Welcome back to the Londoner’s Diary. First up Georgina Baillie, Andrew Sachs’s granddaughter, has revealed that Russell Brand helped heal the wounds caused by Sachsgate by sending her to rehab. And we bumped into Sir Rod Stewart and his wife Penny Lancaster at The Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards to celebrate the NHS last night but Sir Rod told us he was more of a private healthcare man. Also, Rishi Sunak tells us his Labrador retriever Nova has finally grown big enough to deal with the PM’s dog Dilyn. And Baroness Jenkin’s strikes a cheeky pose to advertise Second Hand September.
11:02 , Robbie Smith
Georgina Baillie, Andrew Sachs’s granddaughter, has disclosed that Russell Brand helped heal the wounds of Sachsgate by sending her to rehab. “He made it up to me because he sent me to rehab,” Baillie told The Londoner recently. She added, “I’m in recovery. I’ve been sober now for almost two years and… I’m fine.”
The late Sachs, who played Manuel in Fawlty Towers, didn’t speak to his granddaughter for several years after the incident that was dubbed “Sachsgate”. During a 2008 BBC Radio 2 show, Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand left a series of lewd messages on Sachs’s answerphone and bragged about Brand having slept with his granddaughter. Ofcom fined the BBC £150,000 and described the voicemail as “gratuitously offensive, humiliating and demeaning”.
Now, Baillie says she has no resentment towards her former partner Brand. She also told us, when we spoke to her at members’ club Christabel’s at the afterparty for her new play The White Witch, about another change in her relationship with her grandfather, who died in 2016. “I’ve actually done a few portraits of my granddad… It’s a really lovely except it was quite an emotional experience.” She added: “I felt like I was connecting with him in some way by painting these pictures.”
Helena’s tribute to her fellow ‘Helly Belly’
13:45 , Robbie Smith
Helena Bonham Carter gave a reading in honour of the late Helen McCrory at last night’s launch of Allie Esiri’s A Poet For Every Day Of The Year anthology in Daunt Books Holland Park. “We both called each other Helly Belly,” the actress told the audience of her friend. David and Samantha Cameron joined the launch too. In Canary Wharf Tallia Storm, Jools Holland and Naughty Boy were at the Boisdale Music awards.
Gossip man’s MP bid was no star turn
13:15 , Robbie Smith
Tim Walker is an accomplished gossip columnist and now the author of a book of celebrity pen profiles, Star Turns, but even he struggled during his brief foray into the rough and tumble of politics. He told guests at his book launch at the ICA last night of his ill-starred bid to become the Lib Dem MP for Canterbury — and how he was left untrained in “all the rules and the etiquette and stuff like that” when it came to what to say. So while out innocently campaigning one day, Walker committed a howler by declaring “Vote Labour”. Minor details.
12:30 , Robbie Smith
Rishi Sunak tells us his labrador retriever Nova has finally grown big enough to deal with the PM’s dog Dilyn, who has a reputation for exercising his “romantic urges” in inappropriate places. “Nova is basically probably twice the size of Dilyn so I think that’ll make it easier… she should be able to handle boisterous Dilyn,” the Chancellor tells us. But he confesses it’s not all plain sailing in Downing Street: “She’s also now a handful as well.” As well?
12:00 , Robbie Smith
Sir Rod Stewart and his wife Penny Lancaster joined Prince William and David Beckham at The Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards to celebrate the NHS and its staff last night in Camden. The singer chatted to us about his model railway hobby while Lancaster, fittingly for the event, told us he’d just added a hospital to the miniature scene. While his wife talked with pride about how the NHS had helped her father after a heart attack, Sir Rod said bluntly: “I pay for private health.” Not so on-message.
11:48 , Robbie Smith
Baroness Jenkin struck a pose to advertise Second Hand September. “They did say can you do something eye-catching?” she told us at a Swishing event at Policy Exchange last night to promote the use second of hand clothes. “I can’t bear the thought of textiles going to landfills so the whole project appealed to me. I made a vow about ten years ago never to buy anything new for the rest of my life. I still buy new knickers, but otherwise it’s not that difficult. For my Baroness life ‘mother of the bride’ is quite a good thing to look for on eBay.” Baroness Jenkin added of her photo: “Anything I could do to publicise this kind of event”. Success.