Liz Truss: I will never do I'm a Celebrity or any other reality TV

 (Peter Powell / Shutterstock)
(Peter Powell / Shutterstock)

Londoner’s Diary

It’s become something of a rite of passage for washed-up politicians to appear on reality TV shows. Former speaker of the house John Bercow did a stint on The Traitors USA and Ed Balls’ salsa routine to Gangnam Style on Strictly will haunt viewers for years to come. But there will be no such high jinx for former prime minister Liz Truss.

Asked on a podcast whether she’d do reality TV, Truss was indignant. “Of course I’m not going to do Dancing on Ice, I’m not going to be on The Traitors, I’m not going to be on I’m a Celebrity, or whatever any of these shows are. I’m just not interested… I’m interested in changing the country,” she said with gravitas.

Truss appeared on the Inside Whitehall podcast, co-hosted by of the Conservative deputy chairman Jonathan Gullis, and former SpAd James Starkie, who gave a gushing review of her book. “I found it very thought-provoking… I enjoyed it by the pool in the sun,” he said. Truss confirmed that Ten Years to Save the West was “good holiday reading”.

She decided to write the book as a way of fighting back against leftist ideals. “I didn’t really have a particular vision of what I want to do apart from be part of that change,” she said.

Truss’s early life was “steeped in leftie-ism”, but she started to become suspicious of it during PSHE lessons at school. “What I really hated was the political correctness,” she said, citing lessons about “racism and sexism and all this sort of stuff”. Her reaction was to ask, “Why on earth are we wasting time on this nonsense?”

Dua Lipa partners with International Booker Prize

The International Booker Prize, for the best work of foreign fiction translated into English, has a highbrow reputation. But the judging panel are also happy to dabble with high fashion, recently announcing a partnership with Valentino. Now they’ve recruited Dua Lipa to the prize. The singer has made a series of short films in which she reads from this year’s shortlisted novels.

“When I choose to read the fiction that I like, it’s always from a different world — somewhere I don’t know about,” she said, “I don’t want to read everything from a Western lens. I really think [Valentino’s] involvement will create an even wider platform for people who like to read books,” she says. “Books are one of the best things to keep in fashion — hopefully it will just keep people reading… It is so important.

“I love all the initiatives the Booker Prize Foundation does,” she adds. “So, when the opportunity came up to do more work with them, I was really up for it.” Lipa also runs her own book club, Service95.

Dame Joan’s makeover

Dame Joan Collins at Andrew Pierce’s book launch
Dame Joan Collins at Andrew Pierce’s book launch

There was a broad church at Tory watering hole the Carlton Club last night for journalist Andrew Pierce’s book launch. Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle shushed the crowd for speeches by calling “Order! Order!” before Dame Joan Collins took to the stage. Collins said that she once saw Pierce presenting his LBC show with Kevin Maguire and thought he looked “like a little sort of white mouse”. She decided to send him a selection of foundations from her makeup range to bronze up for the cameras. Pierce might have overdone it, because when he appeared the next day, Collins thought, “Oh my god, it’s Kevin Maguire and Donald Trump!”