John Gibson: Thrilled to meet his hero Vidal

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Unstinting in his admiration. Edinburgh celeb hairdresser Charlie Miller will tell you he rates Vidal Sassoon, below, the absolute tops in the profession.

Which is why he has had to pull out of Sassoon memorial events, one at St Paul’s, this month, with the utmost reluctance. Charlie’s saying: “It’s a real bind. It was a pleasure, an honour, to be asked but I have commitments on each date.

“I’ve always rated Vidal number one. We met every time he came to Edinburgh, most recently his sell-out appearance at the Book Festival.

“I took wheelchair-bound John McPartlin to the Bookfest for an introduction to Vidal and he was thrilled to bits.

“John himself was a hairdresser here before a motorbike crash cut short his career. John, though, is a brave heart, as was Vidal, whose health was failing on that Bookfest visit.”

Beeb spender

It cost a bomb, the lavish farewell bash for the BBC’s departing director-general Mark Thompson. How much, exactly? Who cares? It’s your money and it will all come out in the Corp’s annual report.

The hottest ticket in town. Everybody who’s anybody, along with the nobodies, wanted to be there. They’re making a feature film about it.

Thomson’s been a big shot there for most of these 30 years. His boots are set to be filled over again from his next job, chief exec of the New York Times.

Money to burn at the Beeb, like I say. Caroline Thomson (no relation) has claimed £2500 over three months in exes. She’s paid £328,000.

A source tells me the canny Caroline claimed back a £2 cash machine charge from a US visit.