Janet Street-Porter: A Kelly bag helps you stand by your man

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Enough tips about how to deal with the hottest day of the year, thank you. Filming for hours up and down the Central Line on the London Underground proved to be the best weight-loss programme I've tried lately. I drank so much water I had to be admitted to the staff toilet at North Acton before there was an unfortunate incident. What to wear? Absorbent cotton wadding or a tea towel would be my fabric of choice, but unfortunately continuity demanded that I don a very hot silk dress.

The last thing any of us can face in weather like this is sex - the idea of exchanging even more bodily fluids verges on the repellent. So I urge you to log on to the internet and read the pages of the Scottish press for sex-by-proxy, where you can follow the astonishing events unfolding in a courtroom in Edinburgh. It's standing room only at the libel case brought by the former leader of the Scottish Socialist party, Tommy Sheridan, against The News of the World. Mr Sheridan seeks £200,000 in damages from the newspaper which alleged that he took part in sexual orgies, visited swingers clubs and participated in group sex, cheating on his glamorous air-hostess wife Gail by indulging in extra- marital affairs.

Last week Mr Sheridan sensationally sacked his legal team and is now conducting his own case - and he has a lot to fight for, because the allegations led to his resignation as leader of the SSP. This week we have heard about a swingers' club in Manchester called Cupid's and allegations of five-in-a-bed sex in a hotel in Aberdeen.

The unfortunately named Ms Trolle, a Danish occupational therapist (you couldn't make it up), claims that after she and Mr Sheridan "discussed politics" over a glass of wine, they went upstairs and had sex. According to her, she bonked Mr Sheridan at least five times over several years, and once had a threesome with him and his brother-in-law Andy McFarlane.

Mr Sheridan is seeking to prove that his relationship with Ms Trolle revolved around political theory rather than something more energetic.

Meanwhile, Gail makes a stunning appearance outside court with her husband every morning, sporting Chanel sunglasses and toting a Kelly handbag. Her sexy black dress is presumably chosen to send out the message that there's little chance of her chap playing away when he's got caviare at home.

For God's sake, not another bloody list

Harassment by PR people - so far I've received two e-mails and a letter from Penguin Books (all saying exactly the same thing), who want me to help them celebrate their 60th birthday by answering a series of questions like what is my favourite classic and why, and give them a telephone interview on the subject. Nelson Mandela and Cherie Blair have apparently already done so.

Next, Penguin are planning a series of campaigns entitled The Best Sex Ever Written, The Best Lovers Ever Written, The Best Laughs... and so on.

Give me a break, for God's sake! How I loathe list culture - can you really imagine Charles Dickens getting up one day and thinking, sod Great Expectations, I'm just going to dash off 70,000 words on the most lovable rogues/sexiest serving wenches/miserly shopkeepers... Or Shakespeare abandoning the script of Antony and Cleopatra to dash off The Bloodiest Battle scenes from History?

List culture is just so threadbare.

* I am sorry if the Government is retreating, as it seems to be, from its plan to force vendors to produce home information packs. I am trying to sell a cottage in the Yorkshire Dales, and the potential purchaser has engaged a solicitor from the outskirts of London who has absolutely no idea of how things work in the Dales. I must have answered enough queries about my humble bolt-hole to fill an entire volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica. I've dealt with endless questions about rising damp, dry rot, woodworm, boundaries, telegraph poles, garden access, neighbouring patios, roofs, windows and boilers. So I do think that producing one document in which all the information can be collated is a good idea - but the problem seems to be solicitors who are determined to create problems and feed a purchaser's neuroses. I have had three buyers put me through these hoops with endless enquiries, only to drop out without any warning, costing me plenty of money and wasting my time. At the moment, the vendor is completely unprotected- and I can't really see Yvette Cooper's Home Information Packs, in whatever form they finally end up, really remedying the current situation.

Comments