The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold: Wallacegate - the truth

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The Independent Online
THANK the Lord, my own role in the so-called 'Camillagate' (dread word) scandal has yet to reach the prying eyes of Mr Joe Public, that wholly mythical creature so beloved of certain editors I could mention]

As those 'in the know' are already aware, I am both a non-executive director of News International, and, by sheer good fortune, the honorary chairman of Mirror Group Newspapers. Happily, I have been able to use my influence to make the 'Camillagate' transcripts more palatable, removing any sign that it was, in fact, a three-way conversation, with my own good self 'listening in' on an upstairs line:

Ch: Night.

Cam: Night.

Ch: Love you.

Cam: Love you.

Ch: Adore you. Night.

Cam: Night.

Wall: Sorry to butt in, Camilla, love, but could you get a move on?

Cam: (sighs) All right, Wallace. Couple of seconds.

Ch: Who was that?

Cam: Only Wallace.

Ch: Wallace? Wallace who?

Cam: You know, Wallace Arnold. Oh, Charles, I do love . . .

Ch: Wallace Arnold] I don't believe it] Wallace Arnold staying with you]

Cam: That's right. Love you. Adore you.

Ch: (gasps) Wallace Arnold]

Cam: I do love you.

Ch: Yes, but - Wallace Arnold] Sir Laurens speaks very, very highly of him. And so do the Bushmen.

Cam: Love you forever. Adore . . .

Ch: Put a sock in it, Camilla, there's a poppet. You really mean to tell me that the Wallace Arnold is staying with you?

Cam: Yes, Charles. Love you . . .

Ch: That's amazing] Put me on to him, would you?

Cam: But . . .

Wall: Arnold, sir. Couldn't help but overhear. How are you, sir?

Cam: But . . .

Ch: I didn't know you were there, Wallace, otherwise I wouldn't have been rattling on in this absurd fashion to Camilla.

Wall: What a lot of twaddle the unfairer sex will speak, given half a chance, eh, sir? Still, who'd be without 'em, bless 'em - the beskirted fraternity certainly lend colour to all our lives, eh]

Ch: Cheerio, then, Camilla] Wallace, Sir Laurens tells me you have some pretty definite opinions about architecture . . .

Cam: But . . .

Wall: Oh, modern architecture - dread oxymoron] Fire away, sir]

Cam: But . . .

Wall: Boys' business, I'm afraid, Camilla] I'll tell you what, I could simply murder a nice hot cup of cocoa] You couldn't be an angel? This call shouldn't last much longer, by which time . . .

Cam: But Charles . . .

Ch: One thing I've always wanted to ask you Wallace - how should one go about 'rolling back the carpet of history', as it were? I mean, old buildings strike one as so much more - I don't know - old-looking than new buildings. Not nearly so new, if you know what I mean.

Wall: Quite. Couldn't agree more. Do you by any chance know my old friend and quaffing partner Sir Peregrine Worsthorne?

Ch: Some sort of comedian, isn't he?

Cam: But . . .

Ch: You still there, Camilla? You don't want to be filling your lovely head with all this sort of thing. Wallace and I have got a tremendous lot to discuss, darling. Bye]

Cam: But . . .

Wall: Anyway, Sir Perry is absolutely convinced that old buildings are nicer than new buildings - and he'd be a most powerful ally to our cause]

Ch: Excellent.

Wall: The Prince of Wales, Wallace Arnold, Sir Peregrine Worsthorne . . .

Ch: . . . and Sir Laurens.

Wall: . . . and Sir Laurens. A pretty formidable lobby. You'd never see a new building built in this country again]

Ch: Only old.

Wall: Excellent]

Cam: But . . .

Wall and Ch (in unison): GOODNIGHT, Camilla]

Wall: Women, eh] (laughs) Now, where were we, sir?

The transcript stops there - but not a word of this to the gutter press] Mum's the word, methinks]