WITH the polls narrowing, I hear palace flunkeys are nervous. Expecting Theresa May to sweep back into No 10 on June 8, Civil Service transition arrangement discussions with Labour bigwigs are said to have been perfunctory. But they were caught out in 2010 when an inconclusive result led to protracted negotiations over a hung Parliament, which risked dragging the Queen into political horse-trading. So the Palace is said to be asking for ‘guidance notes’.
FANS have been meeting Sir Cliff Richard at his Portuguese winery Adega do Cantor, where he cheerfully posed for pictures and signed autographs. Hosting 600 admirers, Sir Cliff, 76, enthused: ‘It was fantastic... I got hugs from just about everybody.’ He’d be even happier if there was one wealthy fan out there willing to buy his property and wine business. Put up for sale last year for £8 million, the price has reportedly been slashed to £5.5 million.
THE Duchess of Cornwall’s daughter, Laura Lopes, 39, has recalled shopping with Camilla at the Chippenham branch of Sainsbury’s. They found a parking space near the store entrance but it had a sign saying, ‘Reserved for the Mayor of Chippenham,’ said Laura, pictured, who adds: ‘When we came out a man stopped her and asked what she was doing in the mayor’s parking space. Mummy smiled and said, “I’m so sorry, I’m the mayor’s wife…” and hurried me into the car. The man followed us and said, “What a joy to meet you for the first time – I’m the mayor!”’ An amusing tale but Sainsbury’s say they’ve never had a reserved parking space for the town’s mayor.
SKY’S heavyweight political expert, Adam Boulton, remarks on Twitter about the station’s big weekend political interviews: ‘Well JC [Corbyn] had the better of that encounter with Jeremy Paxman.’ He retweets a comment saying: ‘Paxman was very poor... would have been better with Adam Boulton.’ Meanwhile, Brexit Secretary David Davis, referring to Paxman, tells his Radio 4 inquisitor, John Humphrys: ‘You’re clearly in a different class.’ Humphrys agrees, replying: ‘Quite.’ Like feuding ferrets in a sack, aren’t they?
FORMER Blue Peter producer Biddy Baxter, 84, feuded with the show’s popular star, John Noakes, who died Sunday aged 83. She acknowledged on Radio 4’s Today that they had had their ‘ups and downs’. They fell out after Noakes, who left the show in 1978, was barred from exploiting his famous border collie, Shep, in TV ads. Ms Baxter recalls: ‘He had this marvellous sidekick in Shep. Of course, that appealed to the children. Some of them probably liked Shep more than they liked John Noakes.’
APROPOS the Duchess of Cornwall, Project QC – preparing us for Queen Camilla – is up and running. It aims for majority public acceptance of her being crowned and anointed in Westminster Abbey, a few yards from where Princess Diana’s coffin rested. But the headlines are devoted to Prince William raising the ghost of Diana in GQ. ‘It’s reckoned that every time he mentions Diana the prospect of Queen Camilla takes a battering,’ says a royal source who adds: ‘But the hope is that supportive words from William and Harry, on 17th July – Camilla’s 70th birthday – will assist her case.’