Nigella lawson

Rise of the Norland nanny

The young nannies arriving for their morning lectures at Norland College in Bath make quite a sight. Although the road is empty, they bank up along the pavement waiting for the lights to change. They are in their winter uniform of brown hat and gloves, hair in a neat bun; some push old-fashioned Silver Cross prams with plastic babies in them. Eventually the green man appears and the nannies cross. These girls look as if they are being trained for a bygone era — and that is certainly part of their appeal — but they are well prepared for modern life. Founded in London in 1892, Norland College made its

And one more for the road – excerpts from Roddy Doyle’s latest

9-12-12 — See the spacer died. —Wha’ spacer? —The Sky at Night fella. —Bobby Moore. —Patrick Moore. —That’s him, yeah. Did he die? —Yeah. —That’s a bit sad. He was good, wasn’t he? —Brilliant. Very English as well. —How d’yeh mean? —Well, like — he’d look into his telescope an’ his eyebrows would go mad cos he was so excited abou’ all the fuckin’ stars an’ the planets an’ tha’. An’ the words — —They fuckin’ poured out of him. —Exactly. It was brilliant. But if he’d been Irish, he’d just’ve said, So wha’? They’re only fuckin’ stars. There’s no way it would’ve been the longest-runnin’ programme in the history

The Three Musketeers is a triumph – because, like Game of Thrones, no one is safe

‘Pshaw!’ That was my first reaction to news of the BBC’s new ten-part Sunday night adaptation of The Three Musketeers. After all, wasn’t it about a fortnight ago I was in the Gaumont in Redditch watching the classic 1973 movie version that had just come out with Michael York (and Oliver Reed and Roy Kinnear…)? And wasn’t it roughly the day before yesterday that I remember tut-tutting and refusing point-blank to go to see the 1993 Hollywood bratpack travesty with those upstarts Charlie Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland? This is what happens when you get old: time compresses; there’s nothing new under the sun; everything people younger than you do seems

Hugo Rifkind

Being assaulted nearly put me on trial

Way back in the late 1990s, I spent a lot of time in court. What happened, see, was that in the wee small hours of a drunken Edinburgh morning, my friend Jonny and I took a shortcut home through the disused railway tunnel that runs under Holyrood Park. I’d been through it many times, being enraptured with the magic of abandoned urban spaces and, perhaps more to the point, stupid, but never before had it contained a gang of pissed-up youths on a rampage. This time it did, and they put us in hospital. Various arrests followed pretty swiftly. Scottish papers were interested, what with my father being in the

Taki: Come on then Saatchi, name a time and place. I’m serious, are you? 

OK, folks. We’ve had enough of Hollande and his rather silly antics, although I do understand the man. Ever younger is not a bad policy, in sport as well as in sexual matters, but it does give off a certain bad smell (it’s called a Saatchi) and is something real men actually never get caught doing. Seducers have been the whipping boys in books, plays, poems and in films from time immemorial, starting with Paris of Troy. Someone called it the most ‘unspeakable type of masculinity’, a bit harsh, I agree, but there are some chaps out there whose only goals are conquest and belt notches. Although highly ridiculous —

Charles Saatchi’s letter to Taki – I’m a cage fighter. Still want to insult me?

We’re putting the new Spectator to press this morning, and we have an interesting reader’s letter from Charles Saatchi. It’s addressed to Taki, as opposed to the editor, and takes issue with his disobliging references last week. He has this to say: ‘Dear Ms Taki [sic], Although the Spectator is a lovely read, I always skip your column, I’m afraid. I am simply not interested in your social life.  I know that you delight in telling readers that your friends of Prussian nobility find you hilariously entertaining company at their swanky Europoncy parties. But it was very hapless of you to spring to Nigella’s defence last week, as she always found you toe-curlingly vile, and

James Delingpole: In defence of cocaine

‘Is anyone here even remotely shocked that Nigella Lawson has done cocaine?’ I asked. Everyone shook their heads. Well of course they did: it was the after-show drinks in the green room at a BBC studio. ‘So why is it being reported in the media as if it were some amazingly big deal?’ No one knew the answer to that one. Everyone present had either tried Class As or been to numerous parties where they were about the only ones there who hadn’t taken Class As. Yet here we were, gossiping about the latest revelations from the Nigella court case for all the world as if they mattered. ‘One Direction

Now Ed Miliband is on #TeamNigella too!

Ed Miliband wanted agreement from the Prime Minister about MPs’ pay today, but Mr Steerpike hears that the Labour leader is keen to strike agreement on another topic. After David Cameron revealed to the Spectator that he was a member of #TeamNigella, Labour sources whisper to Steerpike that Ed is ‘definitely a member of #TeamNigella too’. So that just leaves Nick Clegg.

David Cameron: why I’m on #TeamNigella

The Prime Minister is interviewed by Fraser Nelson in the Christmas treble issue of The Spectator, out on Thursday. After dutifully answering questions on tax, China and welfare he cut to the chase: at a time when the nation is divided between those backing Charles Saatchi and those backing his ex-wife, what’s David Cameron’s position? When asked “Are you on Team Nigella” he gave a straight answer: ‘I am. I’m a massive fan, I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting her a couple of times and she always strikes me as a very funny and warm person, but I’m also an amateur cook and I like like her recipes. Nancy

Fraser Nelson

David Cameron interview: tax, ‘green crap’ and #TeamNigella

A sneak preview from The Spectator’s bumper Christmas issue, out this Thursday… It’s 9.30 a.m. on a Friday and David Cameron is about to head for his Oxfordshire constituency and work from home. This is precisely the habit that his Cabinet Office minister, Francis Maude, is trying to beat out of the civil service, but the Prime Minister has a reasonable claim to some downtime. In the past five days he has met 150 businessmen and toured Chinese cities. This morning, he has paid a visit to Tech City, London’s answer to Silicon Valley, and travelled to South Africa House to pass on his condolences following Nelson Mandela’s death. His

Blow to domestic goddess as cocaine allegations surface

Allegations that Nigella Lawson used cocaine and prescription drugs on a habitual basis have emerged in court today after the trial judge lifted a reporting restriction. Lawson’s former personal assistants Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo are accused of fraud by Charles Saatchi, Lawson’s former husband. The court heard, in pre-trial hearings, evidence for the defence which apparently shows that Saatchi accepts the Grillo sisters’ argument that Lawson had allowed them to spend more than £300,000 on the proviso that they did not divulge details of her drug use to him. The judge read out part of an email that Saatchi wrote during the prelude to the trial: ‘Of course now the Grillos will get off on the basis that you were so

No Nigella slump for Scott’s

You might have thought that being the scene of a tabloid sensation — and one concerning a national treasure — could have spelled a tricky period for Scott’s of Mayfair. Not a bit of it. My man with a corkscrew says that the place has been packed with Tories all week. They had Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith in for lunch on Monday, before Boris and Gove dined (after a fashion) that evening. No one was at anyone else’s throat on either occasion. Joe Public does, though, have a wicked sense of humour. The terrace tables, the very spot where Nigella and Charles Saatchi’s marriage ended, are particularly sought-after at present. However, reports

Long life: Putin, Saatchi, Murdoch…hell hath no fury like an old man scorned

The days may be long gone when a husband would pretend to commit adultery in a Brighton hotel so as to clear his wife, whatever her faults, of any blame for a divorce. But might it not still be customary for him at least to present their separation as mutually and amicably agreed? Not so, apparently. For such gallantry has been strikingly absent from the three most publicised divorce suits of the summer, in which rich and powerful men have each acted unilaterally and without much regard to their spouses’ dignity. A month ago, Vladimir Putin appeared on Russian television with his wife, Lyudmila, to announce that their 30-year marriage

Food: Scott’s, the scene of the crime

Scott’s, Mount Street, Mayfair: the scene of the crime or, for those who do not read newspapers, the place where Charles Saatchi throttled his wife Nigella Lawson in the smoking section, and stuck his finger up her nose. (The Spectator food column, or News Kitten as her husband calls her, is rarely first with a story, but she gets there in the end). I suppose I want to know whether, if I throttle A, fellow diners will intervene or simply assume that domestic (or, rather restaurant) violence does not take place in Mayfair, and I am sticking my finger up A’s nose through love, consideration and sexual desire; rather than,

Which television chef would you most like to see throttled in a restaurant?

Which television chef would you most like to see throttled in a restaurant? I have to say, Nigella Lawson would be well down the list for me, as I’ve always rather liked her. It’s true that some of her recipes are a little precious, especially all that fairy cake stuff, but surely not to the point that one would wish to strangle her, or witness her being strangled? Gregg Wallace, perhaps? He’s the one from Masterchef who looks like a badly boiled egg which is permanently on the cusp of ejaculation. Obviously Gordon Ramsay — that’s a given, as they say — but I’d also like to make a case