Deliciously Stella: Lessons in champagne socialism


Click to follow

Make mine a Stella

She’s the “healthy eating blogger who cured herself with superfoods”. She’s had the No 1 app on iTunes and the fastest-selling debut cookery book of all time. She’s the 23-year-old behind the phenomenon that is Deliciously Ella and, oh yeah, Ella Woodward also happens to be the daughter of a Sainsbury heiress and the Labour MP Shaun Woodward. 

But wait, here comes competition in the form of an Instagram account called Deliciously Stella, complete with advice such as: “An artfully placed accessory can hide a multitude of sins. I suggest strapping Fab ice lollies to your stomach to give the impression of abs.”

In a you-couldn’t-make-it-up twist, the brains behind Deliciously Stella also comes from a political dynasty. “My grandfather [George] was the secretary of state for Scotland under Thatcher and my family are the last Tories in Scotland,” Arabella Younger, 27, tells me. “I really only started Deliciously Stella – I wanted Deliciously Bella but that was already taken – to get some publicity for my first Edinburgh show, Champagne Socialist.”

Interesting. Tell me more. “Well, it’s about my desperate attempts to ditch my heritage: I’ve moved to Hackney and am a left-wing Guardian reader who works in the media,” she says. Has that caused problems with your family? “Not really,” she says, “but it has for me. When I started working in television, a producer asked me if I was free at the weekend to shoot. I said, ‘How delightful. My father has an estate in Scotland’.”

Uke-lear war

It is 30 years since George Hinchliffe founded the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain and since they have played Glastonbury, toured the world and have shows coming up in Germany, Austria, the US and the UK. But the most important date in Hinchliffe’s diary is this Wednesday, when he will be at the Rolls Building in London’s Fetter Lane to hear the High Court ruling on his intellectual property battle with the five-year-old United Kingdom Ukelele Orchestra.

While to the casual observer this may feel reminiscent of “the Judean People’s Front” versus “the People’s Front of Judea”, Hinchliffe says that the confusion has been affecting his business. “We don’t want to stop anyone playing ukeleles,” he tells me. “Far from it. But people have been buying tickets for their shows thinking that they would be getting us.”

Both acts, dressed in tuxedos,  play ukelele versions of pop hits, but Hinchliffe insists it is just the similarity of the names that troubles him. “They are based in Germany,” he says, “and I’d have no problem if they were called the Ukelele Ensemble of Germany. We did write letters trying to seek a compromise, but they seem to want to fight it out. If we lose the case, there will be significant concerns about our future. Not quite the 30th anniversary present we were hoping for.”

Shame a chord could not be reached.

You don’t say!

Regular readers of this page will know by now that this is not one of those columns. I try not to bore you with stories about my children, and I rarely let my personal views interrupt my search for an Out There story. But I feel you should know that I have a new hobby. I have started collecting Statements of the Bleeding Obvious (Sobos).

My collection was kicked off by the declaration from Ringo Starr that, “What they [Islamic State] are doing out there is against everything the Beatles stood for. If we stood for anything we never stood for that. The four of us absolutely stood for peace and love.” Well I never.

I’ve since found Sobos everywhere, but I can heartily recommend the letters page of the Metro newspaper to fellow collectors. Last week threw up a classic. On the subject of the disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris writing an unsavoury song in his prison cell, it was left to Chris, from Greater Manchester, to sum up all of our feeling with: “If he records this song when he gets out, I for one will not be buying it.”

Nasty business

There’s trouble brewing at the Los Angeles HQ of the fashion label Nasty Gal, whose boss Sophia Amoruso, you might recall, wrote the 2014 book #GIRLBOSS. Turns out that Amoruso is facing two lawsuits alleging that Nasty Gal illegally fired pregnant employees.

There are many great aspects to the story, but my favourite is the name of one of the plaintiffs: Aimee Concepcion. Meanwhile, Amoruso’s credo in #GIRLBOSS is best summed up by her line: “Be a nice person at work.” Wonder how that’s working out for her?

No rhyme or reason

Another in a regular series of limericks based on recent events:

As drivers we all make mistakes,

There’s a reason for having those brakes,

But if stuck in a jam,

Near a bloke with a cam,

It’s best not to nibble corn flakes.