Monday, November 30, 2009

Ivanka Trump: You, too, can suck your way to success (just like she didn't)

Donald Trump's Stepford daughter Ivanka tweets me with a come-on to buy her self-help book The Trump Card: Playing To Win in Work and Life. Aged 27, a mere two years out of school, this daddy girl magnate-ette and newly-wed already bestrides the globe as vice-president of the Trump Organisation. To the obvious and correct accusation that her meteoric rise is due to nepotism (and a bit of Paris Hilton-like lucky-me savvy), she displays her proclaimed "humility" with this three-word response in her Introduction: "Get over it".

Her book celebrates her glory in the form of advice to fellow 20-something females wishing to graduate in (a dry form of) corporate fellatio. "When I reach for a book to help me past a hurdle or two in my business life, I don't go looking for a dry manual written by some sixty-year-old male," she writes. But of course. Who needs a manual of experience with her DNA (daddy 'n' all)? Her reference elsewhere to "wizened old boardroom veterans" would suggest the seasoned colleagues of Trump père might want to consider throwing themselves out of a nearby skyscraper window before they're thrown. Watch as their creped, wizened flesh ripples on the downturn.

But Ivanka disciples may need reminding that she is not quite yet the Living Incarnation of Success. The Trump Ocean Resort Baja Mexico, a Trump branded development, went belly up late last year. Its investors claim to have lost $32m and are suing Trump, Ivanka and her brother Donald Trump Jr as well as others for fraud, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. And in February of this year, The Donald and Ivanka stepped down from the board of Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc prior to its bankruptcy over multi-billion dollar debts.

As Ivanka writes in a surprise outbreak of sense: "It's all too easy to take one tiny misstep in the wrong direction and end up on a completely wrong road."

Here's Ivanka's corporate response to the Baja debacle.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Countess of Shannon: Her adoption fight and the other Almine

Almine aka The Countess of Shannon, mystic goddess

A number of you have written to me privately about the intriguing global mystic Almine Barton, aka the Rt Hon The Countess of Shannon, and my recent discovery of her. Some of you have confused her with her 30-something daughter, also called Almine Barton, who is a practising acupuncturist in Oregon - her website. Almine - the mother and seer - also has a young adopted daughter called Jaylene.

How Almine found Jaylene among the "Native American tribes of North America" is worth a read on her website: "I taught at Indian Lodges as the first white woman and attended the Native ceremonies few outside the Tribes are ever privileged to see. That part of my journey brought me a gift more precious than words can express: Little White Horse Woman." Almine had to fight the girl's family in court for permanent custody after they decided to have her back. Click here for the rest of this lyrically told tale.

The Countess is the wife or former wife of the former Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, the 9th Earl of Shannon, who was once married to the TV personality Katie Boyle. So far as I can tell she has never talked about her life with the Earl, aka Richard Bentinck Boyle. The nearest to a personal revelation can be found in an "interview" with her young daughter Jaylene -

J: “Mommy, why did you leave the palaces and the pretty evening balls and evening dresses behind?”
A: “A day came when I couldn’t hear the music of the stars singing to me.”

The Countess plainly has a fan club in the House of Lords. "Almine is truly the most profound mystic of our time. She is the personification of compassion, clarity and light." - The Right Honorable, Lord Palmer.

I am pursuing other lines of inquiry and thank you for your contributions and suggestions.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Curious Case of The Times' Missing Simon Cowell Report: Author is binned!

Private Eye moves on my Nov 5 exclusive story on the Curious Case of the Missing Simon Cowell Times article. Readers will recall that the Murdoch paper's media editor Dan Sabbagh wrote an unusually frank report on Sir Philip Green's plans for Cowell, the proposed US The X Factor and Murdoch Fox's part in all this. He even disclosed in his Sept 2 article that Fox had failed to return his call and that Cowell was envious of another show format. I revealed that the piece has since mysteriously disappeared from the paper's archive and from Google. Sabbagh's hubris could not go unpunished, apparently: he has now been shifted and replaced by a safer pair of hands. That's journalism for you - only the Eye followed up this story.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jonathan King and how Andy Coulson 'doctored a photo'

Jonathan King's autobiography 65 My Life So Far is on sale from December 6 - his birthday. I shall be reviewing it, of course. With former News of the World editor Andy Coulson in the news, it is apposite to publish an alleged example of his work at the paper, especially now he's the Conservative Party's boss spin doctor. In his new book, King publishes two pictures of himself seated in a park: he contends the right pic was doctored and published by the Screws, to make it seem that King was ogling a boy. The left pic is the true view, he claims. The Press Complaints Commission rejected King's complaint. It was unfortunate that, as King himself says, the PCC chairman at the time was Les Hinton, Coulson's boss. In this instance justice did not seem to be done.

£800,000 for journalist bullied by Andy Coulson - now the Tories' top spin doctor

The News of the World reporter who was bullied by former editor Andy Coulson and his staff side-kicks has been awarded nearly £800,000 for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination by an east London employment tribunal.

Matt Driscoll will pick up a record £792,736 from Murdoch's News International which with legal costs stands to lose over a £1 million on this case alone.

The tribunal found that Driscoll had been subject to "a consistent pattern of bullying behaviour". "The original source of the hostility towards the claimant [Driscoll] was Mr Coulson ... ". The Guardian reports, "The judgment singled out Coulson for making 'bullying' remarks in an email to Driscoll after the first formal warning, letting him know that he thought he should have been sacked."

Madame Arcati has long campaigned to raise the profile of this case, long after other media went silent. Coulson is the Conservative Party's top spin doctor. Despite Tory pledges to fight bullying in all its forms, Cameron has clung onto Coulson - and no doubt an absence of a media clamour for Coulson's removal will be a comfort. Bullying is the common coin of newspapers. The culture of newspapers promotes bullying. The attributes of the bully are required for editorial preferment.

Ironically, last Sunday, the News of the World went big on its own anti-bullying campaign (schools only, natch) - how hollow that looks now. The Screws these days is an archaic spectacle - a tawdry palace of hypocrites and liars, sad middleclass hacks at a chav masquerade as they clamber and shit all over each other in their prefab open-plan coop. I can't think of a more disgusting publication.

As for Coulson - go! The People needs you! More at Bullying UK.

National newspapers' conspiracy of silence over this payout, click here

Monday, November 23, 2009

Julian Clary tweets Madame Arcati ...

"My personal fragrance is called Paul Daniels: a little squirt does the trick."

Such a naughty boy!

Madame Arcati's personal fragrance is called Derren Brown. A trick does the little squirt.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Prince Philip conferred 'doctorate on the world-renowned mystic Countess of Shannon'

The Rt Hon the Countess of Shannon: "One of the greatest mystics of our age". Via husband the Earl of Shannon she is indirectly linked to former TV personality Katie Boyle, apparently

I am intrigued that the Duke of Edinburgh once conferred a honorary doctorate for literature (or "writings") on a woman who describes herself as "a Toltec three-pronged Nagual" - or put simply, "one of the greatest mystics of our time" or even "one of the most profound spiritual teachers of our age."

That at least is the claim of the woman in question - someone called the Rt Hon the Countess of Shannon aka Almine Barton. Her disciples know her simply as Almine. Quite what the Countess has written to warrant the Duke's interest when literary talents such as Martin Amis, Jeanette Winterson and Duncan Fallowell are left withering on the royal vine, I have no idea.

Perhaps it is her proclaimed divinity which impressed the Duke. Her website chronicles: "In 2000 I entered into God-consciousness which is a state of losing all identity and becoming a being as vast as the cosmos, having a human experience." Elsewhere it's explained, "In February of 2005, Almine’s body underwent a transfiguration, changing from mortal to immortal in the twinkling of an eye. Her books have been a roadmap to lead others into the same mastery and beyond. Masters populate her classes and are a fulfillment of a mission given to her in January 2005: prepare the leadership for a Golden Age about to be birthed on Earth."

A scurrilous claim that Almine was once a belly dancer in Oregon cannot be true. It is entirely possible that the writer misunderstood the mystic's interest in the flamenco (see pic above).

Almine would appear to be a US citizen, born in South Africa, who gave up the British aristocratic life for her higher calling a few years back. Richard Bentinck Boyle, 9th Earl of Shannon, certainly took a third wife in 1994 called Almine, or Alamine de Villiers (daughter of Rocco Cotorsia de Villiers of Cape Town), depending on your source. The Earl's first wife was the TV personality Katie Boyle, former polyglot hostess of Eurovision. The precise state of Almine's union is unknown, but she doesn't name her husband in her literature. And in an interview on her site she describes herself as a "single mom".

Photos on her website reveal an elegant blonde at the very heart of the British government and royal life. I am beside myself that I have never heard of her. Not even in Tatler. The magazine must try to keep up.

The 9th Earl of Shannon (business woes)

As a global mystic, the Countess is up there with another goddess - the domestic one, Nigella Lawson. Almine has co-authored two cookery books, Cooking With Class and Memories and Meals. Curiously, at least one of the titles is presented with a commendation from the chairman of the vanity publisher Serendipity, Tony Clarkson.

A Google delve into the life of this extraordinary woman leaves one gagging for a lot more: it is Gatsby-esque in its glamorous murkiness, to say the least. Incomprehensible even.

"Death is optional" - a thought that may reassure the Duke ... (Click film once to play).
Her music (then click "Play all") is more to my taste - let's dance.
Another Almine site at Spiritual Journeys

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Madeleine Foundation bows to the McCanns and Carter-Ruck

Private Eye's least favourite firm of solicitors, Carter-Ruck, has imposed a set of restrictions on The Madeleine Foundation - the organisation of loafers, bigots and trouble-makers who have persisted in falsely holding Kate and Gerry McCann personally responsible for the disappearance or death of their young daughter.

This at least is the claim of the Foundation in a newsletter dated November 15 (2009). The MF was recently threatened with a libel suit by Carter-Ruck on behalf of Madeleine's parents over a number of outrageous baseless claims made against them. The newsletter - which has been passed to me by a source - describes these purported restrictions and acknowledges trouble within the organisation led by Tony Bennett.

The MF has agreed to launch a new website with new material. It will now "report the facts of the [Madeleine] case without comment"; will "analyse these facts"; and will "ask questions based on these facts." As opposed to publishing the crazed accusations of sofa Poirots with too much time on their hands. The MF reports: "The Carter-Ruck requirements mean that we can no longer make specific allegations against the Mccanns [sic], e.g. that Madeleine died in their apartment, or that they somehow caused her death and then covered it up."

The MF promises to add to any article "the McCanns’ version on any of the issues. For example, there is nothing to prevent our publishing, as we intend to, the evidence of Martin Grime and his springer spaniel sniffer dogs, so long as we add the McCanns’ comment on this. They claim that the evidence of sniffer dogs is ‘notoriously unreliable’."

This is excellent news, if accurately reported. At a stroke it ends the spurious claim of MF-ers that their right to free speech is being blocked by the McCanns. The couple have, I think, displayed a magnanimity unmatched by Bennett and his army of lapsed Daily Express readers and other frothing lounge louts.

There is distressing news, however. The newsletter discloses that the MF current bank account of £2,766 has been frozen. By the McCanns and their wicked lawyers? No. By its former chairman Debbie Butler following her expulsion and her denied fraud claims against the MF. If she's reading this, do get in touch.

Bennett has agreed to give an undertaking to the High Court “Not to repeat allegations that the McCanns are guilty of, or are to be suspected of, causing the death of their daughter Madeleine McCann, and/or of disposing of her body, and/or lying about what happened and/or seeking to cover up what they had done”. The MF adds: "We would advise all our members that they may run the risk of receiving a letter from Carter-Ruck if they can be identified as having made similar comments about the McCanns." So they should use "cautious language".

That could be difficult judging by the filth I have received.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nicky Haslam's Wonderful World: What he calls his Peke's cock

As I was just saying to the shrewd Mrs Trefusis (in a comment in the post below), what can one say about Hi Society - The Wonderful World of Nicky Haslam? I think it's critic-proof really, a rare TV objet that defies any kind of serious or satiric response, rather like Karl Lagerfeld's collars or a song sung by ... Pia Zadora. Nicky has outrageous transparency and is fearless in its expression: the rest is name-dropping. Like Nicky's memoir, the TV show was just there. Its most fascinating revelation was that he calls his fluffy black Peke's cock a "lipstick".

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nicky Haslam TV show: Now who was it who made him cry?

Nicky Haslam and Paris Hilton give each other a facial

Don't miss Hi Society - The Wonderful World of Nicky Haslam (Nov 17, BBC4, 9pm). It's billed as a "documentary about the socialite, bon viveur and wit Nicky Haslam, one of the world's most respected interior designers, whose clients include royalty, rock stars and Russians." And other r-ses. Word reaches me that the film is "made" by making Nicky cry on-screen. It was David Jenkins's questioning which did that - but director/producer Hannah Rothschild was dubbed over the top. Not for her greater glory, natch!

Meantime, here's Nicky promoting his memoir Redeeming Features, now being reprinted. Click once to play.

Friday, November 13, 2009

David Litchfield interview: 'Ritz, Ms Nicky Haslam and other lewd acts'

David Litchfield

If you don't know of Ritz then just fuck off. Ritz was the best British magazine ever, the magazine that ushered the antichrists of celebrity journalism and the paparazzi into our modern UK media with its pioneering Q'n'As, swaggering photography and total respect for the uncorrected hiccups of A-listers - their burps, farts and slip-ups. It was co-founded in 1976 by David Bailey and ... its editor David Litchfield.

Mr Litchfield is a shadowy coolish figure, a bold name phantom of murky European blue blood - [my] "step-great-grandmother was a Hungarian Countess, Ottilie von Schosberger" - and for more bio click hereRitz was the size of a newspaper and had the heft of a glossy: it dazzled with its range and bitchery - speaking personally, its daubed logo alone prompted dilation, pupil or otherwise, as if a sculpted buttock in a WH Smith pew. Ritz roamed as an invited member of the slebby party circuit, and repaid the best canapés with delicious copy for the kleptomaniac stay-at-home broadsheets. It made you feel so-not-up-there.

Mr Litchfield and Madame Arcati interacted ....

David Litchfield! My God! I mean, you are a God. You co-founded with David Bailey the most glamorous magazine Britain ever had, Ritz. I guzzled on its celebrity teats before its closure in the early 90s. George Michael cites it as a major influence, even Jordan appeared in it. EVEN Nicholas Coleridge with all his umms and errs. He's so inarticulate. Why David, why? (did you close it down?)

Not ‘that’ Jordan! The World’s End Jordan. Michael Roberts’ Jordan. ‘The Dyke from the Deep’. Coleridge only ‘umms’ and ‘errs’ when he hasn’t had enough Retsina. After fifteen years of partying, I needed some fresh air.

Ooops, if you've seen one Jordan you've seen them all. Ritz was modelled on Warhol's Interview, was it not?

Yes, but only enough to annoy Bob Colacello. We had fashion and girls, for God’s sake. Andy loved it because Ritz had gossip. He never understood why Interview didn’t. Did you know Andy and I had the same mother?

Er, really ....You are to blame for our celebrity-obsessed culture just as Lichfield brought the paparazzi to Britain? Defend yourself. Are you to blame for .... OK!?

Celebrity is ‘fame without talent’. We only did people who did things. We did gossip, bitch and parties so that we didn’t have to pay for our own champagne and cocaine. We used to travel by taxi, singing ‘Cocaine, Cocaine, The Musical Fruit’ to the tune of ‘Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam’. How was it all going to end?

Photo: Mr L, by John Swannell, National Portrait Gallery

Is it true stars like Brando, De Niro and Her Serene Highness Grace Kelly used to pop into your office for a booze up with Bailey, photographer Richard Young and yourself?

Yes, it’s true. It’s all true. But rarely in the office. Usually at Langans’ or Eleven Park Walk or Bailey’s place. And never Grace, or the Bagel Snapper. He was busy convincing Bubbles Harmsworth that he worked for the Daily Mail. I did Princess Stephanie at her hotel.

Name a few of the favourite celebrity pieces you ran, and least favourite. And name one star cunt. Lord Lichfield said when you interviewed him, "Now, let's get this straight. Why don't I get paid when I work for you?"

My favourite interview was with Orson Welles, who only said: ‘NO’. Nothing else. My second favourite interview was with The Queen. I said: ‘Oh, Hi’. She smiled and said: ‘Oh, Hello’, and then security arrived. My third favourite interview was with Jack Nicholson. One whole night at Blakes, with every organic chemical known to man.

My favourite introduction to an interview was by Francis Wyndham, who introduced Tony Snowdon to me by saying ‘David, have you met the Queen’s sister?’. Some of my favourite quotes included Elton asking Bailey if he still flew from aerodromes and listened to the wireless.

Bailey saying to Bob Marley: ‘What do you put on your hair, Bob?’

Harrison Ford saying to Bailey: ‘Is that my shit or your dog’s shit?’

Tennessee Williams saying to me that he was just a sad old queen and to Lyndall Scott Ellis that he didn’t like niggers. She was one. And probably still is. You know Lyndall? She was the one who, when asked by a TV-interviewer what were her interests, said in that wonderful drawling voice of hers: ‘Canine atrocities and infanticide’.

Our highest selling front cover, by the way, was a picture of ‘Clive’, Clint Eastwood’s Orang Utang. I can’t remember who did hair and make-up.

My favourite star cunt was Kelly Lebrock, Yum! [Who? - MA]

In response to Patrick Lichfield’s question, I told him what Helmut Newton told me, we should only pay the photographers we rejected. And he never asked again.

And Nicky Haslam. He roamed party-land for you along with Frances Lynn ("Bitchiest gossip writer..."), Amanda Lear. What was Nicky like to work with? Did he come into the office? Are your memories fond? He's nice about Ritz in his memoir Redeeming Features ...

Ms Haslam [pictured left] was a nightmare. She used to ‘blub’ all the time. I only used her as a favour to Bailey, because she couldn’t get any other work apart from walking Princess Michael and Mick Jagger. She was such a snob. And now we discover her father was in trade. Isn’t it wonderful? D for divine.

Amanda Lear only stayed long enough to polish her whip. I was the only one who stayed until the end of the party.

Clive James and Peter York worked for you. What's happened to Clive? And I spotted lots of Ambre Solaire on York's collar once: face dyeing is an understated art, doncha think?
Poor Clive. He never recovered from my refusing to sell him shares in Ritz. Peter York never worked for us. I tried to warn him about face-painting. I told him what it had done to George Hamilton. But then I also warned him ‘If you are going to perform a lewd act with a vacuum cleaner, do it at home, rather than at the car wash’. But you know Peter, he never listens.

Is there anything like Ritz today? And what do you think of the "professionalising" of titles like Tatler and Harpers & Queen (now dreary Harper's Bazaar minus Jennifer's Diary). Wouldn't you say Ritz was the forerunner of Hello! after its brain and teeth were taken out?

No, I don’t think [there's anything like Ritz today]. Harper’s should have kept Jennifer’s Diary and thrown away the rest. Tatler needs more Retsina.

No. No. No. Ritz was about ‘vanity, avarice and malice’. Hello! is about ‘shag-pile carpets and ranch-style homes’.

Now David, tell us about your life today. Where do you live? And where do you party? Do you still see Bailey? Oh, and your brand of toothpaste.

Cowes, Shepherd’s Market, Müllheim/Baden, Havana and Castellane.

And Heinz Schumi still does my hair.

No, I don’t see Bailey, ever since he stopped drinking and started going out with Damien Hirst. It’s so sad.

Would you ever bring Ritz back? How much money would you need? Or a website ... ?

Yes, but only as a very expensive newspaper. And all for the same money it cost me the first time around. Sealed bids, please! I’d just love to get Frances Lynn back with the headline: ‘The Bitch Is Back’. Fran really was the bitchiest bitch. She taught me all I know about libel. Bless her!

Have you thought to write a book about Ritz? Or if you have, reissuing it?

Yes, with my daughter, Summer Lee.

And what's this about a film script, Hannibal, The Legend?

Isn’t it wonderful? Van Cleef and Arpels is playing the lead.

Have you ever consulted a psychic?

Yes, and they were both right: I am of Gods and Kings.

And finally, David, is there one decent gossip writer or site left in the world?

Oh, come on, Mary!

David! Thank you so much. I'd get on my knees but I'd never get up again. xx

You should talk to The Queen. She’s got this wonderful tilting throne.

David Litchfield's website


Oh, and here's an extra bit. Frances Lynn recalls working with David ...

David Litchfield was the best editor I've ever had. I always obeyed him even when he warned me to write even bitchier stuff about my then friends, most of whom I thankfully lost.

I was the only one on Ritz who got paid. I would go to the office dressed in rotting rags, begging Litchfield for money. After I gave him a generous glug from my hip flask, he would sign a cheque with a shaking hand, so traumatised that each time I thought he would have to check into the Maudsley.

Litchfield was psychotically mean about money, but I have to hand it to the vicious old sod that he managed to con hacks like Clive James to write for Ritz for free. Litchfield is the only editor I’ve had who didn't edit my stuff, not even when I wrote something libellous shortly after Ritz started. Although I sobbed for forgiveness, I was secretly praying the rag would get closed down because I was exhausted from going OUT twenty four hours a day. Litchfield might have been vindictive towards his victims, but he told me not to worry and found the whole thing amusing.

During the late Seventies, Litchfield was my Svengali and I shall be eternally grateful to him for making me realise what a talented old bitch I used to be!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Duncan Fallowell: Andy Warhol in church - the movie!

Mournful, menacing, sinister: the score of a horror film, even. A camera leads us into an English parish church - Anglo-Saxon most probably with Norman add-ons (experts please advise) - as Duncan Fallowell asks Andy Warhol whether he believes in God. The eye lingers on the interiors, dark wood carvings - one resembling a pagan voodoo doll - before it is drawn to a pair of legs encased in light tan or cream drainpipes whose crotch folds set off a pronounced and artful scrotal bulge. The fly is open. In the man's leather gloved hands is a book. A book which bears Andy Warhol's name but which his Factory serfs wrote: the signature and the $ sign are at least Andy's: the sleb stamp. Church, fame. money, cock. Does Andy Warhol believe in an afterlife? The na-na-na-na-na repeat in his answer reminded me irrelevantly of this, the na-na-na-19. Now watch the flick, you hell-grazers. (Click image once to play)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Molly Parkin: Exclusive new portrait by Darren Coffield

Here's an exclusive new portrait of my fiancée Molly Parkin by the fabulous Darren Coffield (see his website; click image for bigger pic). I understand he is now using this or another photo in the set as a model for a painting which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery. Darren's picture also showcases Molly's latest millinery creation which I believe features an orchid in the flared bell of her "horn". I really do think one of the better chain stores should snap this design up: the sooner we banish appalling hairstyles from the high street the better.

The 'Rev' Andrew Logan

As to the matter of our wedding, Molly and I have yet to agree on anything, such as venue and form. We have flirted with the notion of Andrew Logan marrying us. One of the London Eye pods could be an amusing location - I've not mentioned this to Molly yet - or perhaps the premises of the Spiritualists Association of Great Britain in Belgrave Square: I've always fancied being given away by my late paternal grandmother via a medium (not Derek Acorah).

Monday, November 09, 2009

'Tatlersnob': The man who is utterly obsessed with Nicholas Coleridge

Nicholas Coleridge: In the company of Jordan, Megan Fox, Justin Timberlake et al, he is now a sex object: in this instance, the pin-up of 'Tatlersnob'

Even my most unforgiving critics - yes, you - will readily agree that Madame Arcati has a talent for finding human nuggets: very singular creatures with peculiar tastes. The gorgeous Robin Tamblyn and his preoccupation with Kevin Spacey. Fish and her exquisite fanaticism for Nicky Haslam. Now meet "Tatlersnob".

Tatlersnob, 28, is the alias of a young man who has a fixation on ... Nicholas Coleridge, 52 (job title below), the man who presides over Vogue, Glamour, Tatler etc, in the UK. Recently, Tatlersnob began dropping comments on various Arcati posts in praise of Mr Coleridge: after a while I thought, "I do believe I have spotted another nugget for my Museum of Charming Peculiarities." [I thought these words as a proper sentence]

I am quite confident that Tatlersnob is not a tiresome stalker or clinical loon: he appears to have an incomprehensible obsession with the upper classes (as framed in upmarket glossies, I hasten to add), the aristocracy and Coleridge in particular as icon of the genera. Tatlersnob, after a little persuasion, agreed to a brief, explicatory interview ....

Tatlersnob! Crazy name! Now look, it's become apparent from messages you've left on Arcati that you have a thing for the Managing Director of Condé Nast and novelist, Nicholas Coleridge. Tell me as much as possible what this "thing" is and how it started - do not stint on detail.

I'm a 28 year old male from the wilds of Scotland. I do so love the upper class and the aristocracy. All those ex Eton and ex-Le Rosey types: so attractive and sauve.

You stinted on detail. Anyway, starting with what remains of his hair down to his well shod feet, give us a guide to your thoughts on Nicholas' body parts. I mean, what do you think of his face, his shoulders, tum, other areas, legs etc. And tell us what you think he is like as a person.

Mr Coleridge has such a handsome face. He looks quite sporty and like he enjoys the outdoors. His chest looks quite wide and muscular and he seems to have lovely chest hair. He may well ride and so have very muscular thighs and bottom. AS a good snob I'm sure his crown jewels are well polished and sparkling.

In your dreams what would you love to happen between you and Nicholas, bearing in mind he's a happily married father of four. Share your fantasy - do you have fantasies about him?

I would just like him to take me out to dinner. I'm sure he is a very interesting person. It would be so lovely listening to his lovely voice for a couple of hours.

My own view is that Nicholas is a status obsessed snob as reflected in the magazines he oversees such as UK Vogue, Tatler, GQ etc, and in his rather facile novels which are just about money. How is this healthy? Defend your hero/fantasy lover from my brutal assessment.

I'm sure Mr Coleridge is just going by the old adage "write what you know about". He knows so much about high society and the upper classes, then why shouldn't he write about them? Mr [Geordie] Greig and he made a wonderful team at Tatler and Tatler needs to be somewhat snobby to remain a society magazine.

Christmas is a-coming. What would you love to buy Nicholas and him you.

I'm sure he could could find me some vintage copies of Tatler or maybe get me an invitation to bounce around a stately home. I would take him as my guest as it's always fun to have someone else to bounce around a stately home with.

Tatlersnob! Thankyou for sharing. xx

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Nicky Haslam Redeeming Features book party - but sans the young boyfriend!

Haslam with Cilla Black, friends again, though she's mentioned only in passing in his memoir. Bitches

Do you imagine the spirit of Madame Arcati can be barred from a party she is determined to attend? How sad and deluded you must be.

Of course I was at Nicky Haslam's Warhol-y parties to mark the publication (at last) of his memoir Redeeming Features. All three of me at the two of them. It was Bonfire Night. Nicky: in monochrome as a Regency rake. Slimmer. Whiter-haired. We Arcatis drifted into London's Aqua Nueva and clocked novelist Susie Boyt wearing the same damned ugly bridesmaid-style, too shiny dress - emerald green! - she had on at Fay Weldon's book launch about 6 or 8 weeks ago. It doesn't flatter her at all and the main reason we say so is because she's some sort of style queen. She sings Judy Garland in any case. Her soul is plainly gay male.

Duncan Fallowell attended fully clothed

Countless white-haired cocks were all about: Duncan Fallowell knew them all so we asked him for IDs. Most amusing as ever and he confided, between canapes and a little chat-up of the German waiter (whose name we'd reveal if we hadn't accidentally binned the scrap of paper), that given the size of the crowd, he was impressed that there were only two people there with whom he'd engaged in carnal relations. He wouldn't say who. Not Nicky Haslam though.

Cilla Black turned up late even though she and Nicky are supposed to have fallen out according to Lynn Barber who left early. The International Herald Tribune's fashion queen Suzy Menkes OBE queued eagerly to get her book signed - just ahead of us so we complimented her violet nail varnish, which was just a ruse to peer into her quiffy rollbar coiffure and marvel. She couldn't wait to see what NH wrote in her book. She's not in it, by the way.

Any number of people posed with their fingers stuck mid-book for the impression they'd "found their mention" - a party strategy to appear important regardless of omission or commission. The elder slebs took lots of pics of each other as if to celebrate unexpected longevity: Andy and Sony would have loved it.

Nicky's niece: her card is in our purse. Why? Carina Haslam ( And we also have Johnny Gibson's card who's head of marketing of Sound and Music, at Somerset House. Who he? With Carina?

Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes posed about still with the 60s Liz Taylor mascara while the actress who plays Gail in Coronation Street looked exactly as she does on TV except in better clothes. We met Nicky's "designer stalker" Fish and her very cute friend, a chap called Shaun (or Shawn) who edited the BBC documentary on Nicky out on the 16th.

That was the common party the papers wrote about. The after-party at Mahiki was more fun, despite the exorbitant cocktails - or was it? At one point Nicky sat next to us and we asked whether his young handsome filmmaker boyfriend was here. Nicky said no, he couldn't get hold of him. Awwww.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Times: Strange case of the missing Simon Cowell article

Sir Philip Green and Simon Cowell: Missing from The Times

It must be my advancing years but I seem to be becoming absent minded these days. For instance, I'd swear I read an article in The Times on September 2, 2009 (happily I still have a memory for dates), titled something like "Has Sir Philip got the X Factor that will make Cowell's American dream finally come true?" (happily I still have a memory for long, unzingy headlines). It was written by Media Editor Dan Sabbagh.

Now where is it?

It's no longer on the Times website, it's even not to be found on Google (though fragments of it linger in lifted form on other sites). It's a mystery that might tax the investigative skills of Mulder and Scully of The X-Files. Or perhaps I hallucinated it. Or is it possible it offended someone so powerful so much that its deletion was ordered forthwith? Certainly as I write I'm not aware of any legal activity or clarifiers.

Sabbagh reported that billionaire retailer Sir Philip Green wants Fox (like The Times, part of Murdoch's News International) to broadcast an American version of The X Factor - apparently to tie Simon Cowell to Fox's American Idol up to 2012. Other insider-ish things were claimed which I imagine might have slightly irritated Cowell and Sir P: for instance it was alleged that Sir P was angling for a $9m pay rise for Cowell which would take his annual fee from Idol alone to $45m. He's worth every cent in my view.

Sabbagh even mooted the possibility of Cowell appearing as a judge on Fox rival NBC's America's Got Talent, something Fox might not like at all. Speculation about Cowell's TV rival Simon Fuller - who owns the format of American Idol - and what he might think about all these claimed developments probably grated some high-up players in this intriguing story.

As I read (if I did!) this remarkable piece of journalism I marvelled at its unusually fearless objectivity: Sabbagh even reported that Fox had not returned calls to him to comment. The very idea! The article may have been total tosh, of course. In which case its disappearance is understandable in a paper of record.

Meanwhile, in other news, an Arcatiste writes:

Chere Madame

For what it is worth, today's Times p 73 (Dorset edition) has a mediapolis column. Can't find it online.

"Simon Cowell is due on the front cover of GQ in January, assuming he hasn't fled the country after John and Edward win the X Factor next month. He has been helping out with a piece that will discuss his business partnership with Sir Philip Green and, hopefully, will give onlookers a few clues as to what they plan for the development of Brand Cowell."

Not sure it's relevant but who knows.


And in yet more other news, mega-PR Mark Borkowski adds his view on the Simon Cowell/X Factor juggernaut, click here

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Hg2: Ultimate guide to the multiple pleasure-teats of 'travel' hedonism

The joys of lying about: Madame Arcati's idea of hedonism

One mark of a hedonist is an aversion to travel. Getting on a plane these days is not travelling. That's just sitting about. You get to the hotel - that's sitting about, too. Poolside, that's lying about. You want to see that quaint RC church with the transexual painting (really) in Ronda because you happen to be in Marbella? You get in a car and sit your way there before a long, long sit-down drunken mountain lunch adjacent to Orson Welles' lying-about remains.

To all intents and purposes you could have stayed at home and flicked through catalogues over an imported aguardiente. But it's nice to sit about and get pissed elsewhere.

I'm thinking these thoughts because I've just come across a fab publishing company called Hg2 designed for hedonists such as myself. Its founder is the extravagantly named Tremayne Carew Pole whose failure to find a decent bar in Budapest drove him to create the company that might locate that bar. In other words, his failure to find a bar to sit about in turned his mind to the basic problems of hedonism: the lack of authoritative guides to cool places to sit (or lie) about in.

Sitting or lying about is a wonderful thing. Do not be ashamed. People serve you, fuck you, guide you, feed you, hydrate you, as multiple pleasure-teats (some harder than others) temptingly play over your yielding and needy orifices - and all because you're not standing up. Hg2 has tapped into the great truths I am articulating now with an ethos that succours sit-downism elsewhere. It captures the glamour, the joy, the sheer purriness of loafing, elsewhere. Some of Hg2's elsewheres I am not familiar with: we are assured that Almaty and Astana in Kazakhstan have chic restaurants and spicy adult clubs. Did Borat know this? I shall be booking a return ticket online so I don't have to get up.

Hedonism to Madame Arcati is the 5* star hotel, with comfy chaises!, that has an "astrologer on call" service, as was the case when I sat about at the opulent Rambagh Palace in Jaipur several years ago. To have my destiny undressed as I fanned my damp, olive-pink cheeks (without dimples) was a thing too divine. "Whatever works for you," as the wise Tremayne Carew Pole says.

Monday, November 02, 2009

ITV buys The Next Uri Geller for 2010

There's The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent. But why not a talent show to find the next paranormalist spoon bender? Oh, hello Uri Geller, how are you? "I'm flying out to Greece tomorrow morning to film ... The Next Uri Geller," he tells me. "It's being shown on ITV next year." Spoons at the ready.

Angelina Jolie endorsed charity - 'Must do better!'

Angelina Jolie's pretty mug adorns an article titled Celebrities Put Star-Power to Good Use on the website of the respected Charity Navigator - a guide to good and bad charities. "A celebrity’s endorsement simply can not serve as a substitute for researching a charity," we are advised. So true. Take Jolie's endorsed charity, for example.

The Hollywood star is the Goodwill Ambassador for USA for UNHCR, an independent organisation that provides support for the humanitarian work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Organisations are performance-scored by Charity Navigator on a scale of 0 to 4 stars: 4 being tops and 0 plops. USA for UNHCR only gets 2 stars which means Needs Improvement, ie "Meets or nearly meets industry standards but underperforms most charities in its Cause." Still, it's not all bad news. On the USA for UNHCR website you can read this: "[The charity] meets the high standards of the Better Business Bureau. The organization outperforms most of its peers in its efforts to manage and grow its finances in the most fiscally responsible way possible." Depends which way you look at it, I guess.

Other celebrity-endorsed charities currently in need of improvement include the Duchess Fergiana's SOS Children's Villages-USA (2 stars), Julianne Moore's Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance (2 stars) and Mariah Carey's (et al) The Fresh Air Fund which earns just 1 point - Poor, ie "Fails to meet industry standards and performs well below most charities in its Cause."

Among the top 4-star celeb-stamped charities are the Elton John Aids Foundation, Bono's Greenpeace Fund, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research and Julia Roberts' The Hole in the Wall Gang Fund.