Magazine article The Spectator

High Life

Magazine article The Spectator

High Life

Article excerpt

The story thus far: in the 18 February issue of the greatest weekly in the world I wrote that I had fallen madly in love with Jessica Raine, the actress who portrays nurse Jenny in the Sunday-night BBC television show Call the Midwife. In the throes of demonic, erotic exhilaration, I may have piled it on a bit thick. So what? If Gordon Brown can ruin the British economy, Tony Blair take Britain to war based on an outrageous lie, and both bums still walk around without cuffs on their wrists, surely Taki can walk on air and fly on gossamer wings over someone he's never met.

My whole point was to renounce today's so-called sex symbols, those drunken tarts one sees piling out of nightclubs unsteady on their thick ankles and slurring their words as they try to pretend they don't want their pictures taken. Here was Jessica in all the grace, shyness and understatement that makes a woman so attractive to the poor little Greek boy, so I went overboard. But nurse Jenny is my ideal woman, and although even I in my reverie was aware that it's a role and nothing more, I had to compare her with today's lot and weep.

Jenny-Jessica was my incarnation of goodness and her enchanting looks turned me into an erotomaniacal fool. Even worse, I decided to get back at the deputy editor of The Spectator, who had repeatedly made a fool of me by letting me stew on the altar - and with a Cardinal waiting to boot - while she amused herself with her family and friends in Old Queen Street. So I wrote, and I quote from the greatest Greek writer since Homer, 'Goodbye, deputy editor of The Spectator, so long, Keira (as in Knightley), au revoir pour toujours, Rebecca (as in Hall); you're all through, washed up, history, curtains, finished.' I swear on John Prescott's fat head that I meant it.

Well, in an act of unspeakable revenge, the deputy editor not only went ahead and got married and now calls herself Madame, she also hunted down Jessica Raine and commissioned a diary from her, a rare honour for someone as young as Jessica and one with just one hit under her thespian belt.

And the deputy editor knew exactly what she was doing. In her diary of last week, Jessica Raine admitted to being perturbed by what I wrote about her, advised me to cool my jets, and plunged the knife in deeply by suggesting I read some bloody book by some female called How To Be a Woman.

This was as insulting and wounding to me as sending an Italian tank-warfare manual to Hasso von Manteuffel would have been.

Gott im Himmel, what does the deputy editor have against me to wreak such Oedipal revenge? …

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