CELEBRIDEES Richmond is just up the road from me in Surrey. I find it caters to my window shopping needs, and also to my celebridee-spotting needs. All sorts of actors live there, some quite famous (Richard Attenborough), some who give rise to lengthy ‘oh God, what was he in, that thing set in the twenties, he was the brother’ type anguish. One Richmond celebridee is almost always on the streets. He’s so reliable, and so wonderfully typical of the breed (he wears a scarf in a casual knot that only actors can achieve). I speak of Richard E. Grant, the patron saint of Richmond. He passed my husband outside House of Fraser this week, his lion-like head high in the air. I missed Saint Richard, but I spotted Mackenzie Crook in a bobble hat a little later. (BTW the very best spot to find Saint Richard is in Boots, for some reason.)
FILMS Have you seen ‘In Bruges’,the film written and directed by (one of my favourite) kind-of-Irish writers, Martin McDonagh? If not, see it.
But not if you’re easily offended. (Although perhaps you should see it all the more if you are easily offended: it might offend you so much that you are shocked through the whole gamut of offence and come out the other side, unshockable.) It’s a smorgasbord of wit, gore, tawdry romance and, yes, offence. McDonough is quite egalitarian: everybody comes in for abuse. And that is why it didn’t offend me at all. In fact, I didn’t want it to end. Colin Farrell was getting a chance to act, really act, for once and his glee was clear. He ran barefoot through the rich, rolling Irish cadences of the script, kicking the words about like a footballer, heading the cruel, deadly jokes in to the back of the net. (Martin McDonough is, I feel obliged to add, wildly handsome. This doesn’t colour my view of his talent – I’m equally rabid about W.B.Yeats and have no desire to manhandle him – but it’s a nice bonus. Check him out here.)
TELLY OK. Some days have passed and now I feel strong enough to talk about it. ‘Paris Hilton’s British Best Friend’ … For those of you who haven’t seen it (Stay that way! Save yourselves!) the show is based on Paris’ very real need for a best friend in Great Britain. As you do, she is auditioning them on television. Not for Paris the dull business of meeting somebody at work, discovering a shared love for, say, Radiohead, going for a quick drink, then arranging lunch, then maybe going to Tenerife together. No, Paris is smarter than you and I.
So, various people apply, and once they are accepted, have to jump through all manner of debasing hoops while sharing a ‘glamorous’ (i.e. predominantly pink) house in London. They all love her, they adore her. I know this, because they say so all the time. What there is to love about Paris is hard to discern. She is not funny, nor kind and she has the voice of a small man. Last week’s humiliation involved each contestant being filmed as they read a note from Paris apologizing that she had been called back to L.A. and telling them that they had been disqualified. ‘The only lie,’ intoned Paris, the little old man with the huge handbag, on voiceover, ‘I hope I’ll ever tell them’. Because, hee hee, she was teasing: she just wanted to see how they’d react to being eliminated.
Well, uurgh. Basically. Yuk and uurgh. At least eighteen times more offensive than anything Martin McDonough could dream up.
One poor woman, who had met Paris a handful of times, always with the camera running, and in the company of several others, sobbed that she had no friends and believed that Paris was the only person who truly understood her. That floored me. I realized how much Paris Hilton is a figment of other people’s imagination, a chimera produced by their need. If all these people stop wanting her, would she disappear? We can only hope.
The girl who said she was disappointed because she’d hoped Paris could help her build herself in to a brand was eliminated.
When did little girls stop wanting to be ballerina’s and want to be brands, I wonder?
CHILD-RELATED HILARITY Niamh is my little girl. Five, going on forty eight, she has a big head and lots of hair. Lounging on the floor with our spaniel puppy, the estimable Mavis. Niamh was whispering to her, ‘You’re so cute, Mavis. You’ve got lovely little eyes, lovely little ears, lovely little paws, lovely little nipples.’
(By the way, those glasses are Chanel. Just saying.)
DISPLACEMENT While ‘working’ this week, I followed a trail of breadcrumbs around the web that somehow led me here. Is it really really funny or the stuff of nightmares (those eyes)?