Londoner’s Diary: ‘Judith Kerr could be unprintable now ... publishing is too sensitive’

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Judith Kerr   (DPA/AFP via Getty Images)
Judith Kerr (DPA/AFP via Getty Images)

Welcome back to the Londoner’s Diary. Literary agent Peter Cox says criticising Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came To Tea for using antiquated stereotypes could have chilling consequences for the publishing industry. Later, Channel 5’s Ben Frow shares his inability to break the habit of commissioning royal documentaries, and comic Isy Suttie mourns the loss of a papier-mâché penguin. In SW1A, Harriet Harman tells us why Penny Mordaunt should be helping liaise with women in Afghanistan and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall joins the Green Party.

10:58 , Robbie Smith

Criticism of Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea could have “chilling consequences” for the publishing industry, a literary agent has warned.

It follows comments from Rachel Adamson, of domestic abuse support charity Zero Tolerance, who told the BBC the children’s book by Kerr, right, reinforces harmful gender stereotypes which could lead to violence against women. Peter Cox, whose firm Redhammer represents children’s author Michelle Paver, tells us: “The publishing industry is hyper-sensitive. Just think. If Judith Kerr was alive still, criticism like this could make her unpublishable. Writers need to be free to explore ideas.”

Adamson did not call for the book to be banned, merely saying it could “raise a conversation”. Mission accomplished...

15:00 , Robbie Smith

Looking glam: Munroe Bergdorf attends the Summer of Disney+ event at Pergola Paddington on August 24, 2021  Pic Credit: Dave Benett (Dave Benett/Getty Images for Disney+)
Looking glam: Munroe Bergdorf attends the Summer of Disney+ event at Pergola Paddington on August 24, 2021 Pic Credit: Dave Benett (Dave Benett/Getty Images for Disney+)

Model Lottie Moss, singer Sinitta and presenter Alex Scott rocked the Magic Mike after-party at The Hippodrome last night. Munroe Bergdorf shared her love for Disney during its summer party at Pergola Paddington. “The Little Mermaid was the first film I’d ever seen in the cinema,” she told us — but it sent her dad to sleep.

SW1A

14:00 , Robbie Smith

Labour’s Harriet Harman says Tory MP Penny Mordaunt should be appointed to work with Dominic Raab and Ben Wallace to liaise with Afghan women. “It’s hardwired into the political system that the more serious ...something is, the more men end up talking to other men,” she tells us. “They need to listen to ... women.”

---

Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is turning over a new leaf: he’s joined the Green Party. He announced this week he will be “voting Green whenever and wherever I can”. Acting party leader Sian Berry tells us she is delighted and even pegged him for a catering job at the next party conference.

Did you pick up star’s penguin?

13:00 , Robbie Smith

Missing penguin: Isy Suttie attends the Sony Radio Academy Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel on May 13, 2013 (Getty Images)
Missing penguin: Isy Suttie attends the Sony Radio Academy Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel on May 13, 2013 (Getty Images)

Peep Show star Isy Suttie once tried to salvage a relationship by making her then-boyfriend a papier-mâché penguin called Roy. “It actually took ages,” she sighs. “I was like, ‘I’m going to build shelves in its stomach. Its head is going to be detachable.” But Suttie, who released her debut novel, Jane is Trying, last month, knew the writing was on the wall when the “five-foot” penguin was mysteriously left behind during a house move. Now she is making a bid to bring Roy home: “If anyone found a penguin in an attic of a flat in Herne Hill then that’s my penguin.”

Holding on to the royal TV crown

12:00 , Robbie Smith

Channel 5’s director of programmes Ben Frow says he is trying to break a rather addictive habit: commissioning royal documentaries. “I’ve done Princess Anne three times,” he says. “I literally go, we’re not doing any more royals, we’ve got to stop doing royals, it’s getting embarrassing.” Alas, the pull is too strong, he sighed to the Edinburgh TV Festival yesterday, and besides, he doesn’t want any of his television rivals stealing his crown. “I’ll be damned if they’re going to do a royal doc.” He doesn’t want to disappoint the royals, either. “I got a very nice letter ... actually, from the Duchess of Kent. She liked her royal documentary.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting