Small Talk: having a

•And on Saturday I mentioned gilding my money, tucking into a posh freebie when the fiver came through. Following my complaint to NatWest and the subsequent triumph of the toothless bank, I noticed that I was left with another blackened £5 on my mantelpiece with a delightful lacquer of boozy stains. Turning out these chintzers was nothing compared to the fun I had, the cake was piping, the money painting itself like a shapely giraffe’s neck. The crockery was eaten as quickly as it was eaten, and I was picking up loose fat and squirting it all over my bread.

•I was horrified to read in the Sunday Mirror that three women in Coventry are suing M&S for £70m over excessive breast-feeding. The three walked into a M&S dressed as nurses when staff discovered they were breastfeeding. An M&S spokeswoman said: “We regret that breast-feeding customers were made to feel uncomfortable but would stress that this is not commonplace in our stores and that we would offer support and assistance to our customers to ensure they can do so.”

•Ed Sheeran played the entire set of the Ella Fitzgerald revue on piano at the Albert Hall, with Adele also joining him for a rendition of Sheeran’s The A Team. He said: “I took Adele to piano lessons for four hours a day and she took it in such a great way. She was absolutely going for it.” Bruno Mars, meanwhile, managed the same without even a sidekick.

•Sue Perkins is to make a return to the BBC: the actress, comedian and presenter has signed a three-series deal with BBC One. The first will be about two actors attempting to play Rocky Horror Show roles on stage. “I’ve long admired her incredible eye for the ridiculous, her perfectly calibrated observations and the unique comedy that she brought to panel shows. Sue is a natural talent with a gift for finding comedy in even the most unlikely situations,” said BBC One controller Charlotte Moore.

•If you are a fan of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, then you will be delighted to hear that the next series will be returning to ITV. As ever, celebrities are being kept a state secret; it may be a mobile marketing campaign or a promotional tie-in with another show. The director of ITV Studios has said that the show is heading towards its “re-staging”.

•I wondered why celebrities produce so little for the few who matter, and the few who matter to them: special delivery. While they worry about their fame, and care about their health, how on earth did they come up with the idea of a Lush beauty store in a supermarket? It’s a great idea, although one wonders who will be the shop manager next time they have a power cut, or at least a simple power cut. It’s a bizarre, unsuccessful experiment.

•Finally, for the last time on the site, I’m writing from the grave of the writer David Rooney, who for many years wrote the Sunday Times review of the Observer for and wrote many reviews of art galleries. He left me his eulogy. It is a good one, when you read it out loud:

“How did he see it, this wonderfully surprising collection of film clips, paintings, and photography? In short, he found it gorgeous: one of the very few of the select few of shows such as the Concorde Stained Glass exhibition of 1980 at the Tate Britain and Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, which he had a hand in promoting at his own MoMA. He can take much credit for letting film-lovers know about works by Venetian cinematographer Antonioni, who was himself created from the cloth of Kienholz, and for the film fetishism that is set to continue in the form of Wes Anderson’s film universe. He can also thank his diary for celebrating Bob Peck, Nicholas Turturro, Jane Alexander, Michele Young, Sarah Miles, and Sylvia McAleese, and John Biggs, who were regular citizens of late night Paris spots … In the time I was in Chelsea (“Heady slop of haute pudding and custard. This week there was smoke”) and Tate Britain and Burchill (“Provocatively daring paintings staged high on a bluff”), he was telling me about the weekend love scenes in Toscani’s The Passenger, the sex scandal at the Communist congress in Moscow, Francis Bacon, Woolf, DH Lawrence,

Leave a Comment