Of all the untold thousands of words published in this weekend’s papers, the lucky 13 that leapt most violently from the page came in an Observer profile of Wendi Deng.
“An old schoolfriend recalls,” ran a passage concerning the third Mrs Murdoch’s ferocious work ethic as a schoolgirl in China, “that Deng would be up at 3am studying English …” Time well spent.
And so to a brief résumé of the email literature in which this gifted linguist dwelt on her passion for Mr Tony Blair. “Oh, shit, oh, shit,” began the one best designed to delight Lynne Truss. “Whatever why I’m so missing Tony … He has such good body and he has really really good legs, butt … and he is slim tall and good skin. Pierce blue eyes which I love …”
While no one could argue about the peachy skin, let alone the manly beauty of his legs, grammarians are split as to whether the “butt” referred to the Middle East peace-bringer’s pert bottom, or was a misspelt and misplaced “but”. As for “pierce blue eyes”, although widely interpreted as praise for his azure mince pies, a rival theory posits that this was a subtle filmic reference.
You will remember Mickey Blue Eyes, the comedy produced by Bill Clinton’s non-lover Liz Hurley in which her then gentleman caller Hugh Grant was cast viciously against type as a charmingly diffident English toff drawn by romance into the New York mafia. In this light, “Pierce Blue Eyes” may be seen as the working title for the movie Wendi plans to make about this relationship, starring Pierce Brosnan as Mr T.
The actor also has gorgeous blue eyes, and played a version of Blair in the film of Robert Harris’s novella The Ghost. In that case, Lucy Liu is hereby placed on alert for the Deng role.
In the unhappy circs, it seems a long shot that Rupert’s 20th Century Fox would want to make it. But if another studio could be tempted, I would queue in the driving rain to see it on the giant screen, and suspect you would too.
No evidence of a double testectomy so far
While doubt remains as to whether there is truth to the rumours that the two were lovers, personally I am sceptical.
This is due less to Mr Tony’s categorical insistence to the contrary – a currency slightly devalued, the cynics and sneerers feel, since Iraq – and more to the Daily Mail revelation that Cherie vowed to “cut off his balls” if he ever strayed from the marital bed.
So far there is no evidence of a double testectomy. If his hair stops falling out and he joins a choir as a counter-tenor, the matter will have to be revisited.
Until then, whatever Rupert may believe, Mr T’s apparently full gonadic complement wins him the benefit of the doubt.
Not to be confused with the imaginary brewery heiress
As for his successor in No 10, it was a shock to find Gordon Brown appearing in Saturday’s Independent, however tangentially, in a cinematic context. Our report concerned the threat of legal action by the makers of The Wolf of Wall Street against Clare Rewcastle Brown, sister-in-law of the former PM and absentee member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, who accuses them of funding the movie with corrupt Malaysian government money. Before a dyslexic laywer issues a writ against the wrong defendant, we wish to make it clear that she is a Malay-born journalist, formerly with the BBC World Service, and not to be confused with the imaginary brewery heiress Clare Newcastle Brown.
With Nazi-themed fun, timing is essential
A fortnight after adding him to the Most Hyper-Cerebral Backbench MP short list, you will appreciate my bemusement on finding Gerald Howarth dismissed elsewhere as a touch dim. The Tory former Defence Minister’s latest Ciceronian foray finds him attacking the reporters who exposed fellow Tory Aidan Burley’s attendance at a Nazi-themed stag do as “utterly disreputable”.
He added that we’ve all engaged in “hi-jinx” of the kind, and this is certainly true. I dressed as Himmler for a bash once, though with Nazi-themed merriment, timing is crucial, and with hindsight my own bar mitzvah party was possibly a poor choice of venue. Gerald further describes Burley, who has chivalrously decided not to stand again in 2015, as the victim of “a disgraceful witch hunt”, and so say all of us to that. Well, not quite all. Writing The Sun on Sunday, Tony Parsons dismisses Gerald as a “silly old booby”.
This is the sort of impertinence about a revered intellect up with which this column will not put, and unless Mr Parsons withdraws the slur and apologises, reprisals will be taken. Resistance is futile.
Come on chaps, show some emotion
However much one expects rigorous professional detachment from the BBC, I was distressed by the lack of jingoistic fervour in its coverage of Jenny Jones’ efforts in Sochi yesterday.
“I can’t look,” said a male voice as she began her second snowboarding run. “I feel sick,” chipped in a female colleague. “I can feel my pulse in my lower intestine,” added the chap.
Even Jenny’s snaffling of the bronze (the first British medal ever won on snow) couldn’t melt the glacial neutrality. Both commentators wept, while in the studio the splendid Hazel Irvine brandished a sodden Kleenex at the camera.
“This,” she declared, inexplicably downplaying the medal’s epochal significance, “is one of the greatest moments ever witnessed.” Next time, show a little emotion, eh? Even at the Winter Olympics, no one loves a human iceberg.Reuse content