Daily Mail

The das­tardly Mr Deedes

- Unilever NV · Michael Ashley · British House of Commons · Newcastle United Football Club · West Ham United F.C. · Belgium · Louis Vuitton · Bordeaux · Palace of Versailllles · George VI of the United Kingdom · House of Fraser Oxford Street · Albert Frere · Louis Vuitton · Bernard Arnault · Pétrus · James Purdey & Sons

Unilever is treat­ing Paul Pol­man’s de­par­ture with the rev­er­ence usu­ally ac­corded to dy­ing Popes. But might those be croc­o­dile tears some of the Dutch­man’s close ex­ec­u­tives are sob­bing? Keen marathon run­ner Pol­man used to reg­u­larly ask col­leagues to join him on brac­ing early morn­ing runs, an in­vi­ta­tion eager-to-please un­der­lings were obliged to ac­cept. They shouldn’t re­lax just yet though. New boss Alan Jope, a bald, egg-like crea­ture, prefers the break­neck de­lights of off-road mo­tor­cy­cling. Mike Ash­ley ar­rived at the House of Com­mons for his se­lect com­mit­tee hear­ing ac­com­pa­nied once again by the mother of his three chil­dren, Swedish­born Linda Jerlmyr. Perched co­quet­tishly in the back­ground through­out the hear­ing, fra­grant Linda, 52, is thought to have rec­on­ciled with Ash­ley fol­low­ing their 2002 di­vorce. As well as hold­ing an eco­nomics de­gree, she’s also a suc­cess­ful prop­erty de­vel­oper. So not the sort of spouse to sit at home trim­ming the crusts off her beau’s ba­nana sand­wiches, for which I’m told he has a bound­less ap­petite. Re Ash­ley, he ap­pears to have pro­cured a new tie. Yes­ter­day he wore a silken pow­der-blue num­ber re­trieved, no doubt, from House of Fraser’s piles of un­sold stock. The scruff­bag re­tailer has pre­vi­ously only been spot­ted wear­ing his New­cas­tle United club tie. Per­haps he was too em­bar­rassed to put it on fol­low­ing his side’s 3-0 drub­bing at home to West Ham last week­end. Bel­gium’s wealth­i­est man, in­dus­tri­al­ist Al­bert Frère, who has died aged 92, sounds a queer fish. In 1988, he and his friend, Louis Vuit­ton ty­coon Bernard Ar­nault, forked out £86m for Bordeaux vine­yard Chateau Che­val Blanc. Although less well known glob­ally than Petrus or La­tour, many bow-tied tip­plers re­gard Che­val Blanc as the most quaf­fa­ble of all the great clarets. Mon­sieur Al­bert, alas, re­put­edly only drank wa­ter. Here’s a nobby adorn­ment for the din­ing ta­ble this Christ­mas. Royal gun maker James Purdey & Sons – where a pair of shoot­ers will set you back over £200,000 – has cre­ated its own fes­tive crack­ers, con­tain­ing a pewter hip flask, a stag horn whis­tle and var­i­ous other grouse moor essentials. Cost? A tri­fling £395 for a box of eight. What ho!

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