American star couple Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick received a royal welcome at Kensington Palace Gardens last night for the Ambassador Theatre Group summer party. The great and the good of British theatre turned out — and some politicians, too. We caught up with Derry Girl Nicola Coughlan, who was perched on a hedge. “I’m sitting in Lady Di’s bush!” she exclaimed. She said she was experiencing a wardrobe malfunction: “Boob tape works for the first hour but after that it’s every man for himself!”
Former chancellor and former Evening Standard editor George Osborne said hello, remembering he was once advised to read this diary column every day because “it’s the one page that could get you fired”. Then, culture secretary Lucy Frazer joined the conversation. “I hate to say it in front of you, Lucy, but when your political career ends, all you get is the plaque on a building you once opened. Mine is Wilmslow train station in Cheshire,” Osborne joked. “Well, I think a political career is about having an impact and changing lives,” Frazer replied earnestly.
After oysters and champagne, actors James Norton and Jenna Coleman joined the huddle around the stage for speeches. Parker said the ATG’s work showed “the kind of support theatre needs in our country as well: we have a great deficit of support,” in a seeming reference to the Hollywood strikes. She and Broderick had barely stepped off stage before they were swarmed by fans. Cara Delevingne, then Charlotte Tilbury, posed excitedly for a picture with SJP. Then Jack Whitehall’s mother had a go. She was unsuccessful. At least Broderick had a good time. His concluding words? “A lovely evening for us.” Much obliged.
Boris Johnson still beloved in Ukraine
Former PM Boris Johnson makes a splash in today’s Spectator, calling for Britain to do more to help Ukraine. “I have asked it before and I ask it again: what the hell are we waiting for?” he writes, in an unsubtle dig at Rishi Sunak. While Johnson’s ratings have seen better days in the UK, Brits might not realise quite how popular he is in Ukraine. On a visit there last week he dressed in fancy robes to receive an honorary degree from the University of Lviv and he is an honorary citizen of Kyiv, among other cities. Many Ukrainians half-jokingly say that Johnson will one day be made governor of Odessa, the role given to Mikheil Saakashvili in 2015 after he was deposed as president of Georgia. Johnson, like Saakashvili, finds far more love in Ukraine than at home.
Sadiq Khan was spotted relaxing on Tuesday evening at Ev, a restaurant in Waterloo. He was star guest at a fundraising event for Jake Richards, Labour’s candidate in Rother Valley, South Yorkshire. Having swanky fundraisers with the London Mayor isn’t a privilege afforded to all of the party’s candidates, but Richards is well connected. His father, Steve Richards, is a veteran political journalist with good contacts in Labour. Has Richards senior been able to sprinkle some glamour on his son’s campaign? Despite its egalitarian ideals, Labour loves a nepo-baby. How many others will be lurking in the party’s candidate list next year?