Londoner’s Diary: Penguin bars causing a p-p-p-problem for PM

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson pose with Penguins and Tim Tams (Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson pose with Penguins and Tim Tams (Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)

BORIS JOHNSON has a lot on his plate at the moment, but it seems another photo is coming back to bite him. Last summer, the Prime Minister exchanged Penguin bars for Tim Tams with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison as they posed for a photo-op after signing a post-Brexit trade deal.

How awkward then, that just a few months later, a job lot of Penguins have turned up in the Australian capital Canberra — in a bargain basement shop.

An Australian source gets in touch with The Londoner and sends a photo showing boxes of the British chocolate snack now filling the shelves at aptly named The Reject Shop. Penguin bars formed a centrepiece of Boris Johnson’s pitch to Australia. In a video released in 2020 he declared, “I want a world in which… we send you Penguins”. But it seems the Australians haven’t yet caught the Penguin bug.

The trade deal with Australia is expected to add only 0.08 per cent to the UK economy over 15 years.

Perhaps Johnson can add in an Australian detour to his India trip to give the flagship chocolate bars a much-needed PR boost. Or maybe he’d be better off moving quietly on…

£22m mansion ‘is a bleak house’

LUCINDA HAWKSLEY says her ancestor Charles Dickens would be “spinning in his grave” over the sale of 3 Hanover Road, the Regent’s Park terrace, where he wrote Great Expectations in 1861, now with a guide price of £22.5 million. Writer Hawksley, who is Dickens’s great-great-great-granddaughter, told the Londoner that the price was “insane”. She added: “He probably wouldn’t even want to live here — the interior decoration is so awful.” We’ll mark her down as not a fan.

Gizzi: I won’t be the face of ADHD

 (Dave Benett/Getty Images for Malfy Gin)
(Dave Benett/Getty Images for Malfy Gin)

CHEF Gizzi Erskine says she doesn’t want to become the poster girl for ADHD after speaking out this week against those who make the condition “look cool”. “It’s social media’s fault,” Erskine told us last night, “because you’re getting these memes and quizzes where people are like, ‘if you sit down at your desk all day and you get distracted you must have ADHD’.” She explained she didn’t want to become a face of the condition: “Because I feel like it’s supporting the narrative I’m really against”.

Bid to stub out sneaky smoker

PUBLISHERS Hearst are on the nicotine trail of a mystery smoker among their staff, The Londoner hears, after one rebellious employee has been sneaking off for smoking breaks in a third-floor bathroom. Management at the magazine group, which owns Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and others, have sent out emails to all staff in hope of catching the puffing miscreant, who remains at large. So much for the days where editors would take pitches through a haze of nicotine — a fag in the bog doesn’t have quite the same glamour, all told.

SW1A

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace at the Invictus Games (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace at the Invictus Games (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

BEN WALLACE is favourite to succeed Boris Johnson, if the latter goes, claims ex-BBC man Andrew Marr. The Defence Secretary is “overwhelmingly likely to win” a leadership contest because of his work on Ukraine, Marr told the New Statesman podcast. But when was the last time we had a bald PM?

---

CONOR BURNS can see the lighter side to his much-mocked claim that the Prime Minister was “ambushed by cake” at a Downing Street party. The Tory MP sighed on Sky News this morning: “It’s not often you get to write a line in your own obituary live on national television.” The things you do for your political bosses.

Cin cin! A taste of Amalfi in Shoreditch

Londoner’s Diary 22 4 22

THE AMALFI coast made an appearance in east London last night as Daisy Lowe and Portia Freeman hosted a bash for booze company Malfy Gin. Nikkita Chadha, Zain Shah and Lilah Parsons were among the guests given a chance to slip the surly bonds of Shoreditch for the glamorous Italian coast as part of an “immersive experience”. Nearby in Old Street, Mason Smillie and Ikram Abdi Omar were at an event for i-D magazine.

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