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Princess Beatrice knows how to give a speech, but still fears falling over

Princess Beatrice (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Archive)
Princess Beatrice (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Archive)

Princess Beatrice seems to be settling into her new role as Counsellor of State. When King Charles came to the throne he appointed his niece to the job, which entails more speech-making and other royal duties.

Last night the princess was at the Variety Club Showbusiness Awards and asked The Londoner if she could borrow a pen while making some final amendments to her speech.

Speeches don’t faze her much these days. “It’s not so much nerves,” she told us, “as it is about not having a Miss Congeniality moment where you fall flat on your face!”

In the film Miss Congeniality, Sandra Bullock’s character takes a tumble on stage. “In these situations you just want to do a good job, really,” she added.

After taking a quiet moment to “gather my thoughts”, she romped through the speech. We won’t claim all the credit.

Claudia Winkleman’s big (toilet) break

Claudia Winkleman (PA)
Claudia Winkleman (PA)

She’s all over the television but Claudia Winkleman, left, remembers her not very glamorous start in showbiz. “I phoned my dad, I was crying, he was crying, and I said, ‘I’ve got a job at the BBC!’” But when he asked for specifics, she had to confess: “A documentary series... called Toilets.” Not her finest work. “Don’t watch it, ever”, she now warns us.

Ministerial broadcast

Michael Gove doesn’t like to burn his bridges. He left Times Radio a little high and dry last month when, shortly before he was due to take over true blue Michael Portillo’s Friday evening show on the station, he accepted Rishi Sunak’s invitation to rejoin the Cabinet. But now Lord Vaizey, an ex-minister who once backed Gove for the party leadership, has kindly stepped up to the microphone in Gove’s place. Is there some Times Radio policy on providing work for former Tory Cabinet ministers?

London show will fly to Kyiv, despite safety concerns

Kristin Milward in Pussycat in Memory of Darkness (Charles Flint)
Kristin Milward in Pussycat in Memory of Darkness (Charles Flint)

The show must go on! A London-based one- woman show about Ukraine, Pussycat In Memory of Darkness, will press on with plans to perform in Kyiv. Safety concerns nearly scotched the enterprise last month. “We are setting everything in motion,” star Kristin Milward tells us. The plan is to perform it in two theatres in the Ukraine capital in December. Neda Nezhdana, who penned the play, is based in one of them. Milward says having the author in the audience “will be a huge honour.”

Last night in town

Londoner’s Diary 22nd November

Variety Club Showbusiness Awards 2022 - VIP Arrivals: Naomi Campbell (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Variety Club Showbusiness Awards 2022 - VIP Arrivals: Naomi Campbell (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Variety Club Showbusiness Awards 2022 - VIP Arrivals: Amanda Holden (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Variety Club Showbusiness Awards 2022 - VIP Arrivals: Amanda Holden (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Variety Club Showbusiness Awards 2022 - VIP Arrivals: Katherine Jenkins (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Variety Club Showbusiness Awards 2022 - VIP Arrivals: Katherine Jenkins (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Variety Club Showbusiness Awards 2022 - VIP Arrivals: Melanie C (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Variety Club Showbusiness Awards 2022 - VIP Arrivals: Melanie C (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Variety Club Showbusiness Awards 2022 - VIP Arrivals: Simon Council and Lauren Silverman (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Variety Club Showbusiness Awards 2022 - VIP Arrivals: Simon Council and Lauren Silverman (Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Naomi Campbell said she was “very nervous” in her speech at the Variety Awards last night, hosted by Amanda Holden. Singer Katherine Jenkins had the jitters too: “I don’t know what’s more nerve-wracking, speaking in front of you all or waiting to hear who’s scored first in the Wales match.” Presenting husband Simon Cowell’s award, Lauren Silverman said, “I am facing my fear” of being onstage. I’m a celebrity, get me out of here! (At least Mel C looked cheery).