Theodore Dalrymple, who lives in France, says that the presidential frontrunner faces an awesome range of problems — unsettlingly similar to those that will confront the Prime Minister unlucky enough succeed Gordon BrownLes VansDuring the height of the Dreyfus affair, a cartoon appeared depicting the setting of a bourgeois dinner party before and after it had taken place. Afterwards, the room was wrecked, as if a platoon of marauding soldiers had passed through it.
‘Probably best to do the interview before lunch,’ says a spokesman for Gérard Depardieu, France’s best-known export and highest-paid actor. This made sense. The last time I was due to meet Depardieu, at the UK launch of his cookbook two years ago, he failed to make it to the lavish party thrown in his honour, after drinking too much of his own fine wine and falling asleep upstairs.I’m expecting a partial recluse with Cyrano de Bergerac’s anti-social nature, a Jean de Florette-style curmudgeon with Obelix’s endearing clumsiness.