A surreal and bizarre week so far, kicking off with a kaleidoscopic Monday of laughter and tears. First to the Q Awards at the Grosvenor House, where half the Great and Good were gathered at a fantastic do. You�ve already heard about Sir Elton�s �f*****g� anti-Madge rave, but also present were U2, Elvis Costello, Mick Jones, the Pet Shop Boys, Don Letts, the Human League and Bryan Ferry, without Otis, but accompanied by an explanation for the offspring�s foxiness: him and the band all done up like country squires. Also there, as a lasting testament to the rigours of a Rock & Roll lifestyle, and collecting the �F**k Knows How I�m Still Alive � award, was the mummified corpse of Shane McGowan pickled in alcohol .
Brian Reade wrote in this morning�s Mirror…
�In theory it’s a music magazine’s anointing of everything hip. In fact it’s middle-aged music industry people handing out awards to old rockers to make them feel their generation is still at the cutting edge. A few young groups were recognised but the majority of winners had an average age calculated by taking your grandma’s and multiplying it by the number of her corns.� Funny that, and I thought it was all just a publicity stunt for Q Magazine.
The whole thing was well MC�d by Jonathan Ross, who began by warning us that 32,000 music downloads would take place while the event was taking place , so we should all get pissed and forget the horror of music piracy.A hundred execs shuffled in their seats. Ross Noble then hit upon Ross Jonathan�s somewhat foppish sartorial choice, and when a large cigar completed the ensemble he drew an obvious parallel with Jimmy �fixed-it-for-me� Savile. A highly politically incorrect routine then unravelled involving excruciatingly funny references to what Jim might or might not have got up to with 15 year old coma victims at Stoke Man….oh for God�s sake, now then, now then, I can�t repeat that. You had to be there, I suppose. J.R. later collared me with the news that he�d enjoyed my website review in Ian Burrell�s new Indie media section that morning.A diversion to his early morning reading of �Knocked Up & Milky�, his favourite title, for which I continue to search top shelves in vain for it.
Now what�s going on over there? Michael Eavis exchanging notes with Harvey Goldsmith, but who�s teaching who about Rock & Roll promotion? And Derek McKillop, Elton�s manager (not his speechwriter, however) was on hand to assure me that it wasn�t Elton and David who bounced Borkowski off Billy Eliot – The Musical, confirming that Working Title�s appetite for disseminating fiction is as hearty as ever. Bernard Docherty, PR stalwart for the whole event, and I discussed bag-carrying and Geoff Bakers anti-clockwise spin. To discover how that works you�ll have to read my forthcoming book. A cricket lover, Bernard�s had the exciting news that his son stands a good chance of turning professional.
Had to leave to join Noel Edmonds� table at the launch of the Caron Keating Foundation at the Savoy. If ever there was a reminder that everything could end tomorrow, Caron�s demise was it. The tears and tiaras brigade managed to raise �200,000 at the evening alone, which was astonishing. The auction gave us an interesting competition between Richard Madeley and Richard Desmond bidding stacks of money for a bronze angel, with the latter still managing to plug his soft porn offering, the Fantasy Channel.
Interestingly, Noel Edmonds is selling cars nowadays, and thanked the organisers for allowing him to auction his Q-Pod all-terrain vehicle, although he did ask them to point out to any younger members of the audience that he once had a TV career. I sat next to Alice Beer, exhausted from minding her teething twins. Later Sir Cliff collared me about mentioning him in �Son of Barnum� (if you�ve seen it you�ll know how complimentary I am, but he�d only heard Ugly Rumours). A profoundly moving tribute to Karon, whom I only met a few times, the event felt brilliant, with a perfect atmosphere combining spontaneity with ruthlessly efficient planning.
What am I? A restaurant critic? Anyhow….
Following an approach from the production company concerned, Aaron Barshak has asked me to help him negotiate his way onto the next series of �I�m Doing This For Maximum Exposure� , sorry, �I�m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.� Rumour � huge, meaty, red-faced, handbag-waving rumour � has it that they�ve asked Fergie, and that the former Duchess of Pork is thinking about it! Imagine the ratings. Hats off to a terrific PR ploy: if she does, massive publicity, and while she�s musing, other senior celebs will be queuing around the block.
Excellent news too, from Des Nichol, Marketing God of the Daily Mail, also on our table, of my former celebrated porcine clients the Tamworth Two. Still neither sausages nor gammon, but alive and well and living in Kent. Long may they snuffle and grunt.
The next day, Tuesday, I find myself being quizzed for another celeb-dissection TV programme, on Leslie Ash and Lee Chapman, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Heather McCartney, Catherine Zeta Jones…�But I talked to you about these people just a couple of months ago!� I point out. They assure me of the unending interest in such huge names. So difficult to handle meagastars, the level of attention and unending need for �good� stories would be purgatory.
The Prime Minister (quack!) has more on his mind than a mere general election, a raging battle for the succession and a stonking new mortgage. I can reveal…nothing, sadly, but when �it� comes out the sympathy vote will too. Someone told me Chequers has a new series of trenches being dug around it, supposed to house a strange construction – an enormous umbrella-like defence shield enveloping the entire house. Has anyone else heard about this? Is it to keep reality out or secrets in? Here at Borkowski we�re on the case, and will, of course, let you know.
Incidentally, the fuss about Tony & Cherie�s mortgage, with which I chirpily concur above, is bollocks, no less. Have you ANY conception what a senior member of a barristers� chambers such as Matrix might earn in 2004/2005? Two Gorillas wouldn�t surprise me. And remember Cherie was one of its founders so will be calling the shots all the way. She could have bought that house with the petty cash.
Finally, a couple of footnotes c/o PR Week. A company called Revolver have had to take a full page ad (always a sign of desperation) to tell everyone about a publicity stunt they�ve �run� featuring a student seeing David Beckham�s face in a Jaffa cake. This, presumably, is because we�ve failed to read the �story� anywhere else. Oh dear. And as regards the mag�s Hit or Miss? section referring to Madonna and Elton John�s clash, maybe it ought to be pointed out that the two megastars actually share the same expert publicist in Barbara Charone. Now what do we make of that?