Ephraim Hard­cas­tle

Daily Mail - - Brexit In Crisis -

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

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