Londoner's Diary: Michael Bloomberg’s a solid support for Sadiq Khan
Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York, has given our Sadiq the respect he deserves. “I felt sympathy for the terrible tragedy on Saturday night but I don’t understand what this brouhaha is around your Mayor. I thought he said exactly what he should have said.” Unlike US President Donald Trump, who laid into Sadiq Khan after taking his “no reason to be alarmed” quotes out of context.
Bloomberg, who could have been a contender for President, is instead focusing on his climate change mission. A party hosted by our editor George Osborne, architect Thomas Heatherwick, the Serpentine’s Yana Peel and banker John Studzinski, was held to launch a book Bloomberg has written with Carl Pope, titled Climate of Hope.
Despite squalls of rain on the rooftop of The Ned in the City, where the party was being held, Bloomberg kept his sense of humour. Khan will host a screening of the film From the Ashes, produced by Bloomberg and Pope, on the coal industry, at the Tate, he noted. “It will be available worldwide on National Geographic Channel on 25 June. I’m also happy to say that — the irony — Rupert Murdoch owns the National Geographic channel. So fundamentally Fox News is going to show this movie,” he teased.
Just as the guests, including Tracey Emin and Maria Balshaw, recovered from their giggles, who should appear on the rooftop but Murdoch himself, accompanying Jerry Hall, oblivious to the cause of mirth.
Was property billionaire Nick Candy joking when he told The Londoner he thinks Corbyn could take over No 10? “Jeremy Corbyn will be prime minister on Saturday morning,” declared Candy. “I think he’s got a better chance than we gave him but I don’t think people gave him a chance at all.” We seriously doubt Candy will vote for Corbyn because of Labour’s proposed land value tax. Though the billionaire conceded “he has spoken better than any of them”.
Lovely to see Julia Peyton-Jones out and about after becoming a mum for the first time, aged 64. New director of the Tate, Maria Balshaw, was delighted to catch up with her. “Julia is a really old friend,” she said. She also gushed about Peyton’s daughter. “I’ve been looking at baby pictures. They are mirror images.”
Enjoy the great cheeseboard in the sky
Farewell Peter Sallis, beloved voice of Wallace from the Wallace and Gromit films, who died aged 96 last Friday. The man who played the Wensleydale-lover had been living in Denville Hall, the actors’ retirement home in north-west London.
Before the Nick Park animations, Sallis was known as Cleggy in Last of the Summer Wine, which he graced for 37 years. He was a famous face at the Garrick club, where he was considered one of its funniest members. One friend remembers asking what he was doing next. “I’m planning a one man show — Lady Chatterley’s Lover.”
Quote of the Day: "Will you please stop talking?"
Today programme host Mishal Husain asks guest Boris Johnson what many are thinking this morning
Hugh Grant stepped up for Simon Hughes last night at Flat Iron Square in Bermondsey, where the Lib-Dem is standing. Grant, who is non-partisan and was there in a personal capacity, was asked: “Which do you prefer, Bermondsey or Notting Hill?” the latter being one of his most loved rom-coms. He said that the irony of that fim was that he disliked the area intensely. “Too much self-satisfaction,” he said. Next he’ll be saying that Love, Actually isn’t all around.
Locating a royal tragedy
A sophisticated evening at the Savoy last night, as Damian Barr hosted his literary salon. The star guest was Pulitzer Prize-winning US author Richard Russo, making a rare appearance in the UK.
The Londoner asked Ancient Greek expert Natalie Haynes, whose new novel retells the story of Oedipus from the women’s perspective, what she made of Prince Charles calling his marriage to Diana a “Greek tragedy” in newly released letters to Nancy Reagan.
“Greek tragedy seems a bit of a grandiose description,” Haynes said. “I’m not sure what he’d think the hamartia — the tragic mistake, your fatal flaw as a character — was: I suppose the need to marry someone you don’t love.”
Haynes thought the royals were more like Roman emperors. “In Greek tragedy you find an enormously high death toll,” she said. “But being forced to break up with somebody that you care about to marry somebody that you‘re supposed to marry, that’s very much what’s going on in the 1st century AD, so I say Roman emperor.” We’ll send Charles a letter.
Tweet of the day: "The polls have moved a great deal over the past two weeks. When people ask me for a prediction, I have to say I know that I don’t know.”
Even veteran psephologist Sir David Butler isn’t sure what’s going to happen on Thursday.
Pop kids bury the hatchet
In 1997 the Spice Girls told Oasis to “come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough”. Twenty years later and Noel Gallagher’s daughter Anais, and Victoria Beckham’s son Brooklyn are friends, dining at a Wonderland magazine party at the Ivy Soho Brasserie last night. What a difference a generation can make.
Fashion icon of the day: Vogue.co.uk says Jeremy Corbyn-style shellsuits and Harrington jackets are a hit on the catwalk: “Such predilections are very Vetements autumn/winter 2017.” Chic.