Magazine article The Spectator

Celebrity Culprits

Magazine article The Spectator

Celebrity Culprits

Article excerpt

I think we should institute two new annual awards. The first would be entitled The most infuriating non-Brit in London' prize. There are an embarrassment of candidates. Mad mullahs, would-be suicide bombers, Madonna, who has reinvented herself as often and to as little effect as Marks & Spencer, and a host of other irritating immigrants.

But were the first award to be bestowed this year it must surely go to Gwyneth Paltrow. She has pointless good looks without sex appeal and is relatively pointless as an actress. It is beyond me how she won an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love, one of the most insubstantial films of the past decade. Miss Paltrow, who moved to London to live with her British husband, has now started to criticise London. Doesn't Miss Paltrow know that it is bad etiquette for anyone but Londoners to complain about London? It is our privilege to criticise the rain and traffic wardens and black taxis, not that of visiting American celebrities. Miss Paltrow's conduct is that of a guest at a dinner party who moans loudly about the food, the dining-room and the hostess.

The other annual award I would institute is for the most infuriating pregnant woman: the woman who speaks most volubly about the awfulness of gaining weight. Speaking as someone who often attempts diets - and finds them extremely incompatible - I would be only too glad to have the excuse to eat pasta, bread, chocolate and other fattening foods; as, I suspect, would most women. These include the millions of women who go through tortures trying to conceive a child or those who can't conceive at all. …

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