Ephraim Hard­cas­tle

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - Email: peter.mckay@dai­ly­mail.co.uk

MICHAeL Gove’s good­na­tured in­ter­view with Pres­i­dent-elect Trump was a raft of op­ti­mism toss­ing in a sea of dire warn­ings. Last night Chan­nel 4 put out Dis­patches: Pres­i­dent Trump’s Dirty Se­crets while the BBC’s Panorama fea­tured Trump: The Kremlin Can­di­date? ra­dio 4 has aired no fewer than three anti-Trump shows, in­clud­ing book­worm robert McCrum’s Amer­ica rewrit­ten, in which The Don­ald was de­scribed as ‘the dark side of the US psy­che.’ Isn’t it cu­ri­ous that peo­ple who wor­ship driv­el­ling rap­per Kanye ‘I am God’s ves­sel’ West are also likely to de­plore Trump’s ego­tism?

THE Earl of Snow­don, who has died aged 86, was helped by his un­cle, theatre de­signer Oliver Mes­sel, to or­gan­ise Prince Charles’s 1969 in­vesti­ture as Prince of Wales. Yet Mes­sel was not present at Snow­don’s 1960 mar­riage to Princess Mar­garet. Rea­son: he couldn’t bring his male part­ner of 30 years, Vagn Riis-Hansen, known as ‘the great Dane’. Sans roy­als, they had an al­ter­na­tive party after­wards.

PG Wode­house’s life­long en­thu­si­asm for strong drink (he died aged 93 in 1975) is men­tioned in a new book, High­balls for Break­fast. Ber­tie Wooster’s cre­ator, pic­tured, called cock­tails ‘green swiz­zles’ and ‘light­ning whizzers’; ine­bri­a­tion was ‘stewed to the gills’ or ‘tanked to the uvula’ (back of the throat). He wrote to a friend in 1946: ‘I have come to the con­clu­sion that gin and Ital­ian ver­mouth (ie dry mar­ti­nis) are the great­est thing in life.’

TRIS­TRAM Hunt’s de­ci­sion to re­sign his Labour seat and ac­cept the di­rec­tor­ship of the V&A mu­seum is ac­cepted with­out ques­tion. So was his Par­lia­men­tary col­league James Pur­nell’s res­ig­na­tion from the party to join the man­age­ment of the BBC, where he’s now Di­rec­tor of Ra­dio. Pur­nell didn’t have to com­pete with other can­di­dates for his lu­cra­tive BBC bil­let. As for Hunt, my source says: ‘He was pre­ferred to other can­di­dates who had mu­seum-run­ning ex­pe­ri­ence.’

re the V&A, a fez worn by comic Tommy Cooper, who died on­stage in 1984, is on dis­play at (Hunt’s de­scrip­tion) ‘the world’s great­est mu­seum of art, de­sign and per­for­mance’. It was do­nated by Dutch TV pro­ducer Hans van rijs, who caroused with TC on the eve of the lat­ter’s last per­for­mance, re­call­ing: ‘We drank dou­ble whiskies. He gave me a fez to take home. I crawled to my cab.’

OX­FAM’S chief ex­ec­u­tive, Mark Goldring, de­plores ‘an econ­omy for the one per cent’, de­nounc­ing Bill Gates and other bil­lion­aires, and say­ing that ‘ex­treme in­equal­ity must be stopped’. Some donors might ex­pect him to set an ex­am­ple by tak­ing a cut in his £124,000 salary.

LABOUR MP Chris Bryant, 55, asked about re­ports that he wants to suc­ceed John Ber­cow as Speaker, tells Jo Coburn of BBC 2’s Daily Pol­i­tics: ‘I can’t pre­dict any­thing. I don’t know what I’m go­ing to do next week, let alone a year’s time.’ Coburn con­cludes: ‘I think that’s a Yes.’

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