The face is familiar, though with fewer lines and before the onset of grey. This is Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer a decade ago, before he got his knighthood and entered politics. He was a lawyer then but also, we discover, a heartthrob. This photo was buried in the depths of Your Barrister Boyfriend, a now defunct online blog that once documented the hottest barristers in London. It is widely credited with bringing Amal Alamuddin to the attention of George Clooney, whom she later married.
The listing for Starmer described his “brawny bod” and “manly hands”, also drawing attention to his “wide and worried eyes”. “He looks like the headmaster of an exam factory private school who’s about to tell two parents that he is ‘disappointed’ by their son’s behaviour”, the blog reads, but “despite all this, we suspect that Keir is brimming with manly passion.”
Is Jack Guinness the new Bond?
The end of summer is within crawling distance, and the London social scene is returning in dribs and drabs. Yesterday Bird In Hand wine threw a lunch at Scott’s in Mayfair for celeb guest including Pixie Geldof and her husband, George Barnett, and the designer Michelle Jank. Given the venue was James Bond creator Ian Fleming’s favourite lunch spot, talk centred on who the next 007 might be following Daniel Craig’s dramatic exit. There were a few plausible candidates present, like Omari Douglas, who found fame in the It’s A Sin TV series. But it was model and author of The Queer Bible, Jack Guinness, who recommended himself for the role, which was greeted with chuckles, though not from his supportive partner Oliver James Broughton.
We also heard some laments for nearby Le Gavroche, Michel Roux Jr’s two-Michelin star joint which has been around since 1967. It announced it would be closing in January, leaving the smart set in mourning. But Guinness tried to lighten the mood: “Come on, we have Scott’s and this incredible terrace – it’s not that bad!”
All change at Eton
Many congratulations to Sir Nicholas Coleridge, who has just been revealed in the Daily Mail as the new Provost of Eton College. Sir Nick, whose CV includes chairing the Victoria and Albert Museum, organising Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee and running Condé Nast magazines, attended the school and has been hotly tipped in the race to succeed William Waldegrave. We look forward to observing the dynamic between the new Provost and his most prominent underling at the school, headmaster Simon Henderson, far right, whose nickname is Trendy Hendy. Henderson recently confessed that he is “woke”, though denied claims by some Old Etonians that his Left-wing views have influenced the school’s six-century old teaching traditions. He ruffled feathers when he sacked a teacher in 2021 for airing politically incorrect views in class. We doubt Sir Nick will come out as “woke” any time soon.
Queen bigger than The Beatles?
Beatles fans beware, this will rock you. Record producer Steve Lillywhite has claimed the Fab Four’s status as best band ever is under threat, in some respects. What’s more, he has another contender for the top spot: Queen. “There’s an argument right now that Queen, because of their ability to transcend stadiums, there’s an argument that they are more relevant today than the Beatles are,” he said on the Produce Like A Pro podcast. Lillywhite, who has worked with the likes of The Rolling Stones and U2, argued that “The Beatles never made anything you could play in a stadium.” In fairness, when The Beatles tried to play stadiums they were drowned out by screaming, and in recent years Sir Paul McCartney has set stadiums alight with Hey Jude and other hits. “I would never say anyone is the greater than The Beatles,” said Lillywhite in a caveat. But in the fight for relevance, who will be the champions?