Londoner’s Diary: Music bosses told us to lose our accents, say Bloom Twins

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Sofia Kuprienko and Anna Kuprienko (Dave Benett)
Sofia Kuprienko and Anna Kuprienko (Dave Benett)

Welcome back to the final Londoner’s Diary of the week. First up the Bloom Twins tell us they were told to lose their accents after moving to London. Journalist Sebastian Payne speaks about being literally cancelled ahead of his book launch and Alistair Beaton, the Spitting Image and Not The Nine O’Clock News writer, has penned a stage play about the sub-postmaster scandal. In SW1A Tom Watson says parliament is designed to give MPs a nervous breakdown.

11:18 , Robbie Smith

Ukrainian music duo the Bloom Twins say they were told to lose their accents after moving to London. “People would understand us, but they said you have to get rid of that accent otherwise you will not be played on radio stations… it was hurtful,” Sonya Kuprienko told us. Sister Anna adds: “They said Ukrainian is not really exotic, it’s not pleasant to hear.”

Although the twins didn’t want to name and shame the labels, they said they met the attitude throughout the industry. Happily, having kept their accents, they have toured with Duran Duran and modelled for Burberry. Anna said that the pair met the UK’s Ukrainian ambassador to talk about why their country is not “popular” in Britain, adding: “It should be… we’ve got so much in common.” The relaunch starts here.

Post scandal gets stage treatment

15:00 , Robbie Smith

Alistair Beaton, the Scottish-born writer and satirist who cut his TV teeth on Spitting Image and Not The Nine O’Clock News, has written a stage play about the injustices to hundreds of sub-postmasters, wrongly accused of falsifying accounts. “It was an absolute travesty,” he said when we spoke to him. “Though they received compensation, they now face large legal bills, including those who were recently fully vindicated by winning their appeals by having their convictions overturned.” Beaton hopes for a West End run.

SW1A

14:34 , Robbie Smith

Kemi Badenoch is looking forward to working with new boss Michael Gove at the Ministry of Housing. She welcomed the idea of taking him clubbing when The Londoner suggested it. “Clubbing where there are no phones,” she insisted, then said she was too old for that kind of thing: “I’m 41”.

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Tom Watson told an event last night that MPs live in fear of undeserved public ridicule and are constantly sleep deprived. The former Labour deputy leader explained to the Wimbledon BookFest: “It’s an environment designed to create very poor decision making”. Working as intended?

14:34 , Robbie Smith

Grace Chatto (Dave Benett)
Grace Chatto (Dave Benett)

VOGUE editor Edward Enninful joined Fashion Council boss Caroline Rush at Soho’s Windmill for London Fashion Week’s launch party last night. Actor Pearl Mackie enjoyed Jodie Harsh’s DJing alongside model Sabrina Elba and Clean Bandit’s Grace Chatto. At the Picturehouse Central, Noel Gallagher was at the premiere of new film Oasis Knebworth 1996.

Payne: It’s nice to be cancelled

14:27 , Robbie Smith

Sebastian Payne (Sebastian Payne)
Sebastian Payne (Sebastian Payne)

Journalist Sebastian Payne launched his book Broken Heartlands last night at One Birdcage Walk, but it was a last-minute change after a cancellation at its first venue, the ICA. “We’d done all the logistics, then I got a call from someone at the ICA saying ‘we can’t host this as our director feels that it wouldn’t be appropriate to host a political event’,” Payne told the Londoner. Broken Heartlands is a work of reportage about Labour’s Red Wall. Payne added: “I find it bizarre… the Conservatives had their summer party there a couple of years ago,” before deadpanning, “it was nice to cancelled in the purest sense”.

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