When Swayze met McCutcheon: ‘Nobody puts Martine in a corner’

* Since snogging Hugh Grant in Love Actually and winning an Olivier for My Fair Lady, Martine McCutcheon has spent time below the radar - seemingly puckering up to another Hollywood pin-up.

She holed up in Vienna this summer with Dirty Dancing actor Patrick Swayze, filming Jump!, a 1920s drama about the Jewish celebrity photographer Philippe Halsman, wrongly convicted of murdering his father with an axe.

Swayze plays Halsman's passionate lawyer, in love with his client's sister (McCutcheon).

"I had his poster on my wall when I was a girl," McCutcheon said, giggling in the Gilt Champagne Lounge of the Carlton Tower Hotel. Did they kiss? "I can't tell you!"

McCutcheon recalls: "Once, all the camera crew were squashing me to try to get food. Then Patrick stepped up and everybody looked at him as he said: 'Nobody puts Martine in a corner.'"

Permission to be sick?

* [A diary article of 2 August 2007 (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/pandora/fog-cleared-8736370.html) reported confirmation from the Colombian Ambassador that Adrianne Foglia and Vanessa Pretelt had been cleared of all wrongdoing in respect of the allegations originally reported in October 2006, below. The Ambassador noted that neither Ms Foglia nor Ms Pretelt had received any payment that they were not entitled to, that “they were never missing” and that they had done “nothing wrong”. Ms Foglia and Ms Pretelt have asked us to make clear that they did not “quit”’ Colombia’s London embassy but left government when their terms were finished, and since there was never an intention that they would obtain new jobs in Bogota (but rather in London), they did not "fail to turn up" for new government posts in Bogota. Ms Pretelt wishes us to clarify that she never “declined to reveal her exact whereabouts” as had been reported by the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.  The El Tiempo report, referred to in our item, was subsequently corrected (http://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/CMS-3607973 and http://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/MAM-2546903).  The Independent understands that neither Ms Foglia nor Ms Pretelt has ever had a British husband.  We are glad to clarify matters further. (This statement added: 28 April 2014)]

* Bienvenidos! A hearty welcome to Colombia's former diplomats Vanessa Pretelt and Adrianne Foglia, who have quit the country's London embassy and gone awol in our capital.

The pair were recalled to Bogota (standard procedure after four years abroad), but according to Colombia's El Tiempo they failed to turn up for new jobs there. [See article, 2 August 2007]

Questions are being asked about the £14,600 repatriation money the women were given. Their disappearance has shocked the Colombian government, which is investigating the saga.

Pretelt is the daughter of Colombia's recently departed Minister of the Interior and Justice, Sabas Pretelt. Foglia, meanwhile, is known to foreign correspondents as "Colombia's secret weapon" for her shrewd handling of the international media, and has advised several South American governments.

The women deny any wrongdoing and say they were entitled to the money, as they did return to Colombia - albeit returning to London soon after. Pretelt wrote to El Tiempo at the weekend: "I did not make illegal use of the payments I received - the same as those received by other Colombian diplomats - as has been alleged."

She declined to reveal her exact whereabouts now.

"The Minister for Foreign Affairs in Bogota is in charge," says an embassy ex-colleague. "He is investigating. For sure they are not working here any more, they disappeared. Their families were in London, and one has a British husband.

"There is a lot of trouble to be reported here. We don't know where they are."

* There appears to be little love lost between two beacons of Britain's embattled film industry.

InProspect magazine, the Oscar-winning screenwriter Frederic Raphael takes a swipe at Stephen Daldry the director of Billy Elliot.

Raphael unfavourably reviews David Thomson's new biography on Nicole Kidman - but also takes the opportunity to tear chunks out of Daldry's film The Hours - "a confectioner's triple-decker, with its factitious claim to be serious, its take-me-tragically score and its booklover's-calendar quotes from the wearisome Mrs Dalloway".

"Freddie fell out with Daldry a few years back," I'm told. " Daldry agreed to film a script of his called Hiding Room but then backed out of it. There's been bad blood ever since."

* The deputy leader of the House of Commons, Labour's Nigel Griffiths, has been sounding off about the £2.4m loan the Liberal Democrats received from Michael Brown, convicted of perjury and using a false passport.

"The money should be returned immediately," he demands.

His close interest in politicians' financial affairs was, one hazards, sharpened by a parliamentary standards investigation in 2002 into his own office expenses.

Griffiths was accused of wrongly claiming £10,000 a year from public funds for his office in Edinburgh, which he already owned.

The standards commissioner cleared him, although found his claim for costs for his Westminster office to be "technically defective". Fire away!

* Not content with building runways in the Caribbean, sending aid to Africa and striking an oil deal here and there - not to mention calling George Bush "the devil" - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has resorted to more conventional means of convincing foreign statesmen that his country deserves a seat on the UN Security Council.

Venezuela gifted chocolates to delegates, and has now imported a crack team of Latin lovelies to charm those in need of a little gentle persuasion.

"They're not quite scantily clad," says a bag-carrier in the corridors of power, "but there is a bit of brushing of thighs with the older delegates."

Venezuela remains deadlocked with rival Guatemala after a record 22 rounds of secret voting, and exhausted diplomats decided they needed a break yesterday. No word on where Venezuela's female representatives spent their recreational time.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Recruitment Genius: HR Advisor

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our Client has been the leader ...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us