Londoner's Diary: Tributes pour in as Sir David Tang dies at 63

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Goodbye, Sir David Tang, the businessman and agony uncle who passed away last night aged 63. Not surprisingly for the man with the biggest address book in London, tributes are pouring in. 

The news was broken to the public by Ewan Venters, CEO of Fortnum & Mason, who announced that Sir David’s wife Lucy had confirmed Tang’s death. “RIP Sir David Tang,” Financial Times editor Lionel Barber wrote. “Businessman, philanthropist, networker supreme. He will be sorely missed as a friend and columnist.” Comedian David Walliams added: “The world is a poorer place without the legendary wit. It was a party to be near him.” Actor Russell Crowe said: “The privilege was mine. Witty, charming, intellectual, salacious, hilarious, loving and funny as f***.” 

Tang was a man of erudition and style, rising to fame after founding fashion brand Shanghai Tang and later restaurant China Tang. He also hosted fabulous Chinese New Year parties and was even the Honorary Consul of Cuba in Hong Kong.

Word of Tang’s death comes a week before what he hoped would be his farewell party. This month he sent a bittersweet invitation to friends, asking them to join him at The Dorchester to say goodbye. “As I’ve been given by my politburo of medical experts just a month or two to last, I thought the best way to go would be to give a party where we can see each other at least one time more,” he wrote. 

A date with Kate: Supermodel Kate Moss and David Tang (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

He counted Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Sarah Ferguson and Nigel Farage among his pals. His memorial service is likely to be the most A-list event of the year, as he would have liked it. 

Ferguson said: “Sir David Tang, I called him Tangito. I have known him for 30 years, and we laughed, we cried, and we lived every moment. He made castles in the sky for my girls and I, we travelled the world together with him and his steadfast and devoted Lucy by his side always. He was my brother Sun and I was sister Moon. To have known David has changed my life. Every time he played the piano or recited a poem, I cried with sheer admiration at such a brilliant mind. To Lucy, you were the blood in his veins and he loved you with all his heart, and you have been the most loyal wife and you made Tangito walk on and walk tall, I have never seen such kindness to another. He was so proud of Edward and Victoria and his little grandson Rocco. Go in peace now Tangito, and thank you for our castles in the sky.”

Will her words come back to haunt her?: Emma Dent Coad

Nearly three months after scraping election victory by 20 votes, Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad thinks the writing is on the wall for a certain type of pinstriped Tory MP. In an interview with Tim Walker in the London Magazine, Coad was asked how she felt to be following in the very patrician footsteps of Alan Clark, Michael Portillo and Malcolm Rifkind.  “I wouldn’t exactly say they’re going to be hard acts to follow,” she told them. Ouch.

Kate’s all a-quiver over Harry Styles

Lila Grace is not impressed: Kate Moss and Harry Styles

Has Harry Styles lost it? The former One Direction singer released his first solo album earlier this year and made his big screen debut in Dunkirk, but one particular teenager finds him rather passé.

Model Kate Moss was interviewed for this month’s Elle and was asked if her daughter, 14-year-old Lila Grace, gets excited by her mum’s famous friends. “She doesn’t care,” Moss says. “I get more starstruck than she does when Harry Styles comes over. I’m like: ‘Harry’s coming!’ and she’s like: ‘Whatever’. She’s too cool for school. I suppose when you’re a teenager you have that phase.”

Maybe Lila Grace prefers Zayn.

Quote of the Day

Don’t bite the hand that fed you: Ruby Tandoh

‘Mad to think that in a few years, the bakers might be in my position: blocked by Paul Hollywood on Twitter’

Great British Bake Off alumna RubyTandoh tells new contestants to aim high

Quite the review from a fan of Bella Freud, who sent a thank-you to the designer after what sounds like a fun weekend. “I hope you have had a great summer,” the fashion acolyte wrote in a message which Freud then posted to Instagram. “I bought your top online for carnival. Your team were amazing and made sure I got it. Anyway, I pulled two guys and a girl. First time in years. It’s now my lucky top.” 

“We give good customer service,” Freud posted, with a link to the £350 velvet jumper. For that price we’d expect no less. 

WELCOME back to The Great British Bake Off, which aired on Channel 4 for the first time last night. Having confirmed that the show needs to attract at least three million viewers to break even, the programme was longer than usual due to the adverts, so how much are its sponsors forking out? “We looked into sponsoring Bake Off,” the official account for Yorkshire Tea tweeted during the broadcast. “All we can say is that Dr Oetker must be minted.” 

The Boris & Woody show

IT’S Johnson & Johnson! Yesterday Woody Johnson, the new US Ambassador to the UK and also owner of the New York Jets, posted his first tweet in his diplomatic role, including a shot of a letter to the Queen asking if they could schedule a tête-à-tête. But while he waits to hear from Her Majesty, he made a beeline for Boris, tweeting a photograph of them both standing to attention in the Foreign Office — with Boris looking slightly baffled. 

“Excellent first meeting with Sec Boris Johnson at the Foreign Office,” wrote Woody, perhaps attempting to assuage concerns that relations with Britain will languish at the back of the queue of President Trump’s priorities. “The US/UK relationship remains a cornerstone of US foreign policy,” he added. 

Given Boris’s fondness for Trump, it is somewhat disappointing that this photo doesn’t have the two of them doing a thumbs-up. 

Tweet of the Day

“Congrats to Zuck, whose family now has more women than Facebook’s board of directors”

After Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla celebrate the arrival of their second daughter, Gizmodo’s Melanie Ehrenkranz shares her best wishes.

Package holiday of the day: Lupine Travel is still offering places on its North Korean trip scheduled for next week, saying “we won’t be cancelling any tours at the moment.”

After R&R, it’s back to hard graft

Alexandra Shulman is back in business. The former editor of Vogue left the magazine in the hands of Edward Enninful earlier this year and she has been having a well-earned break abroad. Now it’s back to the grind: yesterday she posted this picture of her office for the day, as she wrote her first column for Business of Fashion. Hope she has a nice editor.

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