Esther Rantzen. (Diary)

New Statesman (1996), May 19, 2003 | Go to article overview

Esther Rantzen. (Diary)


I ask Sam Fox, once Peter Foster's girlfriend, what she thinks of him now. She had sent him a lawyer's letter when he tried to get in touch. "What a banker," she says. Well, nearly

Monday. Dale Winton's wedding in the garden of a country-house hotel. Surrounded by dozens of television cameras and heavies from OK! magazine, a flock of minor celebrities gathered amid doves and drifting bubbles, with Cilla as best man wearing a bucket-shaped hat only slightly less disastrous than the one she bought for the Blind Date wedding. The bride, a blonde model famous for saying nothing in an Australian jungle, smiled bravely on, looking as bemused as the rest of us. Dale was deep brown and wispily frail -- on the Atkins diet, he said. He's pleased with the result, but I thought he proved that you can be too tanned and too thin.

Wednesday. The Labour gala dinner at the Hilton. As a floating voter who has drifted to Blair, I felt like an agnostic attending a Mass. Tony spoke well, without a note. Cherie looked elegant. A Downing Street lady said to me: "When Tony came to power, he had a whole team looking after him, checking every detail. Cherie had nobody. Suddenly this shy woman had a public image to worry about. No wonder Carole Caplin became so important in her life, like a sister. Carole clearly has great taste in clothes, but as the conman Peter Foster proved, she also has terrible taste in men.

Thursday. The 700th Foyles Literary Lunch -- roast lamb at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane. Among the guests of honour (sadly, not speaking) was Sir Patrick Moore, the starriest of them all. My favourite story about Sir Patrick was of the day a typhoon followed him into a curry restaurant in Selsey, blasted through the front window and out through the back, leaving him and his astronomer compamon cowering under a table. Sir Patrick often has the look of a man struck by a typhoon, but today he was in his party best. The other story cherished in the industry is of a fly that buzzed too close to him as he described the sky at night. Sir Patrick opened his mouth to speak, the fly buzzed in, and viewers watched in suspense as he decided whether to swallow or spit. A lesser man might have hesitated. Without a tremor he bit, and gulped. He'd be terrific in the jungle.

Later at the Sony Radio Awards -- same hotel, different lamb -- I meet Sam Fox, the glamour model and pop star who was once Peter Foster's girlfriend. I ask her what she thinks of him now. She reveals that he did try to get in touch with her again but she brushed him off with a lawyer's letter. "What a banker," she said. Well, nearly.

Friday. To the new play starring Matthew Perry and Minnie Driver, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, at the Comedy Theatre, with my family. …

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