A snippet from the April Issue diary
Some Talk of Alexander No 1. EasyJet flights are not famous for being fun ways to spend time. But when Alexander Chancellor is sitting in the row in front of you, it’s different. It was May 2015, and Oldie contributor Tom Hodgkinson was on his way back from a long, boozy weekend in Puglia, the heel of Italy. While the party, including Chancellor, had been away, the general election results had come in. The Tories won a surprise majority.Hodgkinson became aware of the sound of tearing. He peered through the gap between the seats, to see Alexander gleefully ripping up a pile of Italian newspapers and flinging the bits all around him. They were stuffed down between the seats and floating in mid-air. He could have been a tramp creating a makeshift nest.
What was he doing? It turned out that he was searching for relevant cuttings for his Spectator column. It appeared a few days later – a witty account of the Italian reaction to the election. In it, he noted that one news source gave ‘higher priority to the fact that Italian penis-enlargement operations had increased by twenty per cent during the past year than to the electoral bombshell in Britain’. That was Alexander: never boring.