John Gibson: Now just wait for the Charlottes

Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas

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Shocked and stunned. To see Charlotte Square, in the wake of the destructive Book Festival, being turned over, the grass banished, the good earth soil exposed, is enough to break a horticulturist’s heart.

Believe me, it got to me. Not to worry, though. I’m assured by enterprising, caring farmers that the first crop of early spuds will be breaking the surface by the spring.

But do they need to triple the height of the railings there to prevent the ‘‘Charlottes’’ (as they’ll be dubbed by your friendly fruit and veg shopkeepers) from being nicked.

Kirk session

Talking in his dotage at 95, the legendary Kirk Douglas reflects: “I don’t have much time to look ahead. Instead I look backwards and think of all the mistakes I might have made, what I did and where I could have done better . . . I feel sorry because I don’t think that the world is a much better place than when I was a kid. I don’t think we did such a good job, and I hope that they will do a better one.”

Time enough, though, to bring out a new book – yes at 95 – “I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist”. It tells of Hollywood’s hell during the anti-Communist purge.

Afterwords . .

. . . Boxing clever, Lord Prescott is rubbing his hands, anticipating the 100-grand a year job as Humberside’s Crime Commissioner.

Prezza’s prattling: “I’ll be handling this job in the first four-year period. The Lords is a bit like a Jobcentre. You have to go down there to get paid expenses and it gets totally tiring.”

Even for a former cabin steward.