Outrageous accusations, toe-curling romance, confused identities, naked bodies – is it a Hollywood blockbuster? No, it’s the dear old construction industry …
Mr and Mrs Popular
I hear socialite Tamara Beckwith is readying herself to spend more time on site. Not because her TV career has hit the skids and she’s signed on at Wembley, but because she could be set to marry Italian construction heir Giorgio Veroni. According to the Daily Mail, her paramour has said: “I’ve been waiting until they finish building Wembley Stadium until I pop the question. It’s the only venue big enough to accommodate all our friends!” I have the same problem, Giorgio.
Change of partners
My hearing is not what it used to be (just wait till you’re 161). It would seem I misheard some tittle-tattle last week about Davis Langdon’s Rob Smith. I wrongly reported that he had paid £10,000 for a dance with Natasha Kaplinsky. Smith actually paid for his wife to dance with Kaplinsky’s dance partner Brendan Cole, while fellow partner Simon Johnson bagged lunch with Ms Kaplinsky. By all accounts, Smith was remarkably restrained that evening and even resisted bidding for lunch with the (almost) perpetually young Joan Collins – a snip at £6500. Note to self: get hearing tested.
Body talk is hot stuff
London 2012’s dream team was one man short when the Olympic masterplanning team gathered at London’s Royal College of Physicians last Wednesday. Allies and Morrison’s Bob Allies, HOK Sport’s John Barrow and the ubiquitous Jason Prior from EDAW all turned up for the public lecture, but Foreign Office Architects’ Alejandro Zaera-Polo was stuck in India with an ailment. This meant Prior, whose metier is strategic planning, was lumbered with explaining the visionary thinking behind Alejandro’s stadium designs, based on human muscles. As the screen flashed between images of taut six-packs and flowing bodies, the unassuming Prior appeared ill at ease. “I’m getting pretty hot under the collar talking about all this,” he confessed.
Let me qualify that …
Education secretary Charles Clarke may find himself in hot water with his bosses after some ill-judged words at a meeting on vocational training last week. Addressing delegates at the launch of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority’s Framework for Achievement initiative, Clarke was keen to convey the unequivocal commitment of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to improving Britain’s work-orientated learning. However, announcing that the pair had “no qualifications” in their support for reform may not have been the best choice of phrase.
What’s eating you?
I hear things got a little fractious at the ICE’s annual dinner in Edinburgh. Following splendid nosh, Marshall Scott, head of Balfour Beatty Scotland, had settled back to enjoy the speeches. First was Alex Neil, MSP for Central Scotland. Neil berated Balfour’s table for the building’s cost overruns. Problem was, it didn’t work on the parliament. Scott wasn’t happy. He elicited an apology from the ICE’s president but was prevented from obtaining more serious satisfaction from the MSP by the toastmaster who did a sterling job at calming the situation, despite being held by the lapels.