London News & Search
Earlier this month, singer Charli XCX recruited some of The Londoner’s favourite men for her new, millennial pink-hued video Boys, and we wondered how on earth she got them all together. Turns out there’s a celebrity dating app for that.
Boys caused a social media stir on its release, as it features rapper Tinie Tempah, actor Riz Ahmed, Olympic diver Tom Daley and singer MNEK among the army of men playing with teddy bears, puppies and power tools. But they didn’t come easy.
“The thing with this video is I really had to hustle,” Charli tells the latest episode of Glamour’s Hey It’s OK podcast. “Some people I knew really well and were friends and I would just hit up until they were like, ‘OK, Charli, we’ll do this’. Some people were like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it’. Then I had to actually join a really embarrassing celebrity dating app to hit up some other people.”
The celebrity dating app in question is called Raya and was founded in 2015. It aims to connect the world’s great and good, who are presumably tired of relationships with hoi polloi. Access is permitted via referral or application, with a committee considering criteria including social media reach. Past users of the app reportedly include singer Joe Jonas, who appears in the video, model Cara Delevingne and Kelly Osborne.
Charli, who directed the video herself, shot scenes at a makeshift studio at the Coachella music festival, as well as in LA and London, so she had plenty of international famous faces to choose from.
We wonder if the app’s creators foresaw such an unromantic use?
Today The Economist says goodbye to its St James’s base, a brutalist tower built for it in the Sixties. The newspaper will move to Embankment but it will be an adjustment. “Those of us who look out to the south can use Big Ben as an office clock”, the Economist once wrote. Now they won’t even be able to hear it.
Ironing out differences over Brexit
Earlier this year Theresa May attacked the National Trust for supposedly removing the word “Easter” from its egg hunt publicity. Now she may have egg on her face.
Agnes Jones, a Glasgow blacksmith, has created a pavilion at Hanbury Hall in Worcestershire. Inspired by 18th-century paintings by James Thornhill, which presented the story of Achilles using likenesses of then-contemporary figures, Jones takes on Brexit. “Boris Johnson is Achilles,” Jones says. “Then Achilles dies and Odysseus and Ajax (Michael Gove) fight over his armour — Boris is both Achilles and Britannia, so his armour has the Union Jack on it — and Ajax curses Odysseus, which angers Athena (Theresa May) who turns Ajax mad.”
Jones tells The Art Newspaper that The National Trust told her it is “hoping for complaints”. We trust her ironwork is strong and stable.
Quote of the Day
‘I imagine “Nobel Peace Prize” is a pretty punchy line in a UCAS application’
Barrister and commentator Rupert Myers can see why Malala Yousafzai was a shoo-in for Oxford
Time waits only for the masters of style
Everyone was right on time at Mark’s Club last night, where watch brand Longines celebrated the arrival of the Commonwealth Baton in London with a party at the Mayfair bolthole.
Dinner was presided over by The Devil Wears Prada star Simon Baker, the company’s so-called “Ambassador of Elegance”, but he faced stiff competition in the style stakes from fellow actor Malachi Kirby. Star of the recent, acclaimed adaptation of Roots, Kirby got into acting when his mum enrolled him for drama classes at Battersea Arts Centre.
Elf and Safety gone mad
August is just the time to start thinking about Christmas. Center Parcs – aka Posh Butlins -has put an ad out for Santa Claus lookalikes to stand in for the real thing. “Your confident, kind and jolly nature will be backed by the ability to say ho, ho, ho,” the bulletin reads, adding that a knowledge of sign language is desirable.
Santa will be paid £9.55 an hour. But what’s this? Center Parcs is also recruiting elves, for a more measly £7.56. Whatever happened to equality in the workplace?
Power to the puffin
The Tweet of the Day slot on Radio 4’s Today programme is pretty uncontentious compared to the rest of the show. Not today, though, as the humble puffin was savagely attacked by a bird expert.
Professor Tim Birkhead, from the University of Sheffield, vented his frustration with the UK’s third favourite bird, famously found on Skomer island off the Pembrokeshire coast. “People love puffins because they think they look comical [but] in my opinion puffins are just dead boring,” the British zoologist proclaimed. “When I was doing my PhD in Skomer in the Seventies I had a colleague who despised them, she’d say they were doing the ‘bugger-all display’. There’s no gossip or fighting: puffins have a rather dull life.”
Beautiful but dull, the Harry Styles of the avian world? The Londoner called the RSPB to see if it would come to their defence. “The fact that puffins stand around and are so recognisable makes them relatively easy to see,” says a spokesman. “They are the perfect gateway seabird.”
Tweet of the Day
“Good luck to all MPs who have to remember to tweet about A-levels today.”
Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan is thinking of those who really matter today
Performance of the day: Bonnie Tyler will sing her classic hit Total Eclipse of the Heart at a viewing event for the forthcoming solar eclipse. Don’t turn around, you might miss it.
Cara sees the bigger picture
Model Cara Delevingne has penned her first book, Mirror Mirror, written with author Rowan Coleman. Cara released the cover art this week, and social media users point out how Coleman’s name is dwarfed by Cara’s. Can you make it out?
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