‘Socially Significant People ‘, according to Tatler in 1992 How they have risen…or fallen (2)



Mark Thatcher.


Ex-Harrovian, ex racing driver and Texan resident now runs a consultancy company in Dallas called Grantham—a homage to his mother Maggie’s home town. The consultancy’s interests include an ostrich farm and two security companies. Maggie’s decision to request a baronetcy for Denis was seem by many as a method of paving Mark’s future for him.


And those ‘ many’ were probably right. Most journalists ( and not just journalists ) visibly bridle when they are obliged to use Mark Thatcher’s, totally unearned  aristocratic arrested at his home in Constantia, Cape Town ( see Darius Guppy in previous Jot) title. Since 1992 he has been on the front pages for all the wrong reasons. In 2004 he was and charged with contravening two sections of the country’s Foreign Military Assistance Act which bans South African residents from any foreign military activity. Ultimately, in a plea-bargaining arrangement, Thatcher pleaded guilty to being involved in setting up a coup. He was fined R3m and given a four-year suspended prison sentence. As a result of this conviction he was refused entry to the U.S. and Switzerland and told to leave Monaco, where he had been holed up.


Trinny Woodall


Pencil-thin Trinny is the ex-girlfriend of Constantine Niarchos. She is a perennially glamorous, vivacious girl-about-town who is said to make men faint with desire.

 Still slimmish, still ( at 58) glamorous. Not sure she still makes men ‘ faint with desire ‘, but perhaps she doesn’t need to make rich men want her as she is a lot richer than shewas in 1992 thanks to her almost overnight success on TV as the co-host ( with Susannah Constantine) of ‘What Not to Wear ‘, which ran from 2002 to 2005. She subsequently co-wrote a number of best seller spin offs from the programme. She seems to have inherited business acumen from her father, a banker, and her grandfather, Sir John Duncanson, who was head honcho of the British Iron and Steel Federation.


Julie Burchill


Joined the NME as a teenager. At the age of 31 she was earning $110,000 a year for airing her controversial views each week with the Mail on Sunday. She has written several collections of essays and a bestselling novel, Ambition, which is now being made into a film. Has a son, Bobby Kennedy, by first husband journalist Tony Parsons, and another by second husband, journalist Cosmo Landesman. She communicates only by fax. Continue reading

I once met Jane Grigson

Sent in by faithful jotter R.M.Healey. My nearest thing to this was walking through Elizabeth David's hall past some serious antiquarian cookery  to get to the garret of her sister to buy some books. Belgravia?

I met the woman who has been called one of the greatest writers on food in the twentieth century in the early autumn of 1985. But I wasn’t so much interested in her own writings, but in her husband, the poet and critic Geoffrey Grigson, twenty three years her senior, who was slowly dying.

Earlier that year I had compiled a festschrift for Grigson’s 80th birthday and he had sent me a letter of thanks dictated by his daughter Sophie, who had not yet embarked on her own career as a TV chef and food journalist. At that time I hadn’t fully realised how ill he was (I think it was prostate cancer) because I plagued Jane with letters and phone calls begging to visit them both. Eventually, she relented and one weekday in October my girlfriend and I caught the coach from Victoria to Swindon.

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