elcome back to the Londoner’s Diary. First up Will Self takes aim at a new novel in which he is satirised as a dead-eyed, thesaurus-eating protagonist called Wilberforce Selfram. Classicist Mary Beard says she has a simple solution to the statue debate: simply re-chisel the statues of people no longer in favour, Roman-style and Russell T Davies did not mince his words last night as he declared Channel 4 is “doomed”. In SW1A Paul Scully says he is still haunted by images of flamenco shoes after running Sunday’s London Marathon and Sir Peter Bottomley stands by his comments that MPs need a pay rise.
Will SELF insists he is unbothered about being satirised as a dead-eyed, thesaurus-eating protagonist called Wilberforce Selfram in Sour Grapes, a new novel by Dan Rhodes. “I’ve been written about before … I was represented in Ratatouille, for f*** sake,” Self sighs.
We broke the news to Self, right, as Rhodes explained he didn’t offer any pre-warnings about the book, which also features literary festival guru, Florence Peters, who is based on ex-Hay Festival director Peter Florence, and disgraced journalist Harry Johannes — a thinly veiled Johann Hari. “They’re all forthright and pugilistic, so I don’t think they need advance warning when a bit of rough and tumble’s heading their way,” Rhodes said.
Self was up for it, saying of Sour Grapes: “It’s just woefully out of date. I’m 60 for f*** sake… I don’t really have any connection with the zeitgeist.” Withering.