to rub shoulders with international high-rollers in his reincarnation as saviour of the Middle East, his former deputy, John Prescott, has a glamorous appointment much closer to home.

Prezza is to became a director of his local Super League rugby club, Hull Kingston Rovers. "This will add a dimension to his Saturday afternoons instead of putting up new pelmets or going to the matinée to watch Billy Elliot," said a friend. "But don't expect him to sit in the stands wearing a rugby shirt.

"He is not going to be photographed like that." Hull KR's chief exec Paul Lakin says Prescott "normally comes to two or three games a year in his capacity as our local MP", adding: "He is a genuine enthusiast and it's a real coup to have him on board."

Rather than requiring Prescott's motivational techniques in the dressing room, or contributions on the training field, his fellow directors want him to bring political clout in kick-starting the redevelopment of the club's Craven Park ground, and push forward its community sports and education programmes.

Mr Lakin adds: "We've brought John in to do what John does best, which is to get people round the table and get them talking."

Presumably, if JP could could get Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to converse, a few local councillors should be a cinch.

And he is best mates with the former Sports Minister Richard Caborn, who will no doubt be happy to lend his contacts book.

Dad's book? Tyrone has heard it all before

Ronnie Wood's snorts'n'all autobiography – a sort of 60-year-old rocker version of Adrian Mole – has mercifully passed the litmus test with his family. His son Tyrone, 23, has just reached the back cover and the tome receives his benediction, although, as he admits: "I think I have probably heard most of Dad's anecdotes in there a hundred times now."

Big brother Jesse, 29, is a quarter of the way through the memoir.

Tyrone dates the 20-year-old Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and shares his old man's passion for art. He runs Scream, the Wood family's Mayfair gallery, and has grand designs on an American showroom. He tells me: "I'm off to New York next week to speak to a few people about opening a place out there. I'm hopeful."

Rosie lives in New York and so the trip will allow Ty to spend more time with her. Which will be nice for him.

Yasmin lets the fur fly

Yasmin Le Bon has flashed an upturned digit at those among her fellow supermodels who would rather strip than wear fur.

When Pandora ran into Le Bon on Tuesday night, she was wearing a fur trim jacket. Collared (ahem) on the issue, she coolly dismissed the challenge: "To be quite honest with you, I couldn't give a monkey's." (I think it was rabbit, actually.)

"If anyone wants to argue about it, all I can say is it's vintage, so it's not as if I've bought it brand new."

Le Bon was at the Design Museum in London to celebrate Matthew Williamson's first decade in fashion. The British designer is similarly in line to receive a box of maggot-infested animal parts in the post, for his insistence that it is "cool to wear fur".

Yellow peril

The Lib Dem leadership front-runner Nick Clegg has an absence of dirty fighters in his campaign team, whereas his rival, Chris Huhne, apparently has a "death squad willing to kill anyone in sight". Clegg speaks human, "but he needs soldiers with tin hats, flak jackets and assault weapons. Instead he is followed by lots of people with balloons on sticks."

* The Curse of Lembit continues. No potential Lib Dem leader wants the backing of Gabriela Cheeky's asteroid-gazing boyfriend. In last year's contest, Opik supported Charlie Kennedy (withdrew: alcoholism), then Mark Oaten (withdrew: "unspeakable acts of degradation", rent boys). This week, Opik has talked-up millionaire lib David Laws (a right-winger who fought the party's proposed ban on prize goldfish at fairs). Laws has now withdrawn from the race.

"The problem with Laws is the opposite from Oaten," says a colleague. "Unless he has a bolt through his genitals, there is nothing interesting about the man."

Anne plans a pot-boiler

The best Booker Prize party was not at the medievally overcrowded Guildhall, where rank outsider Anne Enright won the gong, but at Soho House. Enright's publisher, Jonathan Cape, hosted a white wine shindig, and when their lady's miserable domestic drama The Gathering was announced the winner, the crowd of publishing burghers responded like she'd just scored a World Cup-winning goal, screaming and climbing over one another.

Enright plans to spend the £50,000 prize on a kitchen at her home in the seaside town of Bray, Co Wicklow, on Ireland's east coast. "It's true," says her spokeswoman. "Can't imagine it happening in Hollywood. Glamorous life being a writer, isn't it?"

Email pandora@independent.co.uk

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