March 2004
  Spotlight
GEORGINA BRUNI 

From The Editor

Did the Scotsman newspaper read my quote about MICHAEL HOWARD last month, I wonder? Belatedly I had mentioned Howard’s ‘I Believe’ list commenting on the one thing he may have missed out, UFO’s. For it was reported in the press several years ago that one had hovered over his house. A few days after my comment, the story of which seemed to have been missed at the time by the press, the Scotsman made a similar comment!  I met up with the Tory leader again last month at a dinner my Deputy Head SALLY had invited me to, and I thought I might jokingly mention it but decided I’d already had a pop at him last year over another matter – and he’s actually very polite. In fact my mother has never forgotten that he helped her carry her shopping a few years ago. And he wasn’t looking for votes at the time either.

I was a guest on the JAMES WHALE radio show last month. I adore James, he’s such a hoot. As I walked into the TALK SPORT building I heard URI GELLER doing a phone in moaning about his bad treatment on the BACK TO REALITY TV show on Channel Five. Apparently he walked out!  I only saw one show and thought it was absolute rubbish, and I couldn’t believe Geller was playing SHRINK to the other contestants. Very boring URI – stick to spoon bending! I know half the country was glued to I’M A CELEBRITY GET ME OUT OF HERE, but I really think you have to be desperate to go on any of those shows. Anyway, PAUL DANIELS and his lovely wife were in the studio and I haven’t seen them for years, I met them a couple of times in the past. I was very tired that night having had no sleep because I had been working on my ANTHONY ROBBINS audio motivation course (everybody needs some sometime – and our publisher JAMES KNIGHT is one of the best in the business for his motivation courses – please James put them on audio) anyway, I always enjoy doing the James Whale show.

Actor BURT KWOUK was the guest of honour at a dinner party we enjoyed at THE POLISH CLUB in Kensington, and what a fabulous evening it was. Guests included our SALLY, SHEIKA REEM AL SABAH, SIR DALLAS and LADY BERNARD, MARYSE – ANTIONETTE, COMTESSE DE GOUTIER, who’s an adorable poet, and her husband DR MARCUS HEWITT. VALENTIN BORRISOV, known amongst socialites as the man to take your troubles to (he’s a psychic) was also a guest, as was one of our advertisers the lovable DAVID WEST, and many other wonderful people. THE POLISH CLUB is such an elegant place and the food is excellent.

TAVY MOGRIDGE and SALLY SHRIMPTON, two bright PR girls, launched their BOUDOIR PR company with a party at FUNKY BUDDHA. Now, I’d heard that the place has an attitude problem and if your dress isn’t funky enough then they won’t let you in. So off I went dressed very funky and whether it was that or not, I don’t know, but the bouncers were a charming lot and went out of their way to be polite. Tavy and Sally are promoting everything girlie. I didn’t see any celebs at the launch and we were only offered one glass of bubbly, - I can’t drink those sweet cocktails they serve. Meanwhile I got a text from TONY KITOUS to pop over for opening night at his second restaurant in Paddington –I hear a lot of money is being spent on the area to make it more presentable. Hmm. Tony’s restaurant LEVANTI is excellent value – so much food and such a choice! I came away without any details so I’ll do a proper review next month.

I enjoyed a very nice evening at the DIRECTOR’S CLUB in Pall Mall for the launch of THE RESIDENT’S SOCIETY of MAYFAIR and ST JAMES’S. THE MARQUESS OF BATH was holding court with a new wifelet in tow, a glamorous South American girl. I’ve lost count of ALEXANDER’S wifelets, the last time I counted their heads (his head and shoulder paintings of them lining the stairway in Longleat) there were about sixty five but he said there were more. I’m still reading his biography, but he told me I’ll never get to read the last part because it’s not being published for – I think – 50 years. That’s got to be the juiciest part!

A TRIBUTE TO A REMARKABLE MAN: DENNIS CONRAD BARDENS 1911-2004



It was a really sad day when I heard the news that DENNIS BARDENS had died on 7 February. I’d known Dennis for a number of years and although he was 92 years young, and had spent the last years of his life fighting cancer, we all thought he’d live to be a hundred. There is not the room to cover everything this wonderful man did during his lifetime. In WWII he was with the Royal Artillery but was discharged a few years later due to medical grounds. He then went on to work for the Press Office at The Ministry of Information where he was responsible for putting out propaganda material to confuse the enemy. Apart from the numerous books he authored, including Churchill in Parliament and Princess Margaret, he had a life long interest in the paranormal and was a life member of the Ghost Club amongst others.  He also wrote books on that subject. At the funeral Dennis was remembered by many and it was especially nice to hear a tribute from the BBC, for Dennis was the editor of the BBC Radio documentary series Focus, and in 1953 along with Andrew Miller-Jones he became the co-founder of Panorama. I recall him telling me how they had problems forming a title for the programme. It seems he was standing staring from the window of his fifth floor BBC office, commenting on the view – when the name Panorama came to him. “Bugger it, that’s the title”, he concluded. (Last November he was allowed out of the hospital to attend the 50th anniversary of the Panorama programme.)  Dennis later worked for the Research Department at the Foreign Office and as a staff writer on the War Office magazine Soldier.  All in all Dennis wrote several plays and over one hundred documentaries for independent television. A truly great man.  Sadly, with his wife already deceased, in 2002 their only son PETER died in America. Peter, along with Mick Fleetwood founded the legendary FLEETWOOD MAC band. Dennis left behind two grandsons. His family and friends shall miss him terribly. At his funeral, organised by his dear friend Joyce, his favourite song ‘Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries’ was played, and we sent him off with a loud round of applause. That’s just the way he would have wanted it!

Until next month

Georgina Bruni
Editor In Chief
georgina@easynet.co.uk
georgina@hotgossip.co.uk

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