Londoner’s Diary: ITV’s ‘copycat’ food slot leaves bad taste for critic Jay Rayner

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Jay Rayner (Dave Benett)
Jay Rayner (Dave Benett)

Welcome to the last Londoner’s Diary of the week. First up ITV respond after Jay Rayner criticised them for having a segment on This Morning with the same title as Rayner’s podcast, Out To Lunch. Downing Street is growing frustrated by absenteeism from the office, we hear and hapless Gavin Williamson is now the subject of a joke running through Westminster. And Marina Abramović explains why she didn’t have the easiest time getting away from her partner the late German artist Ulay after their split.

11:03 , Robbie Smith

ITV have responded after food critic and author Jay Rayner accused them of unoriginality for having a segment on This Morning with the same title as Rayner’s podcast, Out To Lunch.

“It’s called ‘Nigel Havers is out to lunch’ and there was a caption on screen which erroneously said ‘Out to lunch with Nigel Havers’ but that will not be shown again,” a spokesperson told The Londoner today.

Rayner was a man on a mission at last night’s Fortnum and Mason Food and Drink awards. He told us: “I’m slightly baffled how a big show like This Morning, presumably with editorial processes can go all the way through it and still launch a new segment with exactly the same name and format in exactly the same place as a podcast that has been running for over two years.”

Rayner had already criticised This Morning on his social media, but it seems that was not enough. Rayner’s podcast features him interviewing a celebrity guest in a restaurant, the same format as seen on This Morning’s feature.

He added: “Maybe they are a bit short on ideas for new segments… if they want to give me a call I’m willing to help them out on new titles.”

14:00 , Robbie Smith

Gavin Williamson (Jeremy Selwyn)
Gavin Williamson (Jeremy Selwyn)

Hapless Gavin Williamson is now the subject of a joke running through Westminster that he’s the best education minister we’ve ever had — just look at this year’s record-breaking A-level results. And we suspect that Williamson’s gaffe to the Standard — mixing up Marcus Rashford and Maro Itoje — will not have entirely displeased Downing Street. Already the mood is said to be buoyant thanks to a successful vote on social care with Labour thwarted. Now in the rumoured reshuffle how could Williamson argue with a demotion?

13:45 , Robbie Smith

Marina Abramović (AFP via Getty Images)
Marina Abramović (AFP via Getty Images)

MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ didn’t have the easiest time getting away from her former partner the late German artist Ulay after they split up. Performance artist Abramović was speaking at the unveiling of her latest work Traces with WePresent last night at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. She told the audience: “We met and we fell madly in love. It was very passionate, very erotic love. And then after 12 years we said goodbye at the Great Wall of China.” But after they split up, and despite a reconcilation at one of her shows, Ulay in fact took her to court. “So I said, you win, I lost,” she explained and accepted it. Worse was to come. “I took this trip to India to do Ayurvedic cleansing. You wake up at five in the morning, to do yoga, to do Ayurvedic exercises. At nine in the morning, who do I see, Ulay and his wife. You see, ‘I’m going to leave now?’ But I’d paid for it… he’d paid for it.” They were there for five months. Happily “we forgave each other.” Inescapable. But all’s well that ends well...

Claudia’s strictly excited for new series

13:15 , Robbie Smith

Claudia Winkleman, Tom Athron and Angela Hartnett attend the Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards (Dave Benett)
Claudia Winkleman, Tom Athron and Angela Hartnett attend the Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards (Dave Benett)

Claudia Winkleman was in fine fettle at last night’s Fortnum and Mason Food and Drink awards in the Royal Exchange, excited for Strictly and “triangle shaped” contestant and swimmer Adam Peaty. Fay Maschler, the Evening Standard’s former restaurant critic, won a special award from the judges. of this parish, also attended. In Chelsea Violet Manners and Charlotte Evans were at a Gentleman’s Journal do. And later in the night the Londoner was stunned to walk into a Soho basement and find an M&S Christmas party in full swing. Emma Weymouth and Jaime Winstone were among those celebrating the yuletide in early September. Chapeau.

Fay Maschler (Dave Benett)
Fay Maschler (Dave Benett)

Face it, it’s time to get back to work

12:00 , Robbie Smith

Downing Street is growing frustrated by absenteeism from the office, we hear. Those who ask for meetings with the PM will only be granted access if they agree to meet face-to-face. Cabinet Secretary Simon Case is said to be on side too. Insiders predict other Cabinet ministers will soon be encouraged to agree only to face-to-face meetings. Is it finally time to dig out the proper attire and not just the top-half-for-Zoom?

Burberry designer not checking out

11:11 , Robbie Smith

Riccardo Tisci (Getty Images)
Riccardo Tisci (Getty Images)

The turbulence at Burberry has been steadied, The Londoner hears, after head designer Riccardo Tisci looks like he won’t follow outgoing chief executive Marco Gobbetti back to Italy. The announcement of Gobbetti’s departure in June after five years caused Burberry’s share price to plunge, but despite swirling rumours that he might be off as well, it seems designer Tisci is committed to the capital. In fact, while Gobbetti has reportedly been homesick for Italy, his wife is considered more reluctant and an “absolute” Londonphile. Of course we sympathise with that.

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