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whining & dining by michael whiner | contact:

La Putain de la Tour

This week Michael celebrated the scalping of two old blue enemies. A certain shadow chancellor once slapped the cheek our gross host after a glib comment on sexuality - the incident made Private Eye. Of course, that was nothing compared to the indignation he felt after being arrested by a sprightly young bobby named Archer, just for driving his Lotus Elan into Madame Jo Jo's. The renowned if creaky 'La Putain de la Tour' with it's view over a now empty Thames penthouse seemed an apt venue to toast a pair of prime political deaths. As usual he is already in full flow…

"What a superb week! Not only did it see Michael Portillo utterly humiliated in the Tory leadership election but Jeffrey Archer has finally got his comeuppance and been banged up for a couple of years. That’ll wipe the smirk off his smug little features. I met him once, you know. Didn’t trust him. His eyes were too close together. Anyway, I’m celebrating! Garcon! What’s the most expensive thing on the menu? Chateau La Tour '48 eh? Hmm, well I’m not especially enamoured of Frog aristocracy but what the hell. I’ll have two, and don't waste my time decanting them or I'll have your giblets, fried on brioche.

Talking of throwing large amounts of cash around did you see that they auctioned off Bette Davis’ Oscar this week? It eventually sold for 400,000 pounds – more then twice the top estimate. Now I don’t mind spending money on the essentials of life - good food, fine wine and high-class prostitutes but is it really necessary to spend that much money on a mere trinket? It’s not even like they have the satisfaction of having won the thing, they just flashed their chequebook. Mind you if there’s money to be made at this game then perhaps I should get involved more actively. After all, I’m not a stranger to the glittering world of the award ceremony. In fact, I’ve got a slightly battered Royal Television Society award knocking around the house somewhere. That must be worth at least a fiver surely?

I’m also taking bets on how long it’ll be before somebody decides to make a film about Jeffrey Archer’s life. With the minimal amount of development that British scripts seem to undergo these days, I reckon we’ll see the first one green lit in about six months. As for casting, that’s a great deal trickier. It needs to be somebody who can portray that slightly shifty yet charming quality that Archer exudes from every pore. For some reason Timothy Dalton springs to mind. I always found his James Bond slightly shifty yet charming. Of course seeing as the British Film Industry doesn’t know it’s arse from its elbow they’ll probably try and shoehorn Hugh buggering Grant into the part. Let's face it he’s in every other bloody thing going.

Talking of idiotic trends it’s taken Hollywood an unusually long time to decide that the historical epic is the new black. But they’ve finally caught up as Francis Ford Coppola is working on a huge Roman epic and Ridley Scott is teaming up with Dino DeLaurentiis on a film about Alexander the Great. I’m still waiting for some half-witted coked-up executive to decide that what the film world really needs is yet another remake of ‘Ben Hur’.

Celebrity is a strange thing. It seems to turn perfectly ordinary people into monsters who don’t realise that there is a limit to their abilities. Take Victoria Beckham for example. Anybody who has had the misfortune to sit through ‘Spiceworld: The Movie’ will be well aware that she possesses all the acting ability of a concrete bollard. Here is a woman who is so wooden in front of a camera that she doesn’t need an acting coach - she needs a tree surgeon. Yet nobody ever seems to point these things out to these people. Thus when it was announced that she wanted a part in the film version of ‘Charlie’s Angels’ the gales of laughter could be heard ringing from every newsroom in the land. You would think that eventually she might get the hint. But you’d be wrong. It seems that the footballer’s wife now has designs on producing and starring in a remake of ‘The Red Shoes’ as she’s reportedly a big fan of ballet. Oh dear God. Did the world decide to go mad overnight and everybody forgot to mention it to me or what?

Kim Howells has managed to annoy just about everybody involved with British film by suggesting that we should be more like the production line system of film development they use in Hollywood. I’ve got a suggestion for him – BUGGER OFF YOU CRETINOUS LITTLE COCK-WEASEL!!!!! I suggest that we strap Mr Howells to a chair, pin back his eyelids ‘Clockwork Orange’ style and make him watch an endless loop of ‘Pearl Harbour’, ‘Tomb Raider’ and as many other soulless, empty-headed blockbusters as we can find until he agrees never to say anything so bloody stupid ever again. Harsh but fair. It’s the only way to deal with these people."

recent whines...

January 2002 - St John - Clerkenwell EC1

December 7 - Hell

November 30 - Birthday at Brula

November 23 - Picnic on the Heath

November 16 - Les Trois Soeurs

November 9 - Ed's

November 2 - Burger King: Piccadilly

October 26 - Lindsay House

October 19 - Darcy's

October 5 - Spitz of Spittlefields

September 28 - West Street

September 21 - St John's

September 7 - Southeast W9

August 31 - Rogues

August 24 - Royale With Cheese

August 17 - Rules

August 10 - Manana

August 3 - £15/head at Mazzo

July 27 - La Scala

July 20 - La Putain de la Tour

July 13 - The Real Zorba

July 6 - Palefico

June 29 - The Moon and Pigeons

June 22 - Post Theatre

June 15 - Danang Vice

June 7 - La Crebiche

June 1 - B.A.N.G.E.R.S

May 25 - The Ritz

May 18 - The Harpo

May 11 - Trading Braces

May 4 - Hijo De Puta

April 27 - Broadway!

April 20 - Escoffier Steakhouse

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