Londoner’s Diary: No Sour Grapes for Will Self over his new literary incarnation

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·3-min read
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Will Self  (Getty Images)
Will Self (Getty Images)

Welcome back to the Londoner’s Diary. First up Will Self takes aim at a new novel in which he is satirised as a dead-eyed, thesaurus-eating protagonist called Wilberforce Selfram. Classicist Mary Beard says she has a simple solution to the statue debate: simply re-chisel the statues of people no longer in favour, Roman-style and Russell T Davies did not mince his words last night as he declared Channel 4 is “doomed”. In SW1A Paul Scully says he is still haunted by images of flamenco shoes after running Sunday’s London Marathon and Sir Peter Bottomley stands by his comments that MPs need a pay rise.

11:08 , Emily Prescott

Will SELF insists he is unbothered about being satirised as a dead-eyed, thesaurus-eating protagonist called Wilberforce Selfram in Sour Grapes, a new novel by Dan Rhodes. “I’ve been written about before … I was represented in Ratatouille, for f*** sake,” Self sighs.

We broke the news to Self, right, as Rhodes explained he didn’t offer any pre-warnings about the book, which also features literary festival guru, Florence Peters, who is based on ex-Hay Festival director Peter Florence, and disgraced journalist Harry Johannes — a thinly veiled Johann Hari. “They’re all forthright and pugilistic, so I don’t think they need advance warning when a bit of rough and tumble’s heading their way,” Rhodes said.

Self was up for it, saying of Sour Grapes: “It’s just woefully out of date. I’m 60 for f*** sake... I don’t really have any connection with the zeitgeist.” Withering.

Davies: It’s a sin to doom Channel 4

14:00 , Robbie Smith

Russell T Davies (Getty Images)
Russell T Davies (Getty Images)

Russell T DAVIES did not mince his words last night as he declared Channel 4 is “doomed” and lambasted the Government for letting it happen. The It’s a Sin screenwriter is certainly not resting his hopes on Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries. “The woman is an idiot,” he said, adding she “talked about the BBC having a nepotism issue” but “hired her own daughters”. For Davies, there’s only one way to save the BBC. “Vote the Government out,” he told us, before adding: “We won’t.” Cheery.

SW1A

13:30 , Robbie Smith

PAUL SCULLY is haunted by images from Sunday’s London Marathon, he tells us. Despite clocking up an impressive time of just over four hours, he endured a few lows, including being overtaken by a Macmillan coffee cup and a woman dressed as a dancer — in heels. “I can still see the flamenco shoes ahead,” he sighed.

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SIR Peter Bottomley stands by his comments that MPs should earn more than £82,000. In his early career it was “difficult,” he tells us, adding: “I had to make a choice. Do I stop? Do I go broke? Do I start doing things for money that I wouldn’t necessarily want to do?” Life on the edge.

13:00 , Robbie Smith

Bimini Bon-Boulash (Getty Images)
Bimini Bon-Boulash (Getty Images)

COMIC Alan Carr, singer Myleene Klass, drag star Bimini Bon-Boulash and DJ Jodie Harsh were at the Attitude awards last night at the Camden Roundhouse. Designer Jermaine Gallacher wasn’t wrong when he declared “glamour is back at long bloody last” as he attended an Eminente dinner at St James’s Maison François with artist Faye Wei Wei. Thank bloody goodness.

Settle statue wars ... with a chisel

12:30 , Robbie Smith

Mary Beard (BBC/Robin Cormack)
Mary Beard (BBC/Robin Cormack)

When it comes to the recent statue debates about who to keep and who to tear down, classicist Mary Beard, inset, has a simple solution: re-chisel them, Roman-style. “The Romans were rather more imaginative than we are, you know,” she told an Intelligence Squared event this week. “They got their chisels out and they changed the features of the hated emperor into the features of the one they now like … sculptures were seen very much as a work in progress.” If you thought spray paint was bad…

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