The Great Celebrity Bake Off lineup hailed as ‘best ever’
Series will raise money for Stand Up To Cancer and features Daisy Ridley, Rob Beckett, Alexandra Burke and Tom Allen

I think I’ve heard of two of them. A minor thespian and the bird who massacred the Leonard Cohen song. Other than that…..

Well I never

A spokesman for the Sussexes told The Telegraph: “The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma.

“She is determined to continue her work building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good.”

Jason Knauf, the couple’s communications secretary at the time, submitted a formal complaint about the claims in October 2018 in an apparent bid to protect his staff. In his email, he said: “I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year. The treatment of X was totally unacceptable. The Duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying Y and seeking to undermine her confidence. We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behaviour towards Y.”

Who could have thought that an ageing actress could be bitchy?

Woody and Mia

It’s just so difficult to wade through the competing claims. For example, just think what must be true if Woody is the be believed.

A woman finds that her boyfriend actually prefers – and goes off with – her adopted daughter. At which point she coaches and cajoles another of her daughters into making claims of sexual assault.

No, couldn’t happen, non on is that vindictive.

This is easy

The lawyer said damages for the breach of privacy could be as high as £300,000 but that the award for the infringement of copyright could far exceed that because the Duchess is entitled to seek “an account of profits” – that is any profit made by Associated Newspapers as a result of articles using her letter to her father.

A hearing would have to assess what profits were made by the publisher’s as a result but could potentially be huge.

In the year ending September 2019, covering the period when the letter was published in February, Associated Newspapers made a pre-tax profit of £59 million and after tax of £47 million. A court would have to decide the extent of the profits the newspaper and website made from publishing its articles on the letter.


One media law expert, who declined to be named, said the costs of the case were likely to be in the region of £5m.

A fairly large loss then……

A misunderstanding, yes

The Duchess of Sussex said on Sunday the changing of her name on her child’s birth certificate was “dictated” by Buckingham Palace as she launched another tirade against tabloid newspapers.


Buckingham Palace has denied the Duchess of Sussex’s claim that her son’s birth certificate was altered to follow royal protocol, describing her use of the word “dictated” as “unfortunate.”

A royal source said that no such convention existed, diplomatically suggesting that there had been a misunderstanding by her new US-based staff, with the detail “lost in translation”.

As I watch that caravan passing by in the news I do keep thinking to myself that her new US-based staff just don’t understand this country. Given that she’s marketing herself to the Americans this is fair enough perhaps but I do think it’s the cause of near all the shouting going on.

This could be a mistake

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have quit social media and will refuse to use platforms such as Twitter or Facebook to promote their activities, it has emerged.

The move is thought to have been prompted by the couple’s disgust at the hatred and abuse directed at them on social media, particularly against Meghan.

Not that I actually know about these things but it is fun to surmise.

Prince Harry and his wife have significant reach on a number of platforms, having more than 10 million followers on Instagram alone.

But they are understood to have said they will not be using any of them to build and promote their work in the United States, such as the new Archewell Foundation.

Those 10 million, plus Twitter etc, are the very thing that they’re selling.

Surely to God they don’t actually believe in their dreck do they? They do know it’s all a marketing exercise?

Well, yes….

Stella Tennant took her own life after struggling with mental health problems, her family have revealed.

The bits that made me think this might be so from the original reports were 50 ish, kiddies teens or grown up, going through a divorce…..being rather hard hit by all sorts of change in life in fact.

Ms. Birkin

Jane Birkin on the truth about Serge Gainsbourg and the pain of her daughter’s death
The actress and singer talks about her former lover, her new album — and why she’s breaking her silence about her daughter Kate

It couldn’t be that the new openness is something to do with the new album that needs promoting, could it?

Fun rumour

That New York Times piece talking about miscarriage. A rumour is floating around that it was an advertorial – the money flow was not from the paper to the writer.

Merely a rumour, of course.

Impeccably true stories

Today’s entry into the list of stories that simply are, without doubt, entirely true:

Mr Clinton, 74, has always insisted he has never set foot on the private island. A representative for the former president provided The Telegraph with a detailed account of Mr Clinton’s travel in January 2003, adding unequivocally: “President Clinton has never been to Little St. James island”.

A spokesperson for Mr Clinton has previously said his friendship with Epstein came to an end before the financier was convicted of soliciting a minor for sex in 2008.

Epstein hanged himself in 2019 while awaiting trial on further sex trafficking charges. Mr Clinton’s spokesperson insisted the former president knew nothing of Epstein’s “terrible crimes”.

Gosh, that’s exciting

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex celebrated their first Thanksgiving as a family in the US on Thursday, sitting down to homegrown vegetables from the garden.

A plate of veggies for thanksgiving. Yum!

It’s also grossly, pathetically, stupid. A £10 million estate used to grow 50 pence worth of vegetables is silly on a personal level. But it’s insane on a societal one.

America still does have those wide open spaces. You don’t really grasp how much of the damn place there is until you’ve driven it. And here we are, with people claiming virtue because they use the most expensive part of it, coastal California, to grow 50 pence worth of veggies that could – and should – be grown damn near anywhere.

The expense of that land showing us that lots of people want to have it, of course. Thus we should be putting that expensive resource to its highest value use, not some triviality like growing broccoli.

The broccoli should be grown in some arse end like Gilroy, even Santa Ynez, not Santa Barbara.

I’ve never actually believed this

James Stunt admits he was so rich he did not have a front door key for his own £10million home

That Stunt was rich.

Not sure whether I believed it was some recycling of his wife’s money or something to do with his family connections. The family best described as “interesting”. Providing, possibly a cash flow but not wealth in the sense claimed.

But I never did believe the stories about summat on the internet, art dealing and so on. As I’ve mentioned before that foray into being a gold dealer being what poor people think of as a rich man’s business instead of what it is, one of the world’s most efficient and thus profit light trades around.

“Mr Stunt said the safe had been completely emptied. “The whole thing had been cleaned out. There was literally not a receipt left. They took both my passports – my diplomatic and citizen ones.”


One of those things

Anyone who has ever been a journo gets bombarded with these things, PR announcements for this and that.


Sir Anthony Ritossa’s 13th Global Family Office Investment Summit on December 7-9, 2020 at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
Recognised as the World’s No. 1 Investment Conference,
The Most Exclusive and Influential Gathering of Family Wealth, Where Family Office Investing is not Quarantined.

Apparently lots of super people, the current Count Bismark, a Yugoslav princeling and so on.

And giving the thing a quick eyeball before deleting:

Lord Carmine Villani, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway’s BHH & MFO Global Partners Private Office, USA, London, Monaco, HK. CIO & MD of Saudi Crown Holdings, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Lord Villani? Not heard of that one. Apparently this bloke. And this bloke. And for some reason I seem to think that the Lord part is from summat like a Lord of the Manor, this time of Glencoe. Didn’t know the Scots did that but still.

Then there’s this bloke:

Count Eric F Charles de Villeneuve, President, The Ascotian Club, United Kingdom

The Ascotian Club is apparently a set of tennis courts in London.

H.R.H. Princess Léa of Belgium, espoused to the late Prince Alexandre of Belgium, and aunt of King Philippe of Belgium

Book now, eh?

Hmm, not sure

The place made me think of John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row but it is also not dissimilar to Loren’s hometown of Pozzuoli, near Naples. And this has to be at least part intentional.

Having lived in the area what I seem to recall is that she actually lived in Arco Felice. Which we could sorta say is a suburb of Pozzuoli but not really. Next place along the coast and really rather different. North Somersetonians would recognise the difference between Radstock and Midsomer Norton, that sorta difference.

Pendandtry, obviously, as there might be a mile in it.

One rather fun bit is that her sister married Mussolini’s son. Who was a rather good jazz pianist who I was once taken to see at the officers’ club of the Nato base.

I’m not so sure about the heiress bit

Indignant and defensive: Ghislaine Maxwell deposition reveals side to heiress not seen before

To apply entirely incoherent psychological analysis to someone I’ve only met once and then for 5 minutes in a pub. Pre- all the stuff with Papa and the boat too.

I think she was going to be an heiress, was trained up to be one, educated so and so on. And then, for well known reasons, the inheritance rather didn’t come through. Leaving her with brains, contacts, education, a network, a name and so on. And a certain requirement to find the cash and position commensurate.

The rest of it following from that. As analysis this probably working about as well as getting a psychologist to comment on the scandium market but there we are.


Ms Maxwell has lived a sheltered existence, protected by powerful rich men who knew how to make problems go away.
For the first 30 years of her life, that man was her father, Robert Maxwell, the British media mogul who died mysteriously aboard his yacht – named The Lady Ghislane, after his youngest child – in 1991.
Stepping in to take his place was a young American financier, Jeffrey Epstein, a man of great wealth and connections.

I might not be alone in this analysis.