Saturday, October 31, 2009

Did Patric Walker murder Celeste for her column?


Patric Walker (the love of his life was his intimate friend actor Richard Chamberlain - whether Richard knows this precisely I couldn't say)

Further to my appreciation of Nicky Haslam's incomparable memoir Redeeming Features - the only thing that could make you want to have diarrhoea because it is the ultimate loo read (antiseptic Wet Ones at the ready, please) - I am distressed by two things on p108 on the subject of a very famous dead astrologer.

The late Patric Walker was the master stargazer of the late 20th century as well as actor Richard Chamberlain's most expressive admirer. Thanks to lucrative international syndication, and a socialising liver which sadly was not as robust as one might have wished, his constellation of sunsign frippery informed and entertained hundreds of millions of hopers. Yet, even though Patric was a Haslam intimate, a frequent companion in a basement club beneath Fortnum & Mason, in the company of pretty boys, Nicky misspells his name as Patrick. How Patric must be seething wherever. The omission of the k was special, part of the mythologising branding: had Patric been born Colin he would now be remembered as Coli,  a thought that brings back to mind antiseptic Wet Ones. Patric died of salmonella poisoning in 1995, by the way.

Nicky!  Please correct for the reprint!

Richard Chamberlain:
 a gratuitious inclusion in this piece

It doesn't end there. Nicky then goes onto suggest that Patric (a Libran) may have in 1974 murdered his octogenarian astrologer mentor Celeste  in order to grab her horoscopic column on Harpers & Queen (as was): he did this by pushing her down some stairs, it was rumoured. Celeste was the pseudonym of the American astrologer Helene Hoskins: she taught Patric everything she knew about the heavens. It could be that this "rumour" was part of the fun campery of the time: but who knows?

I certainly detected no homicidal tendencies in Patric when I interviewed him back in the 80s: indeed so taken was he by the sight of me he exited to the hotel bathroom and rejoined me in vain in his silky dressing gown. It was early afternoon. We talked of his chasing asses around his home in Lindos on the island of Rhodes. I think he said asses.

35 comments:

Mrs Trefusis... said...

Fabulous. God I loved Patric. I wish someone would revive Celeste, by way of hommage

Anonymous said...

Isn't Madame studying astrology ?. Was murder in Walker's stars ?

And what is the name of this club beneath Fortums and how come I never went there ?

Madame Arcati said...

My dear, you'll have to read Nicky's book first, p108. Then get back to me. +++ Nicky writes of Queen mag. He means Harpers & Queen (no apostrophe). Where are the cunting fact checkers?

Madame Arcati said...

Dear Mrs Trefusis, Thank you. You are of course a goddess in your own right.

Anonymous said...

You know Patric always fancied you,you tart.

Anonymous said...

Your best item yet. I just died laughing. XX

Anonymous said...

Victor Olliver? Perhaps you've ruined it all.

The Late Nostradamus said...

Celeste was the best! As soon as she 'left', the Horoscopes weren't so good. Go figure!

Madame Arcati said...

Of course Patric was known as "Celeste" himself for a while after Celeste's death/murder - a very creepy variation on Psycho and the son who is his mother ...

Anonymous said...

I used to lucnh with Patric at Joe Allen's. A very funny man who knew everybody, a 20th Century Cheiro. Intriguing you knew him.

Madame Arcati said...

Cheiro was a bit 2oth C himself, but I know what u mean xx

Vivien Leigh said...

Madame Olivier, did you know all the Gay Walker Brothers - Patric, Alexander and Sebastian?

Madame Arcati said...

Well, I knew/know the Walker Brothers. Will that do?

Anonymous said...

too fab u cunt

Vivien Leigh said...

Oh tell us about Scott! Interview him! Is it true that he's really someone else altogether?

Madame Arcati said...

I would need to ask his mother first. I have a good medium.

Viv Lee said...

No, no, by-pass the mummy, go straight to the living corpse of Scott!

Madame Arcati said...

Madame Arcati is a respecter of procedure and protocol. Now to bed!!

The Sneak said...

Your friend Duncan Fallowell once told me the following: 'Guess who I've just showered with at the Fulham Pools? Dr Kildare. He's in excellent shape for a middle-aged man and the Greeks would have been charmed by his very tiny cock.'

This was in the 1980s. As they splashed and soaped up nudely side by side, Fallowell asked Richard Chamberlain what he was doing there and Chamberlain said he'd been having lessons in the small pool in the use of an aqualung, presumably for some film.

Madame Arcati said...

A most fascinating anecdote, thank you. Of course perhaps Dr K was shy or reactive to the cold shower, I always try to think well. Patric I guess had a trunk in his pants, not that I would know. x

The Sneak said...

Even the Fulham Pools has hot showers

Anonymous said...

Now you've come out, Madame, you've gone a bit coy. Remember what Wilde said: give a man a mask and he'll tell you the truth.

Madame Arcati said...

Victor Lewis-Smith says I was out already so in a sense I have merely come. Coy? I hardly think that could be said of me. I could have claimed that Patric's great cock loomed out of his black, gold dragon embroidered kimono as I nibbled a chicken sandwich, but it wouldn't be true. But he did say, "You can go off somebody quickly just by the way they hold a cup of tea."

I would rather say, Give a man a mask and he'll tell you something else.

Anonymous said...

Patric did not have a trunc in his pants - more a valise.

Madame Arcati said...

And how would you know?

Anonymous said...

Because he'd just put himself on the bed and open up

Anonymous said...

Are you the Sneak, Mister Arcati?

Madame Arcati said...

Me no sneak

Blithe Spirit said...

Someone that looks as good in his mid-70's deserves to have a more current photo posted.

MA darling,
If you didn't sneak peak under the black robe with a dragon, then what made you guess? Did the dragon have a bulge? How did he hold his cup - did he not use the handle?

I like your new profile photo. That hat is a scream. It becomes you.
ox

Madame Arcati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madame Arcati said...

Thanks for the pic link, Chamberlain still handsome in an Indian summer sort of way, or should that be Indian early winter?

I'm glad you like my new profile pic. I took it in a PhotoMe booth with a pastoral backscreen: how I got the hat in I don't know.

As to Patric, I'm a good guesser (foot size is no clue at all).

Five-Centres said...

You're going to love this one, Madame. Coming soon:

Hi Society! The Wonderful World Of Nicky Haslam
BBC4 Tuesday

Nicky Haslam, renowned socialite, bon viveur, wit, best friend to all is also one of the world’s most re respected and highly paid interior designers’. He works for “Royalty, Rock-Stars and Russians” he says proudly.

This sixty-minute film for BBC’s Academy Award Winning strand STORYVILLE, takes the viewer into a world few have access to and most could hardly imagine where apartments cost over $50 million and people think nothing of spending £4 million to do up a house.

The film features interviews with those who know him really well: photographer David Bailley; Editors of Vogue and Vanity Fair, Alex Shulman and Graydon Carter; Actor, Rupert Everett; Polymath and Church Warden, Christopher Gibbs; Russian Oligarch, Natasha Kagalovsky; and of course London’s glitterati.

Shot in fly-on-the-wall style, the film takes the viewer into a world few have access to and most could hardly imagine. Libellous, glamorous and always over the top, the Wonderful World of Nicky Haslam will be seen but never forgotten.

Madame Arcati said...

Not the show I wrote about on April 12 - http://madamearcati.blogspot.com/2009/04/nicky-haslam-documentary-by-hannah.html

I shall Sky+ it of course!

tonguetied said...

The wonders of search engines lead me here. I knew Patric long before he took up Astrology. He was a delightful man and I remember how he still had the hint of his Whitby childhood in his speech. What lay under his silk dressing gown however I cannot reveal......

Madame Arcati said...

Dear Tonguetied, why not drop me an email and do an interview anonymously (by email). More info the merrier. x