OCCASION: Jo Malone London’s Blossom Ball, hosted by the ubiquitous Poppy Delevingne.
VENUE: The Jo Malone townhouse in Gloucester Place, West London.
UNLIKELY OUTFIT: George Bamford, son of JCB chairman Lord Bamford, turning up in a Snoopy-print suit accessorised with a matching £12,750 Snoopy Rolex watch. It’s a wonder the outfit didn’t land him in the doghouse with his yummy-mummy wife Leonora.
CELEBRITY LOOKALIKE: Silver fox Charles Delevingne — father of Poppy, Cara and Chloe — sporting a red smoking jacket bore more than a passing resemblance to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. And they both know what it’s like to live in a house full of blondes.
OUT ON A SCHOOL NIGHT: Seventeen-year-old Lottie Moss, who is currently studying for her A-levels, was spotted with celebrity offspring Ella Richards, granddaughter of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith. A PR for Lottie, the half-sister of Kate Moss, assured me the cocktail I spotted her sipping was alcohol-free.
FROCK HORROR: Socialite Mary Charteris, who turned 28 on Thursday, left little to the imagination underneath a sheer dress. Just a pair of Bridget Jones granny pants spared her blushes.
Mary Charteris (left) arrives at the Blossom Ball, where George Bamford, son of JCB chairman Lord Bamford, turned up in a Snoopy-print suit accessorised with a matching £12,750 Snoopy Rolex watch (pictured right with his wife Leonora)
It must have been with some trepidation that American Ambassador Matthew Barzun attended a dinner party at Windsor Castle last week, hosted by the Queen and Prince Philip, after complaining last autumn: ‘I must have had lamb and potatoes 180 times since I’ve been here. There are limits and I have reached them.’
Fortunately for the Kentucky native, not only has the Queen appeared to have forgiven him for insulting her national dish — inviting both Barzun and his whiskey heiress wife, Brooke, to the banquet — but she also made sure that lamb was not on the menu.
For I hear that guests, who included Dame Maggie Smith, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bank of England governor Mark Carney, were served chicken.
No doubt Her Majesty has plenty of sympathy for Mrs Barzun. After all, Prince Philip is no stranger to the occasional gaffe, memorably once telling a visually impaired woman: ‘They have eating dogs for the anorexic now.’
BBC Radio’s Test Match Special, as this column noted last week, is hurtling down-market. No longer is the programme the redoubt of gentle sophistication and understatement. Yesterday, commentators Ed Smith and Graeme Swann glottal-stopped away like a cut-price version of Seventies comedy duo Derek and Clive, Swann doing silly voices and Smith moaning about the pace of Test match cricket. Smith also encouraged Swann to treat listeners to his repertoire of imitations of hosts of Eighties quiz shows such as Going For Gold and Bullseye. It’s a long way from John Arlott and Trevor Bailey, who graced TMS in days of yore. Perhaps BBC director-general Lord Hall should bowl them out.
Food blogger Ella Woodward has found there is a price to pay for being an overnight sensation
Foodie Ella and the very saucy vegans
Food blogger Ella Woodward, 23-year-old daughter of Labour’s richest MP Shaun Woodward and his heiress wife Camilla Sainsbury, has found there is a price to pay for being an overnight sensation.
‘Strangers keep sending me weird foods and natural health products to try and include in my recipes,’ says Ella (right), whose book Deliciously Ella became the fastest-selling debut cookbook of all time.
‘The other day I was quite shocked when somebody actually sent me a vegan condom. I had never heard of one before but I think they were serious about me extolling its health virtues.’
Arguably far more shocking is that her father is said to be the only Labour MP who has a butler.
Alan Edwards, the entertainment PR who crafted the public image of the Beckhams and David Bowie, is curating a festival at London’s V&A Museum, called Always Print The Myth: PR and the Modern Age. Next Thursday, he will interview a mystery guest, ‘a massively influential PR with an incredible art collection and also related to a famous British artist’.
Without wishing to destroy the myth, it might be easier to flog the £18 tickets if they simply said ‘an evening with Matthew Freud’. Or did they fear they wouldn’t sell any?
YOU CAN QUOTE ME ON THAT
‘I like Amsterdam a lot, but I don’t bother with the sex shops. I did when I was 20, but that was a long time ago.’
- Peter Mayle, author of A Year In Provence
‘If some corporation buys me a first-class ticket, of course, but I’m a man of the people, really.’
- Former Apprentice star Nick Hewer, on whether he travels first-class
‘I think it’s fine when you play smaller roles. But when you’re in every frame of every film, it’s like listening to your voice on an answering machine — but a thousand times worse. You just sit there and cringe.’
- Hollywood star Carey Mulligan on watching herself on screen
‘You’re one of my favourite people and I insist you look like a young Mick Jagger.’
- Jemima Goldsmith flatters egghead Alain de Botton
‘I can’t tell you how much I detest seeing people in shorts on the plane.’
- Model Naomi Campbell
Another shocking Top Gear revelation.
The programme’s executive producer Andy Wilman, who quit this week and is expected to join ousted presenter Jeremy Clarkson at a rival channel, is not just a petrolhead.
‘I like a bit of ballet,’ he says.
Sophie's idol - a killer blues star
Who knew that the Countess of Wessex was a secret fan of Lead Belly, the legendary hard-living blues singer who was imprisoned for killing one of his own relatives in a fight over a woman?
Sophie will attend Lead Belly Fest, a tribute concert to the singer, to be held at the Royal Albert Hall in June.
The performers include the republican singer Billy Bragg, who will offer his version of Lead Belly’s anthem for social justice, The Bourgeois Blues, which was taken up by the U.S. Communist Party, in front of the Royal Box. Musicologists debate whether Huddie Ledbetter was awarded his moniker after being stabbed by a fellow inmate in the penitentiary (his assailant came off worse), or from his ability to drink moonshine.
Fortunately, the more reliably pro-royal Jools Holland will be on hand to guide the Countess, Royal Patron of Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice, the concert’s charity partner, through singalong versions of Goodnight, Irene and the African-American work song, Black Betty.
Who knew that the Countess of Wessex (left) was a secret fan of Lead Belly (right), the legendary hard-living blues singer who was imprisoned for killing one of his own relatives?