Why so snotty, Mr Paxman
09:50 GMT, 5 December 2012
Jeremy Paxman announces sneeringly on BBC2’s Newsnight: ‘A statement today announced that the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant. We won’t mention that again though, I promise.’ Why is he so snotty Jeremy was happy to accept royalties for his 2006 book On Royalty, praising our constitutional monarchy, and he has been a house guest of the Prince of Wales. Meanwhile Radio 4’s Sarah Montague assures listeners the Queen ‘is staying put until she pops her clogs.’ Pops her clogs! How vulgar. Genuine republicans are preferable to creepy, state-subsidised sans-culottes.
Acclaimed: Jeremy Paxman was happy to accept royalties for his 2006 book On Royalty, praising our constitutional monarchy
Singer Barbra Streisand, 70, says she rejected the advances of Marlon Brando in California in the 1970s. ‘He wanted to go to the desert to see the wildflowers and stay overnight. I said, “No, I don’t know you well enough”.’ Too well, she means.
Next week it’s the Children’s Christmas Party in Downing Street, an event not always overflowing with generous seasonal spirit. My source says of a previous event: ‘One of the PM’s kids scooped up the gift labelled Cameron. Unfortunately, it was destined for another child whose Christian name was Cameron. A toddler meltdown was avoided only when the parent involved relinquished the gift to the PM’s heir. I gather the Cameron and Osborne families have been advised to bring their own presents this time.’
Baroness Thatcher’s former private secretary Charles Powell says she refused to see Meryl Streep’s movie portrayal of her in The Iron Lady. ‘I told her they’d made a film about her. She was silent for a moment and then said: “Tear it up!”’ Powell is familiar with Maggie’s idiosyncratic reactions, recalling: ‘I once took her to Towcester Races, where she met all the jockeys lined up before a race. She asked them: “How do you decide who is going to win”’ Perhaps Lady T knew more about the racing game than clever-dick Charles.
Labour's frontbench firebrand Diane Abbott says the Duchess of Cambridge is in good hands. ‘Duchess treated by Marcus Setchell, formerly Queen’s gynaecologist,’ she informs her fans. ‘He delivered Leo Blair and my son James.’ Although James was later sent to the 13,000-a-year City of London School – despite his mother deploring selective education – Ms Abbott says she didn’t go private to have him, explaining: ‘Setchell did an NHS clinic at Homerton Hospital. Lovely man.’
Disastrous Labour leader Lord Kinnock, now 70 – accused of handing the 1992 general election to the Tories – tried out his acting skills in a new play, This May Hurt A Bit, about the NHS. He plays his hero, Labour politico Aneurin Bevan, who set up the NHS. My source reports: ‘The Welsh windbag was in his element. Alas he won’t be in the real production.’