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.’