Londoner's Diary: Ed Miliband’s special bond with Matt Damon

Bourne again: Ed Miliband (Photo Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Politics isn’t the only cut-throat business in town: Ed Miliband had a surprise in store for us yesterday as he revealed he goes way back with Hollywood film star Matt Damon. “I went to the same school as Matt Damon,” the former Labour leader announced. “I could have been Bourne.”

Miliband is referring to a short time in his youth when he was educated in America. He would have been the year above Damon, and adds that he and the Bourne Identity star have caught up since. “I met [him] and we talked about going to the same elementary school”, Miliband recalls. “We remembered teachers who had been there. ”

That’s not the only Damon connection: Bourne director and Labour fan Paul Greengrass has a long-standing friendship with Miliband, and directed Ed’s campaign video in 2015 during his ill-fated bid for Prime Minister. Titled Ed Miliband: A Portrait, it failed to win Oscars but might well have opened the door to a closer connection between Miliband and Damon. Perhaps there’s truth to the rumours that Greengrass drafted in Damon to help to coach Miliband on his public speaking.

Miliband was speaking to radio presenter Geoff Lloyd on their podcast Reasons to be Cheerful, where they also discussed baseball and the ins and outs of education on this side of the pond. The podcast has proved a popular string to Ed’s bow. Perhaps action movies could beckon next after all.


Collateral, David Hare’s TV thriller is full of tough-talking Londoners. But does the programme owe a debt to an American sitcom? Last night The Spoon’s Jane Merrick observed that five characters share names with characters from Friends: Kip, Mona, Sandrine, Phoebe and Chip. The Londoner called Hare’s representatives this morning to ask if he’s a fan. They say it’s just a coincidence. Perhaps he should catch up on the show on Netflix.

A hot fashion moment for Germany

Forget kitsch. For German fashionistas it’s all about the Volksalon. So says Christiane Arp, editor of German Vogue and president of the Fashion Council Germany. “We had a Volksalon where young designers could show off their work. There is so much talent in Germany we started the Fashion Council,” she told The Londoner at an autumn/winter show at the German Ambassador’s residence last night.

One looker we spotted among the crowd was Jens Lehmann. The former Arsenal goalkeeper was sporting a charcoal suit fetchingly accessorised with a black shirt. So are you into fashion now, Jens? Taking a moment to look himself up and down, he gave us his blunt verdict: “No.”

Quote of the day

"You need to learn to lose in politics, much more than learning to win."

Jo Swinson, Lib-Dem deputy leader, gave some very Lib-Dem advice to students at the Mile End Institute last night.

The fash pack hit the town

Dunn deal: Winnie Harlow, Ray BLK and Jourdan Dunn (Photo Dave Benett/Getty Images)

YESTERDAY was the penultimate day of London Fashion Week and the stylish were swarming around the city. Laura Carmichael sat at the Christopher Kane show before heading to Nars and Erdem’s dinner at the National Portrait Gallery, Samantha Cameron toasted Net-a-Porter’s Alison Loehnis, and model Winnie Harlow reclined at Love Magazine and Miu Miu’s Loulou’s bash.

Then it was on to Blakes hotel, where we spotted Jourdan Dunn. When is Vogue editor Edward Enninful going to put her on the cover? “Trust me, it’s happening,” she said with a smile. “I’m in Edward’s ear. Every time he sees me he’s like ‘Don’t worry, we’ve got you’.”

Watch this space...


LOVE is in the air for actor Laurence Fox: yesterday he was photographed with former Capital FM DJ Lilah Parsons on their first public outing as a couple. After months of speculation, and a refusal to confirm any rumours Fox, ex-husband of Billie Piper, and former model Parsons, made their romance official by attending the Passavant and Lee pop-up in St Martin’s Lane. Fox is also an aspiring musician. Perhaps Parsons could help him out by putting the album on the airwaves.

Two hairs to the throne

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown? Ian Carmichael with Tiffaney Wells

WHERE does the Queen’s hairdresser go to let his hair down? To another queen, of course. Ian Carmichael has been styling the monarch for the past 20 years. “She has wonderful hair,” he said on being awarded the Royal Victorian Order last year. But can he say the same for Tiffaney Wells of Charing Cross Road? Tiffaney is the resident drag act at The Compton Cross, the boozer on Old Compton Street, and she entertained the Queen’s coiffeur over cocktails on Sunday with her renditions of Over the Rainbow and Dancing in the Street.

Tiffaney seemed so taken with her royal appointment that she even brought Carmichael up on stage. “Ian may be Liz’s number-one stylist but I’m his number one Queen,” she told The Londoner.

Off with her head. Or, at least, her hair.

Tweet of the day

"Wow. The Brexit pitch has gone from 'Britain stronger alone' to 'not quite the apocalypse' in record time."

Author Matt Haig shares his thoughts on David Davis's Mad Max reference.


Hyperbole of the day: Sandra Khadhouri, one of three leaders of anti-Brexit party Renew, explained her rationale for coming here. “As I finished working in Georgia for Nato last year I looked at which conflict zone to go to next, and I decided it had to be Britain.”

Natasha shines on Night for Heroes

Night of Heroes: Natasha Kaplinsky with Ben Helfgott (Photo Blake Ezra Photography)

Congratulations to Natasha Kaplinsky, who won the Special Recognition Award at Jewish News’ Night of Heroes. The BBC presenter had interviewed 112 Holocaust survivors, some of whom joined her at last night’s event including former champion weightlifter Ben Helfgott (pictured), Hedi Frankl and author Peter Lantos, who told her: “Natasha, job well done." In her speech Kaplinsky thanked them for their support. "I thank them all, from the bottom of my heart, for trusting me, trusting this Project - to safeguard their history and share their traumas with generations to come."