Chris Evans wearing his pyjamas to work
You can’t go around punching people and expect to keep your job. Especially if that punch was because you were offered cold cuts instead of a hot dinner.
Any of us might crack in the circumstances, but how the BBC must be wishing it had handled the Jeremy Clarkson affair a little better. Rapped him over the knuckles. Made conciliatory noises about an addiction to painkillers or rhubarb or cheese or something. Anything!
Perhaps a mention of heroic consumption of rose in the hours before the incident, then packed him off to rehab for a week or so. Closely followed by deep contrition, a flamboyant apology and then swiftly getting the show back on the road. Job done, as Jeremy might have said himself. But no. Cock-up followed fiasco followed disaster.
Now we are stuck with new Top Gear host Chris Evans. Clearly, millions adore the wealthy radio and television presenter, but I remain immune to his charms.
There is something about his coppery confidence I can’t stomach. I get the feeling we are only ever two tantrums away from an Evans ego eruption should something happen that does not please.
In the past, there have been three self-regarding volumes of autobiography. A history of holding his broadcasting bosses to ransom if he doesn’t get what he wants. And politically he has supported Ken Livingstone, which always marks someone out as a rum ’un. Worst of all, however, is his dress sense. Or lack thereof.
Jeremy may have his faults — he certainly has been seen in town wearing padded gilets and dad jeans — but at least he has never walked around in public wearing his pyjamas.
Earlier this week, Evans was spotted leaving the BBC in his Snoopy cartoon jim-jams, his feet stuffed into sheepskin slippers, no doubt the odours of the previous night’s sleep wafting around him. Did the scruffbag even brush his teeth before leaving home?
Agreed, Evans’s breakfast schedule means that he must be at the studio at the crack of dawn to prepare for his 6.30am show, but doesn’t the man have standards?
Millions of shift workers manage to get to their place of employment on time, appropriately clothed and with their shoelaces tied properly every day of the week. And they have to put in a full day’s work, of a much more onerous nature than presenting a radio show, before they can go home again.
Slovenly school-run mums and Tesco shoppers have been rightly chastised for wearing their pyjamas in the streets.
Surely the same rules must apply to a Ferrari-owning celebrity millionaire?
During the 16 years that Evans’s much-loved predecessor Sir Terry Wogan presented the breakfast show, I doubt there was a single morning when he didn’t turn up bathed, shaved and smart; his Hush Puppies buffed, a freshly ironed Tattersall check shirt tucked into his cavalry twills.
Wogan was the kind of old-fashioned gentleman — just like one of my uncles who would always polish his shoes before tending to his garden — who would never dream of stepping out of the front door looking anything less than well-groomed and immaculate.
Evans has never exactly been a Beau Brummel and like many male media personalities (Jamie Oliver and Alan Yentob spring to mind) he seems to make a perverse point of dressing like a little boy en route to nursery, instead of a middle-aged adult.
However, Evans’s slobbing around the office in his crumpled nightwear takes matters to a new sartorial low. Apart from anything, isn’t it rather insulting to colleagues? They’ve made the effort, why can’t you?
Or perhaps this is something more serious, the outer sign of a deeper inner turmoil, in which the pressure of presenting the gaffe-prone new Top Gear is really getting to Evans.
In which case, for once and once only, we can permit Jeremy Clarkson a bitter little last laugh.
WHY THE QUEEN MIGHT PREFER GNOME GUARD TO HER FAMILY?
Oh, MY darling HM the Q is having a bit of a weekis horribilis.
First, her brutish son Andrew deliberately drives his Range Rover through a pair of deer gates on the Windsor estate.
The gates would not open, so the idiot crashed through in a fury, damaging his car and the gateway. This incident tells you absolutely everything you need to know about Prince Andrew.
Next, sulky grandson Prince William tells the world he wants to stop the ivory trade yah, but won’t condemn big game hunting or, indeed, hunting of any sort, which he likes to indulge in at every opportunity. Blam!
Meanwhile, workshy wifey Kate broke with a 115-year-old tradition by staying at home with her children yesterday, leaving her husband to hand out shamrock to troops during a St Patrick’s Day parade.
That’s a nice way of thanking the men and women of our Armed Forces who risk their lives in the world’s trouble spots, isn’t it? What a shower the younger royals have turned out to be. However, may I be the bearer of some good news, Ma’am?
The Queen will no doubt be thrilled to hear that the supermarket chain Asda is launching a limited edition of royal garden gnomes to celebrate her 90th birthday.
There is a corgi, a guardsman and a plastic Queen (£30) depicted with a red nose and looking deliriously happy. Still, at least one monarch in our midst has something to smile about.
Sam Cam’s new crock skin accessory
Samantha Cameron, left, pictured with Hollywood star Melanie Griffith in New York this week
Study this picture carefully. What do you see? Popette from Shopkins meets Peace & Love Barbie?
The pair of them have just escaped the evil clutches of some brainwashing cult and are holding hands to celebrate their freedom. I mean, what is going on?
Samantha Cameron was photographed holding hands with Hollywood star Melanie Griffith in New York this week. The Prime Minister’s wife was there in her cushy role as creative consultant for Smythson, the luxury stationery and leather goods brand which has just opened a store on Madison Avenue.
Was Sam indulging in a panic hand-hold, trying to appear at ease in front of the cameras while wearing a giant bedspread? Or was it Melanie who grabbed her hand and Sam was too polite to say: ‘Get off me, you lunatic.’
The thing is, big girls do not hold hands. We just don’t. OK, maybe it is acceptable when we are driving off a cliff together in a convertible, like Thelma and Louise. But not — never! — at a party to launch handbags and posh purses. ‘It’s all about the textures,’ said Sam, speaking about the crocodile skin iPhone cases, not the crocodile-skinned Melanie.
Anyway, the Americans are thrilled with Sam Cam because she brings a ‘consistency’ to the brand and helps staff to ‘understand its core culture’. Central to this culture is charging £1,400 for a briefcase and using hunky James Norton to advertise a £900 grey leather backpack. We could all do that! Even if we do draw the line at holding hands like overgrown schoolgirls.
Time to tell Theresa she may not act the strumpet
Home Secretary Theresa May attended the Budget in the Commons this week. The fact she chose to do so in a dress that revealed a few inches of cleavage has been the cause of much comment, in this newspaper and elsewhere.
Television viewers said they were distracted. Social media was on red alert, prowling for any observation or reference to Budget Boobgate that smacked of sexism or ageism.
Yet one can, like me, admire Mrs May but still think her outfit was wildly inappropriate. Unless you are a bunny girl or Rihanna, cleavage has no place in the workplace. And particularly not if you happen to hold one of the highest offices of state in the land.
We’d be appalled if Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham came to work with his shirt open to his navel and a medallion nestling in his chest hair. It’s bad enough that he wears two coats of mascara every day. I have noticed the 59-year-old Home Secretary has started wearing shorter skirts, too. Perhaps this is all part of a last hurrah; an unconscious protest about the indignity of ageing, much in the same way that balding men suddenly start to grow beards.
Yet breasts are a whole different kettle of bras. Breasts have a power far beyond their mere presence, which is why they are usually kept locked up during the daytime.
Gwyneth Paltrow, pictured, looked like a sausage when she stepped out in public this week
That’s why the images of young women flashing their nipples at Cheltenham this week were so disquieting. All that tweed and turf, the beautiful horses and the sense of a jolly, sporting occasion, then wham! An elegant moment of British life gone as some vulgar strumpet from a reality show gave the watching world a flash.
When to get them out, when to put them away, when to be as meek as a milkmaid? Everyone knows what is and is not suitable. Everyone except the Home Secretary and a mad tart from Essex, which is a bit of a worry.
Do you fancy a sausage?
What I mean is, do you fancy a woman dressed like a sausage?
Gwyneth Paltrow stepped out in a tight, pink catsuit that divided opinion this week — and certain parts of her body. Was it flattering or not?
If you think slipping into a frankfurter casing is a good look for a woman, then yes.
My feeling was that it was great — from the waist up.
Gwynnie looked like one of those Greek mythological creatures with the upper body of a beautiful woman and a dragon down below.
Not even she could get away with that cling
Celebs’ kids show their gifts so early
What gets me is how talented the children of the rich and famous are. They are not like ordinary kids, are they? An incredibly high proportion of them seem to be preternaturally gifted in some way. It’s uncanny.
At 17, Brooklyn Beckham can barely know one end of a camera from the other, but he is already shooting an advertising campaign for a fashion house. His four-year-old sister Harper is still at the stage of life when she is drawing on the walls with wax crayons and eating custard with her hands, yet here she is, designing a fashion range.
Meanwhile, Katie Price’s eight-year-old daughter Princess is so brilliant she has already done a presenting job on the Loose Women gabfest — mind you, a chimp with a microphone could do that. Katie lets Princess wear make-up and pose saucily on social media — what could possibly go wrong?
My point is that once upon a time, celebrities’ children had the decency to wait until they had at least left school to cash in on their parents’ fame. Now they are at it from nappies onwards.