James Corden says how Brits may vote after Brexit is a 'terrifying thought'

James Corden hosts the DKMS London Gala 2024  (Dave Benett/Getty Images for DKM)
James Corden hosts the DKMS London Gala 2024 (Dave Benett/Getty Images for DKM)

Londoner’s Diary

Comedian and talk show host James Corden is firmly back in Blighty after his long American sojourn. Last night he compered a DKMS charity gala at the Natural History Museum. “What an exciting time to be in Britain,” he said, “a snap election called yesterday. Can you feel the excitement in the room? Did you see Keir Starmer spoke directly to voters saying ‘the future of the country is in your hands?’ If you remember Brexit — it’s a terrifying thought,” he joked. “It could be worse. We could be facing an American election in November and thank god we’re not,” Corden went on. “Fun fact: there are actually dinosaurs in this museum that are younger than the two men currently vying to be president of the United States.” What a zinger.

It’s the end of the world as we Eno it…

Brian Eno (Dave Benett)
Brian Eno (Dave Benett)

Change is in the air in British politics, but for musician and artist Brian Eno, the world is falling apart. We’re facing “the collapse of democracy,” Eno told us at the Paul Stolper gallery last night. Every four years, says Eno, voters are “propagandised into making a choice between two options — neither of which they want.” Eno and artist friends including Jeremy Deller and Ian Bruce were at an exhibition for their new creative think tank, Hard Art, which is fighting climate change.

“I’m not that optimistic about the Labour party but it’s a better option, I think,” Eno added. “I’m not optimistic really about the state of politics. The whole thing needs rethinking.” The Hard Art collective aims to bring about change through art and conversation. “The world is wrong in so many different ways,” Eno said. “Wouldn’t it make sense if we all talked to each other?”

Davidson effed off by Tories ‘fumbling the ball’

Electoral Dysfunction podcast hosts (Electoral Dysfunction)
Electoral Dysfunction podcast hosts (Electoral Dysfunction)

Ruth, now Baroness, Davidson was once tipped for great things in the Tory party after leading it in Scotland. Alas her political career narrowed after Brexit. Now potty-mouthed Davidson sighs at her old party. “I was just really f***ed off at home with how the Tories fumbled the ball the way they did,” she said last night at the Podcast Show in Islington. “It was almost skilful how terrible the announcement was. Like ‘I’ve got a plan, and the other guy doesn’t have a plan’ — the other guy is in a room and he’s dry.” Davidson co-hosts the Electoral Dysfunction podcast with Labour MP Jess Phillips and Sky News’s Beth Rigby.

Let them eat cake, don’t let them smoke cigs

Lynn Barber's ciggy birthday cake (Evening Standard)
Lynn Barber's ciggy birthday cake (Evening Standard)

Journalist Lynn Barber combined her 80th birthday with a book launch last night at Tristan Hoare gallery in Fitzrovia. While Barber is known for her brutal takedowns of celebrities and politicians in interviews, her new book A Little Art Education is about the one group of subjects she tends to get on with: artists. Surrounded by friends including Rupert Everett and Sir Grayson Perry, Barber celebrated with a cigarette-themed birthday cake, above. Barber has been an indefatigable smoker for decades, but told us she sad to learn the PM’s cigarette ban won’t make it through before the election. “I was in favour,” she said, “the problem is starting, then you can’t stop.” How true, as she lit up another cigarette.

Last day of school in Westminster

Ah, the end of an era. It was mopping up time yesterday in parliament as MPs and staffers said goodbye to their offices and to each other, not sure if they will be reunited after the general election. There were even tears. Some fates are more certain. Chris Grayling, once lambasted by opponents as “failing Grayling” when he was a Cabinet minister under Theresa May, is standing down after 23 years’ service as an MP. Yesterday he was seen in parliament lugging around a trolly piled high with his belongings. On the Commons terrace, recently elected Rochdale MP George Galloway sat at a table in the sun very publicly master-planning his Workers Party election campaign with staffers. He had hoped to have at least a few more months in the House of Commons and his chances of re-election look slim. Until next time, George.