Celebrities

Here’s my prediction

Melinda French Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will no longer be pledging the majority of her wealth to the philanthropic organization.

According to the Wall Street Journal, French Gates still plans to distribute much of her fortune across philanthropic endeavors, but largely outside of the Gates Foundation, which is one of the world’s largest.

“I recognize the absurdity of so much wealth being concentrated in the hands of one person, and I believe the only responsible thing to do with a fortune this size is to give it away – as thoughtfully and impactfully as possible,” French Gates wrote in a new letter.

The Gates Foundation will do much more making vaccines and real shit. And much less of the subsidising journalism that says wimmins should be nicely treated. Because it’s not been Bill pissing the money away on stupidities but her. Which she will now get to do her way.

Spot the cliche

In fact, they will see a very modern blended family, as Lord Ivar Mountbatten runs the family estate with his husband – with the full support of his ex-wife.

Penny Mountbatten has given the same-sex marriage her blessing, even giving Lord Ivar away when he wed James Coyle, an airline cabin services director, in 2018.

The gay cabin steward – with the upgraded title to be truly modern – is just such a cliche, isn’t it? TBF, marrying an aristocrat isn’t but still.

That proof again, the reason stereotypes exist is that they’re useful approximations…..

Yeah, obviously, I mean innit?

Meat eaters should not pick on my jetsetting lifestyle, says eco-warrior Michaela Strachan
BBC star says critics must stop attacking her for regularly flying between South Africa and Britain for work because she is a vegetarian

Star – which is being generous because who in buggery? – resorts to tu quoque when challenged on hypocrisy. This is the surprised face.

This really is a surprise

Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been convicted of staging a racist and homophobic attack on himself.

The 39-year-old had been accused of lying to police about the alleged assault which he claimed took place in his home city of Chicago in January 2019.

Smollett was convicted on five counts of making false reports of a hate crime and battery. He was cleared on the sixth count of making a false report of an aggravated assault.

The Empire actor had claimed he had been subjected to a racist anti-gay attack in his home city of Chicago by brothers Bola and Ola Osundairo.

However, the two brothers who allegedly carried out the assault said the incident had been orchestrated by Smollett himself to generate publicity.

Actually, my surprise has been why he fought so hard against conviction. Yes, I know, innocent man etc. But he wasn’t, clearly enough. And his sentence will be probation. Why not just plea bargain it down – he could have done – and avoid this circus?

I have to assume he thought he could get away with it. Actors often aren’t all that bright…..

Memory is a tricky thing

The Duchess of Sussex has apologised for misleading a court over whether she had given authorisation for an aide to brief the authors of a biography about her.

The Duchess said she “had not remembered” email exchanges in which she was told about a two-hour meeting between her communications secretary and the writers of Finding Freedom.

On Wednesday, she apologised to the Court of Appeal after a series of emails were disclosed which showed she was aware of the meeting between Jason Knauf and the authors.

Not that we do ‘sleb stuff ’round here but that looks like one legal bill that is just ripe for reversing. This thing having gone on so long, with so many snouts in troughs, that who has to pay m’learned friends being the only interesting financial point at issue.

Amazing how they’re wrong about everything here

I get the idea that they wanted to stop being Royals in order to make money in order to be able to speak out on divisive issues:

Striking a familiar tone with the fully vaccinated crowd in New York, the Duke, dressed in a suit jacket and open necked shirt, said: “Guys, we have what we need to vaccinate the world.

“But the experts told us: here’s what’s getting in the way. They said many countries are ready to produce vaccines back home yet they aren’t allowed to because ultra-wealthy pharmaceutical companies are not sharing the recipes to make them.

“These countries have the means, the abilities and the workers to start manufacturing. All they are waiting for is the vaccine intellectual property to be waived and the vaccine technology to be transferred over.

“And by the way, many of these vaccines were publicly funded. They are your vaccines. You paid for them.”

The Duchess asked people to think about the vaccine doses that have expired and been thrown away.

“That’s like throwing away life vests when those around you are drowning,” she said.

The astonishment is that they wrong about everything when they do speak out.

Take the Duchess there. Getting vaccines into arms is, everywhere, a government thing. Making vaccines is, most places, a private sector thing. If there are vaccines being wasted in the process of getting into arms then that shows that the private sector is making more vaccines than governments can deal with. This is not evidence of a failure of the private sector now, is it?

As to the Duke. No. Every factory that is capable of making these vaccines is making these vaccines. Everyone who can use the intellectual property has access to it. The lack is in manufacturing capacity, nothing else.

The glory of markets

Michaela Coel has accused Netflix of “exploitation” by offering $1 million (£725,000) for her television series, I May Destroy You, but not allowing her to own a percentage of the copyright.

The writer and actress turned down the streaming site and took her drama to the BBC, after which it went on to win two Baftas and receive nine Emmy Award nominations.

Isn’t it wonderful to have a multiplicity of buyers for your product? So that if one offers terms you don’t like then there’s another with which to treat?

Also, who the fuck is Michaela Coel and what in buggery is “I May Destroy You”?

But this is also entirely true about Monty Python

It’s true about pretty much any TV sketch, comedy or entertainment show:

Asked what he thought of Monty Python, Eric Morecambe joked that he liked the opening and the finish. “It’s the bit in the middle I don’t like.”

Ernie Wise added: “At times there’s five or six minutes of utter boredom. And then there’s three minutes of very funny and then another eight minutes of boredom.”

Morecambe, in a towelled robe and holding a large cigar, said: “The way I feel about it is that it’s, what they give you, for want of a better expression, is university comedy. Or college comedy or whatever you want to call it. And that’s what they give you. And I’m afraid a lot of it is very unprofessional. And this irritates me being a professional.

“But what does make me laugh, really makes me laugh. And what doesn’t make me laugh, bores me stiff.”

Anyone who thinks that every moment of every MP TV show was golden wit is an idiot. There are some delightful gems in there, entirely so. Also some entire shite. Which is how the creative process goes of course.

The reason movies are often better – not just MP, but in general – is because they cost much more to make. Meaning that the script gets more of a going over. At least an attempt is made to excise the dross and create the tapestry purely from the gold.

Every family has one

The one who causes quiet sighs of relief when they announces they’ll not be turning up for the wedding/funeral/christening.

Members of the Royal family were “quietly pleased” that the Duchess of Sussex missed Prince Philip’s funeral because they feared she would “create a spectacle” if she attended, a biography claims.

This isn’t because every family has a Meghan, thank the lord. Rather, because by definition any group has someone on the edge of what that group considers to be comfy, cosy and acceptable. That’s what a group means, that there’s some shared whatever. And natural variation will mean that some are more or less in accord with that shared. Thus any such group will have someone testing the outer boundaries. Who those more cosy with the ingroup find too testing and therefore grateful they’re not coming.

Then of course there are ageing bit part actresses which is another matter entirely.

Getting Paris Hilton wrong

Think of Ghislaine Maxwell, always erroneously described as an heiress, as if that explained her incarceration in a New York jail, or the tabloid pages devoted to the misfortunes of the Ecclestone sisters, Paris Hilton, Christina Onassis and, before that, Doris Duke and Barbara Hutton. The only good heiress, it seems, is an unhappy one.

Not that I exactly carry a torch for Paris and yet. Yes, there are trust funds there. Yes, she will inherit. And yet. She’s also gone out and made her own fortune – by playing the role of the heiress.

I don’t know the current position but a few years back it was definitely true that her own, made, money was greater than what she’d inherited. At some point – those trust funds – it won’t be true. At least I assume so.

Hilton has, in fact, played a blinder. Taking this image desired, of the unhappy heiress, and using it to become rich. Comparative advantage…..

Ghastly Americanisms

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex believe that the Queen failed to take “full ownership” of the race allegations made in their Oprah Winfrey interview, according to the authors of an unauthorised biography.

A friend of the couple told Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, the authors of Finding Freedom, that the Queen’s lack of action had prevented them from moving forward.

The source also suggested that the Queen’s assertion that “recollections may vary” about their claims had not gone down well.

To “take ownership” is to say “Yep, happened, sorry about that, my fault, won’t happen again”.

As that’s not what Brenda is going to do over vague allegations that someone wondered what colour a quadroon was going to be then that’s not what she’s going to do, is it?

Bollocks

Meghan and Prince Harry discussed moving to New Zealand in 2018, governor general says
Patsy Reddy says couple said they could ‘imagine living in a place like this’ during their visit

Or perhaps a very short conversation indeed.

Anyone really see her living that far from Hollywood?

Erm

Public urged not to turn new Diana memorial statue into a shrine

Isn’t this rather the point?

OK, praying for the intercession of the Princess of Our Hearts might be a little de trop – although I can see some trying it, even some claims of miracles – but the aim and purpose of a statue is so that folks have that focal point of worship remembrance, isn’t it?

Actually, there’s a fun campaign. Do the Anglicans still canonise? If they do, how does one organise the attempt, the claim?

Step by step with the plan

The Duchess of Sussex has revealed that she hid references to Diana, Princess of Wales in her new children’s book.

The Bench, which was inspired by Prince Harry’s relationship with the couple’s two-year-old son Archie, includes illustrations of Princess Diana’s favourite flower, forget-me-nots.

As sales flag again then there will be another revelation of summat or other. And then again and……it’s all just so planned, isn’t it?

Presumably the last page has Phil renting a white Fiat Uno……

I wonder which one Melanie?

Of course, it’s possible that the Sussexes believed they were paying the Queen the highest compliment in choosing this name. But it’s hard not to conclude that at least one of them was doing something similar to what my old editor had done — unconsciously and almost reflexively using their baby’s name as a form of manipulative power-play.

I’m finding it very hard to work out which one that could be……