Daily Mail

Ephraim Hardcastle

- Email: john.mcentee@dailymail.co.uk

ANDREW Marr has upended the received wisdom that the late Queen never watched The Crown. Marr recalls a Buckingham Palace dinner where he was told by an unnamed producer of the Netflix series that in conversati­on with HM and her husband Philip, the duke had expressed testy dismissal of the project as ‘utter tripe’ and said he had never tuned in. ‘But the Queen,’ added Marr, ‘then quietly intervened to say that, in fact, she had been watching it, and it had caused her to reflect on her attitude to her sister, Margaret.’ Marr described this as a ‘wise response’ and pontificat­es: ‘If millions upon millions of people round the world understand and judge your life in a certain way, you would be better to be aware of that.’

ROMAN Kemp reveals Prince George has become obsessed with a homemade drink made by his former 80s popstar mother Shirlie Holliman. ‘I saw Kate and she goes, “Roman, please tell your mum thanks so much for the apple juice she sent... how can we get some more? Because that’s all George keeps asking for”.’ What’s the betting on Shirlie getting a royal warrant from the future king?

MONOCHROME Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is in danger of outing himself as a technicolo­ur hoofer after telling Moira Stuart on Classic FM that before politics he was ‘a fanatical Latin dancer’. ‘When I was elected as an MP I used to wear a Tshirt under my suit,’ he reveals. ‘And when we did the last vote I would hop into my car and drive to a lambada club, take off my suit like Superman, and get on the dance floor and shake those hips.’ A vida não é grandiosa (isn’t life grand!)

HAVING just blown out 35 figurative candles marking her years at Sky News, has Kay Burley, 62, quietly relinquish­ed her Queen Bee status to Sarah-Jane Mee, 45? Sarah, pictured, is now ‘lead’ presenter, with her photo alongside Sophy Ridge prominentl­y displayed at the autumn relaunch. Kay didn’t show for the official shindig. Was she furtively truffling for her own, once prominentl­y displayed, portraits at the Osterley HQ?

WITH a reported £7million spent on keeping Speaker’s House in good order since Sir Lindsay Hoyle got the job in 2019, there isn’t enough money for a new Speaker’s wig for the state opening. Bernard Weatherill was the last incumbent to wear wig and full fig, and the official full-bottomed wig has since disappeare­d. Lindsay’s Lancastria­n frugality means he declined a replacemen­t syrup costing £1,342 plus VAT.

MEETING Ken Dodd in his Palladium dressing room, ex-Python Terry Jones starts humming. Superstiti­ous Diddy orders he and friend Michael Palin to go outside and turn round three times before returning. Later tightwad Ken, sharing a taxi after selling out the show, drops Michael in Kensington, saying: ‘Oh that’s six pounds and ten shillings, that’s your share.’ Intrepid traveller Michael should have got out, turned three times and done a runner.

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