EPHRAIM HARDCASTLE: Should Prince Harry return Ripple of Hope Award?
Prince Harry‘s admission to Tom Bradby that the Royal Family isn’t racist should pose a dilemma over the Ripple of Hope Award he and Meghan accepted last month from Robert Kennedy’s daughter Kerry. Amid a Hollywood type love-in, she hailed their ‘heroic’ stance against structural racism in the Royal Family. A previous recipient was South Africa‘s Archbishop Desmond Tutu. This led polemicist A N Wilson to describe as ‘preposterous’ Harry and Meghan being compared to him, adding: ‘Their acceptance of this award is a monstrous self-conceit.’ Now that Harry concedes there is no racism, will he and Meghan be speed dialling Kerry Kennedy to have the honour rescinded?
Prince Harry’s admission to Tom Bradby that the Royal Family isn’t racist should pose a dilemma over the Ripple of Hope Award he and Meghan accepted last month from Robert Kennedy’s daughter Kerry
And how much of his estimated £16million publishing windfall will Harry actually donate to charity? Last year, his publishers talked of donating ‘at least’ £1.5million. When Tony Blair published his memoir, A Journey, in 2010, he gave the whole lot – all profits plus the £4.6million advance – to the Royal British Legion. Given Harry’s much-criticised focus on his Afghan scalp-count, might he not think of doing something similar?
Happy birthday Michael Aspel, 90 today, whose stellar BBC presenting career turned Leslie Thomas’s 1966 novel The Virgin Soldiers into a publishing sensation. Michael, pictured in his prime, interviewed Leslie for a teatime TV show, breaking the BBC rules about using the word ‘virgin’ before the watershed. He had to add a warning: ‘The book,’ he said solemnly, ‘is called The Virgin Soldiers. Don’t leave it around where the children can pick it up.’ A jubilant Thomas declared: ‘Human curiosity being what it is, the publishers were sold out by the next afternoon. I had a bestseller.’
Michael, pictured in his prime, interviewed Leslie for a teatime TV show, breaking the BBC rules about using the word ‘virgin’ before the watershed
Lord Sugar’s Apprentice sidekick Claude Littner recalls working for him in Paris when he asked the French staff if they liked Claude. ‘They said ‘Non’,’ Claude remembers. ‘They did not understand what he was saying, so I told them to say ‘Oui’ to anything. Alan came back and said, ‘I am going to ask a question and you better be right.’ He then turned to the office staff and said, ‘He is crap, isn’t he?’, and they all said, ‘Oui.’ Alan said I was finished.’ When Sugar was queueing at the charm counter did they give him nettle soup instead?
John Lydon, alias Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten, may not be a shoo-in with the Irish to represent them at Eurovision. Born in London to Irish parents, he whinges about Hibernian rejection. ‘I never felt Irish,’ he says. ‘I always felt, ‘I’m English, this is where I come from, and that’s that.’ He adds: ‘Ye’re not Oirish,’ the locals would say. So it was like, ‘Bloody hell, shot by both sides here.’
LADY Anne Glenconner recalls her late husband Colin’s procedure for dealing with bothersome Hollywood traffic police after leaving her and the children illegally parked outside a fancy dress shop. ‘I sent one of the children to get Colin, who came out dressed as a fairy with a tutu, tiara and wand,’ she recalls. ‘They were gobsmacked, got on their bikes, and tore off.’