Diary – June 2, 1994


UNLIKE his elder brother, Prince Charles, a member of stalwart establishment organisations such as the Garrick and Whites, Prince Edward is dabbling his toe in far more risque waters. He is toying with the idea of joining The House, a new Soho club set in Georgian premises, owned by that well-known local patron, Paul Raymond.
The Prince was spotted at the club’s pre-opening party on Wednesday night, mingling with luvvy types including Russ Abbott and Helena Bonham Carter. Though the club is not due to open until January, when the renovation will be complete, the Prince, along with the other guests was handed a membership application form.

My bet is he will join. In addition to the normal club facilities, The House boasts a private cinema with seating capacity of 24. This would of course provide a wonderful opportunity for Ardent, the Prince’s television company, to do a spot of PR.

However, should the Prince, who prefers to be known as Edward Windsor these days, be in search of an egalitarian environment, he may have got the wrong place. My colleague, Marie, gained access purely because she is exactly five foot tall. The club management were furious when they heard how she had ducked under the bouncers: ‘Anyone who returns the application forms will be considered,’ a spokesman said yesterday, ‘but we don’t want people like diarists.’

THE LOCAL ELECTION is still not over at Eel Brook ward, Fulham, where, despite the overall victory of the Liberal Democrats there was disappointment for Simon Thompson, one of their number who lost a council seat by just one vote, to Labour.

The result has not been accepted, however, on account of a proven error. Thompson’s election agent arrived at 8.30am to vote by proxy for an arthritic woman, only to find her name had already been ticked off. Now the matter is in the hands of the High Court, who will have to find the ‘invisible voter.’ Should the findings lead to an equal result between the Labour candidate and Thompson, the seat will be decided on that inimitable age-old decision-making practice: the drawing of straws.

OVERDOING publicity stunts can be a hazardous game, as Nick Nosh, co-owner of the Fulham bistro Nosh Brothers, discovered

recently. Mr Nosh, along with other chefs, had been invited to a magazine’s photographic shoot and was asked to bring his most useful kitchen implement with him.

Being an inventive type – he and his partner, Mick, park a graffiti-covered American sedan outside their restaurant to advertise it – Nosh took a genuine army machine gun, left over from some filming done on his premises. He had got no further than Marble Arch, however, than he was stopped by the police who, understandably, were convinced he was an IRA terrorist. They gave him the full ‘shake-down’ treatment and spoke ominously of prosecution. After much wrangling, I hear, Nosh has now been let off with a caution – but he is so shaken, he is uncharacteristically unable to speak about the episode.

WORRIED tongues have been wagging in political corridors over the lively hairdo of Dr Alan Sked, lecturer at the LSE and leader of the British Independence party. Sked appeared on television three nights ago to deliver his anti-Maastricht political broadcast with his grey hair looking so bouffant it prompted my neighbour to ask: ‘who is on his head?’

Yet only last year, at the Christchurch by-election, I recall that Sked’s hair was distinctly black – I suppose his anxiety over Europe has taken its toll, but nonetheless I sought the opinion of Sked’s former ally, the Tory Eurosceptic MP, Bill Cash: ‘He’s had it done,’ said Cash blithely. UNDERSTANDABLY, John Tomlinson’s garb in this portrait of him, on show in the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition, has excited some curiosity. Why is he, in the Wagnerian character of Wotan, King of the Gods, wearing a trilby, and overcoat? Answer: a god-like cloak was not available, so he posed in his normal clothes . . . but then the imagination of artist Ken Howard, got a little out of hand and, to everyone’s confusion, he added a spear.

(Photographs omitted)