Londoner’s Diary: The Queen’s head? Painter Freud had other interests...

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Portrait of the Queen by British artist Lucian Freud  (Getty Images)
Portrait of the Queen by British artist Lucian Freud (Getty Images)

Welcome to the last Londoner’s Diary of the week. First up one of Lucian Freud’s models has revealed the artist’s ‘real interest’ when he was due to paint the Queen. Later, Omari Douglas speaks about why he thinks heterosexual actors should steer clear of queer roles and arist Tracey Emin recalled the meeting with art collector Charles Saatchi when she sold him her unmade bed. In SW1A Shaun Ryder compares Sir Keir Starmer to a screwdriver and Dominic Raab hoists himself by his own petard.

10:50 , Robbie Smith

ONE of Lucian Freud’s models has opened up about what it was like to work with the painter — and what he thought of painting the Queen — in a newly published book. “No it won’t take long,” Freud muses of his royal portrait, “but I’m really interested in other things. Bottoms.”

Nicola Rose O’Hara modelled for eight portraits with Freud. Her book, Girl With Two Fingers, is drawn from diaries she kept during the time.

One of Freud’s paintings of her — Naked Portrait Standing 1999, which she calls Girl With Two Fingers — has been exhibited frequently around the world.

O’Hara writes of her experience: “He pinches and measures my belly. Oh dear, I think, remembering other Freud bellies. But … I’m not here to be flattered. I’m not going to recognise myself, or connect with this image. It’ll just be a Freud.”

Freud re-found his interest and painted the Queen in 2000-2001. “He thinks she’s ‘sympathetic’,” O’Hara writes in her book. “And it will be a challenge to paint a monarch ‘who’s been painted badly 50 times’.” A tricky customer.

Here’s why some casting is a sin...

13:00 , Robbie Smith

Actor Omari Douglas (Getty Images)
Actor Omari Douglas (Getty Images)

Omari DOUGLAS says straight actors should steer clear of queer roles. The It’s a Sin star, pictured, recalls that, after he left drama school, he felt he had to hide his sexuality in auditions and was constantly told he wasn’t right for certain parts as it wouldn’t be “believable”. “We’re in a place where our community has been undervalued and underrepresented,” he tells Attitude, adding: “So, when the stories do come along that belong to those experiences, then of course we should be telling those stories. At least [for] now.”

How Emin and Saatchi made up

12:30 , Robbie Smith

Tracey Emin (Getty Images)
Tracey Emin (Getty Images)

Tracey Emin yesterday recalled the tempestuous meeting with art collector Charles Saatchi at which she agreed to sell him her unmade bed. After the two hit it off over a KitKat, they struck a deal. Saatchi, though, demanded: “Promise me you’ll never make another one.” Emin just laughed and replied: “Don’t be mad, of course I’m going to make another one ... every day… it’s my bed.” The meeting “changed everything,” she wrote online. Talk about being made up.

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