How the Old Bill beat Uri to Haw's
An anti war placard by the celebrated graffiti artist Banksy, given to Parliament Square protester Brian Haw, is caught in a tug of love between Haw, Scotland Yard and the cutlery tamperer Uri Geller.
In the dead of night last May, dozens of police officers descended on Haw to rip up 40 metres of placards, among them two by Banksy. Haw has not seen them since. Geller, above right, now says that he tried beforehand to buy Banksy's portrayal of two soldiers painting an anti nuclear symbol.
"I'm very much against weapons," Geller says, when I ring to follow up an e mail he sent to The Art Newspaper. "So when I drove past Brian and saw the painting I pulled over and ran across the lawn and asked if I could buy it. I think I offered 5,000. I'd still like it. If there's any way I can help get it off the police, I will."
Haw calls Geller a "cheeky boy", explaining: "He came over one night and I didn't recognise him, so I made him bend pandora online shopping a spoon to prove who he was. He bent it and wrote his name on it. I've been stirring my coffee with it and the name has disappeared, otherwise I'd sell it on eBay.
"[Uri] said he wanted this painting even when I said it wasn't for sale. He offered 1,000. He was very peeved.
"He'll have to get his magic hands busy writing a few extra noughts. Anyway, the police have stolen it."
Banksy's works fetch high prices: the actress Angelina Jolie has reportedly spent 200,000 on her collection.
Haw tells me that Banksy has offered him a new placard: "He sent his colleague Marcus recently to say he is happy to do one showing a noose, a pink noose in the shape of a heart. I'd like that."
The singer Mika, a modern day Freddie Mercury if you swallow the hype, sits atop the singles chart with "Grace Kelly".
Reviews of his album, Life in Cartoon Motion, have been mixed, however. A rival newspaper's reviewer, Alexis Petridis, gave it just one star, declaring it low on ambition. The finale, he said, "sounds as if it might have been Belgium's 1984 Eurovision entry".
Mercury's old Queen bandmate, Brian May, inset, has launched an enraged attack on Petridis. "Good Lord. What a wanker!" declares May on his blog. "I have a picture in my head of Petridis. he looks like a nasty, grubby, spotty, unusually ignorant 15 year old creep. writing a facile attempted artistic assassination as if he's trying to prove he has teeth in a sixth form magazine." May urges Petridis to quit writing and learn the tambourine.
The astonished Petridis tells me there "is surely no greater pinnacle a rock critic can scale than being told by Brian May to get a life". He adds: "Perhaps he could return the three hours of it I wasted watching the Queen musical We Will Rock You."
Benjamin Zephaniah has dipped his dreadlocks into the choppy waters of carbon offsetting. In an interview for the inaugural issue of Greener Living, the poet says he was green "before it became fashionable, when we were called loony". (He wrote "Me Green Poem" in the 1980s, for instance.)
His credentials need some buttressing, however. BZ's concessions to the environment are: a little recycling, occasional cycling, two energy saving lightbulbs and loft insulation. He still drives his souped upsports car. "It's a TR7 hybrid I built myself. It's so low to the ground. It's an adrenaline rush when you get that roar. If I put my foot down in my Ford Fusion, my runaround pandora beads cheap car, you feel like you're on the sofa."
The wordsmith does recycle old clothes. One of the charity shops he donates them to labels the garments "As worn by Benjamin Zephaniah".
An arresting rumour about Andrew Morton, biographer of Princess Diana, Monica Lewinsky, Madonna, the Beckhams and, currently, Tom Cruise. One of Morton's celebrity friends says that the former tabloid journalist plans to write a biography of the formidable and private editor of the Daily Mail, Paul Dacre.
"Are you pulling my leg!" splutters Morton, when I call. "Why on earth would I want to write about Paul Dacre? I have to pandora discount charms say 1,000 per cent no. I will answer: bollocks."
Hopefully that sets straight his friend. The Lewinsky book came about after an erroneous report that Morton had already embarked on a biography of the former White House aide. Her lawyers contacted him and struck a deal. Dacre is unlikely to respond similarly.)
Lord Levy's troublesome asides with the good folk at Scotland Yard have pandora bracelets online not distracted him from the heated issues of local politics. The peer is a member of the busy Marylebone Mews Residents Association. (His office in Marylebone burnt down in 2005.)
The group has upturned the scalpel tray, so to speak, over a private clinic specialising in cosmetic surgery. Residents complain that bin bags are left unguarded out the back. "It's furtive we've decided it's full of people's old noses and excess fat," speculates one local.
No reply from Levy when I call. Although his spokesman told local newspaper West End Extra that now is not the best time to talk about rubbish bags, adding: "He completely denies allegations of wrongdoing whatsoever." Defensive!
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