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West End Extra - The XTRA DIARY
Published: 11 September 2009
John and Yoko
John and Yoko
John and Yoko, the
family-friendly snapshot

NO stone was left unturned in Diary’s hunt for that picture of John and Yoko.
If you read our story (Get plaque to where you once belonged, September 4) – see below – it’s fair to say that we were guilty of a bit of tabloid-style red-herring headline promising one sensation and delivering something altogether more underwhelming.
Now we can atone for our posturing.
After much wrangling with the Lennon Estate and a few non-starter phone calls to New York, we can reveal the most
PG-rated of the nude shots, taken by Lennon on his own camera at 34 Montagu Square while they lived there in 1967.
Not only would the others be too graphic to print, or at least not without a carefully placed bit of clip-art, but the rights to using them were complicated.
Next week Diary will endeavour to offer readers a through-the-keyhole type look into the rock ’n’ roll pad.
But one suspects Loyd Grossman wouldn’t be the only thing missing on what is probably now just a swanky town house with marble floors.

Putting faith in a beer mat

BEER and the Church aren’t usually familiar bedfellows unless perhaps a drunken vicar is doing something a bit naughty in the News of the World or God has appeared in a pint of Guinness.
But in Mayfair beer is godly.
Campaigners battling to save
St Mark’s Church (above) from being turned into a health spa have unleashed their latest weapon in their fight: beer mats.
They have been drumming up support ahead of next month’s public inquiry into the decision not to grant planning permission to the Diocese of London by handing out ‘Save St Mark’s’ beer mats to local boozers.
The West End Extra hears that patrons in the Audley in Mount Street can get their hands on the collectible mats, with others soon to follow.
It certainly limits the number of pubs developer George Hammer can drink in without a hat and fake moustache.
Or maybe that’s what they want. Alcohol induced guilt and a U-turn at the inquiry.
Somehow we don’t think that will happen.

In concert: Sue’s date with gay orchestra

WINNER of BBC reality TV show Maestro, comedienne Sue Perkins, will be teaming up with the London Gay Symphony Orchestra for the first concert of their 2009/10 season at St Anne’s in Soho.
Taking place on October 11, Perkins will be conducting Theme from the Simpsons, the piece which shot her to classical music stardom on the hit show
The LGSO’s Gary Clarke said “the concert will hopefully raise our profile, being in the centre of the gay district… it would be brilliant to get more gay people coming to see us”.
The only gay orchestra in Britain, the LGSO has been around for 13 years playing five concerts a season, in the capital and abroad.
The orchestra describes itself as “straight-friendly” with a membership of between 60 and 100 players of all sexualities.

Work’s more like a Marple mystery?

SEBASTIAN Faulks occupies a strange place in the world of fiction.
Seemingly ignored by the broadsheet critics, thought of as the type of author who should stay in the three-for-two section in the departures lounge, readers’ appetites for Faulks are nevertheless undiminished.
Fans of Birdsong, Engleby and now the latest James Bond instalment got a chance to meet their mop-haired hero at Foyles last night (Thursday).
He was signing copies of his latest project, A Week in December, a novel which has set itself the ambitious task of becoming the first great state-of-the-nation work of the 21st century.
The cast of characters include a hedge fund manager, a weed-smoking teen, a liberal barrister who is defending a Tube-driver in a health and safety case and a newspaper
book-reviewer. Sounds more like Miss Marple than peeling off the layers of the here-and-now.

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