John Gibson: Rowan, and he’s ranting yet again

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Rumbustious Norrie Rowan had just read that the Queen, her palaces and castles having been allowed to crumble into disrepair, is down to her last million. “I well know how she feels,” cracked Rowan, renowned for his rapier wit.

“I’ve just bought two tickets for Scotland’s rugby clash against England a week on Saturday at 90 quid a pop,” he added, “and the match starts at five o’clock. That’s not for the convenience of the punters, of course. That’s to suit television. Not to benefit the players either.

“Most of us don’t know where the money goes. Only one per cent of rugby players are professional and they’re either from South Africa or the Southern Hemisphere.”

I left Rowan to rabbit on. He has promised me an encounter with a 30-stone rugby bruiser at our next meet. I’ll have A&E on stand-by.

Jacket in, please

Not even a mention from the royal whisperers. A list of what the Royals received as pressies in 2013 has been published and the assorted clutch of souvenir hardhats I sent to Buck Palace from the Shandwick Place trams marathon didn’t merit even a thank-you letter.

How about that swish leather flying jacket Michelle Obama sent to Prince Harry? Hardly likely to need it now he has landed a desk job. Harry, if you happen to be pushed for room in your wardrobe . . .