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Those who Cannes, do. Those who can’t….

Voom! What was that? Another Cannes Film Festival has come and gone faster than you can say “profit participation and residuals”. You missed it? Do not despair! My very good friend and film phony, Larry Normal, has just emailed me the scoop on all the comings and goings at this year’s cinematic clambake….

First, a word of thanks to my cher ami, the Marquis de Cloches d’Enfer, for so kindly letting me have the run of his bedsit near the Marseilles docks, a mere two hours by bus from La Croisette. You are a toff, Monsieur, and no mistake!

Momentous tidings for reality TV fans! Shilpa Shetty, who was in town promoting her new line of onion flavoured celebrity toothpaste, is apparently to reprise the Maggie Smith role in a Guy Ritchie-directed remake of The Prime Of Miss Jean Brody. The former Mr Madonna informs me that he knew she was born for the part when she asked him, “Edinburgh, that’s near Africa, isn’t it?”

“She’s going to be a star,” a breathless Guy told me between gulps of Vodka and Red Bull, “I just know she’s another Lenny McLean.”

One of the great pleasures of Cannes is catching up with old friends. It was particularly gratifying, therefore, to bump into my old Feltham YOI oppo, Hugh Hudson, at the Hotel de Paris, where he was hawking his new project, Shock And Oar, in which some suspect gentlemen in knickerbockers and funny hats teach the Marsh Arabs of the Tigris Delta to “swing, swing together with their bodies between their knees.” He’s after Tom Cruise for the lead. I can’t for the life of me imagine why.

Shock and Oar

Highlight of Saturday night was the charity Guess Kirsty Alley’s Weight Today contest on Harvey Weinstein’s yacht, the Saucy Sue. Thanks to Kirsty for remaining unconscious and motionless throughout, thus making the competitors’ task a lot easier. She’s a real sport.


Later that same night at the Da Vinci Code after lig lig, I happened upon Kate Moss, recovering after an evidently punishing game of strip Twister with Jude Law, Robin Askwith and Avril Lavigne. She was suffering with a nasty case of hayfever and seemed in some distress, so I offered her the use of my handkerchief. I was dismissed with a “Larry who?” and an imperious wave of a rolled up €100 note. Bacall would never have been so churlish. I remember, back in the day, she accepted my proffered hanky at Bogart’s place once, even though I had soiled it a couple of times.

My humour improved considerably when I was beckoned into the VIP area for Mushroom Cook In Sauce vol aux vents and Vimto by none other than my old darts partner, Eve “Badger” Pollard.

Hot news, movie fans! I can exclusively reveal that her sapphic saga, Double Trouble, is to get the Jerry Bruckheimer treatment. She told me that negotiations with Hollywood’s über philistine had gone remarkably well, with very few alterations to the original plot. “The only thing he wanted to change,” she whispered huskily in to my ear, “was the title, which is now Come In 60 Seconds. To begin with, I was a little nervous that he’d hired Michael Bay to direct and cast Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock in the roles of Katherine and Abbie, but I guess he knows best.”


Finally, I was profoundly shocked at the sight of Charlie Sheen rummaging in the bins round the back of the Hotel Carlton. How times have changed since his bravura performances in Hot Shots Part Deux and Loaded Weapon made him Tinsel Town’s most bankable star. I had a few words with him while he was still coherent. From what I could decifer, things may be looking up for our Carlos. Larry Flynt has offered him the lead in his forthcoming adaptation of Farquhar’s uproarious restoration comedy, The Constant Couple, under the working title, Constant Coupling. He is ecstatic, he tells me, at the prospect of renewing his acquaintance with his friends from the Heidi Fleiss talent agency.

Sheen…. loaded

What Charlie doesn’t know (but trust Larry to get the inside story, readers!) is that Rocco Siffredi and Peter North both turned down the part, claiming the Flynt version was just too simplified and far removed from the original.

Bummer of the week…. Oliver Stone ruining the United 93 Redux screening for me by telling me what happens at the end. He also mumbled some rot about a second plane and debris spread over several miles, indicating a missile strike, but you know Oliver, right?

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