GEORGE Clooney’s call for a boycott of the Sultan of Brunei-owned Dorchester, in protest at the stoning of homosexuals, could prompt some anxious hand-wringing from members of the Royal Family who accepted his lavish gifts. Should Charles return the wristwatch he received in 2017? And Camilla the handbag she accepted? Then there’s Sophie Wessex’s suite of jewellery received in 2012 and Prince Andrew’s 2014 decorative box? All are in the Royal Collection. But with Prince William getting rid of ivory items, might he supervise a clear-out of the Brunei baubles?
FORMER Labour MPs Mike Gapes and John Woodcock, sworn enemies of Corbyn, had a narrow escape on a Middle East junket – sorry, fact-finding trip – to Saudi Arabia when a Yemeni rocket whizzed past their plane at Riyadh airport. Seumas Milne, Corbyn’s baleful representative on earth, has a cast-iron alibi.
BREXIT ‘ultra’ Jacob Rees-Mogg locks horns with Today’s Mishal Husain, pictured, complaining of James Naughtie’s comparison of the ERG with the French National Front. An irate Jacob calls it an ‘outrageous slur’, adding: ‘When Mr Naughtie quotes somebody and it’s not his view, that’s fine ... when I quote someone and it’s not my view, that’s a great shock? That seems to me typical of the Today programme’s Lefty approach.’ Husain hastily brought the interview to a close.
REFLECTING on the ‘temptations’ of showbiz, Sir Tom Jones, whose wife Linda died in 2016, awkwardly explains: ‘She knew I loved her more than anything else in the world. And that held it together.’ No mention of the Welsh warbler’s two dressing rooms on tour – one known as ‘the workbench’ for romping with groupies.
WHAT happens to BBC Political Correspondents when they retire? In the case of John Sergeant, he’s fetched up on ITV’s Hard to Please OAPs driving an electric car that runs out of juice in a thunderstorm. Worse, his passengers are geriatric hoofer Lionel Blair and manic Hi-de-Hi star Ruth Madoc. A warning to Laura Kuenssberg? Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy tweets: ‘I’ll be honest. I have a massive man crush on Greg Wise.’ Too much information, Krishy.
OUT-of-fashion John Cleese jokes a friend wanted to make a film about the composer Wagner and was invited to Hollywood to discuss it, only to discover they thought it was about actor Robert Wagner. ‘The first question they asked him was: “How are we going to deal with the Natalie Wood incident?”’
DOWNTON Abbey actor Jim Carter, as butler Carson, would be clad in animal skin and greeting visitors at a cave entrance if Lady Carnarvon’s April Fool’s fantasy of Julian Fellowes writing a prequel script for Downton 2000BC became reality. As the fictitious Earl of Grantham might sigh: ‘Not now Carson.’ Email: john.mcen[email protected]lymail.co.uk