Friday, May 07, 2010

Andrew Neil parties with the stars on election night!


Most ghastly fun on election night was Andrew Neil's celebrity Thames barge party. Whenever Jeremy Paxman drawled himself into bored paralysis in the BBC studio - where a hereditary Dimbleby anchor modelled Dame Barbara Cartland's mortuary makeup - we cut pierside and to Andrew's game attempt to cross Nicky Haslam with Capt Bligh.

Beyond Andrew's well-chronicled adoration of stars it was hard to see what his Debrett's People of Today-approved liggers added to the occasion, but at least the likes of Bill Wyman kept him happy. We wouldn't want the chairman of the rightwing Spectator publishing company not to feel indulged.

There was Bruce Forsyth. Bereft of a gameshow crowd of dentured chucklers, he twirled to face the party-gatherers behind him and cried, "Nice to see you ..." etc, to indifferent response. The former Sunday Times editor didn't know where to look. Standing by Bruce's side was Sir Ben Kingsley (or "Sirben" as he's better known to luvvies) who irrelevantly paid tribute to democracy in a poorer part of the world. Neil looked unengaged (Gemini!), backed away a bit... [cut to studio!].

Private Eye fans will have welcomed the sight of Ian Hislop positioned within slapping distance of our host. For years the magazine has repeatedly published a photo of a vested Andrew partying with some gorgeous gal (not Pamella Bordes!), wilfully misspelt his name (Neill) and teased his thatch ("Brillo"). But for the TV cameras they were buddies - isn't that always the case with slebs? Ian seemed put out by the Lib Dem collapse which gave Andrew an opportunity to josh him as a commie bastard, or something.

Oh, revenge handbags at the next starry do!

Earlier, Andrew had talked with Ian's other mortal foe, Piers Morgan. It was a shocking exchange. Piers sounded intelligent and faintly socialist! He looked slimmer than I recall! Next to him was Mariella Whatsup who bemoaned the influence of markets on democracy; and did I see Jane Moore of The Sun there?, sounding a lot less enamoured of the Tories than in her column. I guess she has to keep Rebekah happy.

Later Andrew invited Martin Amis to bring some "literary sense" to the election. Mart tried but it's hard to think amid canapés. And then I noticed on Twitter that Guardian writer Jemima Kiss thought Andrew "needs a better colourist. Sheesh."

Yes, to start with.

11 comments:

Bartleby the Scrivener said...

Mariella was one of the worst, seeking to diguise her lack of anything sensible to say by describing everything as 'typically male' like some desperate but dim work experience type on Spare Rib several decades ago. Hislop reminded me in an odd way of Gordon Brown, in the sense that he's obviously been in training for so long to become something (in Broon's case, being PM, and in Hislop's case, being in his 50s) and, now that he's there, it all feels a bit empty. Maybe, tragically, he's exhausted his fogeyness before reaching full fogeydom.

Madame Arcati said...

Yes, tired was one word that came to mind. But then they do all work very hard. And they're the first to tell you.

Madame Arcati said...

Oh, but I quite like IH

Anonymous said...

Nasty bitch.

Anonymous said...

Oh you enjoyed it Madame and I bet you'd been there. I thought it added gaiety to the studio dullness, and it was reassuring that none of the slebs had anything useful to say. The allure of the TV camera never fails to bring out the limelight lovers.

Madame Arcati said...

I wasn't there. Had I been, I'd have reported what the stars said about Neil behind his back.

BPP said...

My other half thought Sir Ben Kingsley was Barry McGuigan.

Ron Broxted said...

We must go ligging next time I am in England.

Anonymous said...

My highlight was when that dashing young blade Zach Goldsmith won his seat. He can contest my seat any time.

Madame Arcati said...

Don't you mean the "millionaire Zac Goldsmith" - who isn't a millionaire these days?

Anonymous said...

Matthew D'Ancona is a great fan of "Bartleby". I wonder if he is posting here.

Of more importance, has his predecessor, Boris Johnson, repaid the £1,000 that Max Hastings paid out on a Tory victory a few months ago? And his loser's grand, of course.

Lots of love from far away X