Londoner’s Diary: Book world can help Ukrainian voices, says Joanne Harris


HOCOLAT author Joanne Harris has called on the publishing industry to shine a light on Ukrainian authors and translators as they mobilize to support refugees. “We have a lot of conversations about what we can do,” Harris, who was recently re-elected president of the Society of Authors, told us.

“No one decision will be right for everyone…we can amplify Ukrainian voices, Ukrainian creators and translators. These things aren’t particularly concrete…but I think they make a difference.

His comments come as the publishing industry rallies in support of Ukraine. Along with quiet donations from major publishers, independent publishers Little Toller Books and Bluemoose Books have launched a campaign to fund the distribution of 10,000 backpacks to support runaway children. Literary agent Hayley Steed’s online book auction has also raised more than £40,000 in relief funds.

“People who are usually my rivals [have been] coming up to me and really wanting to help, which has been really amazing,” she says. “I know a lot of publishers give money directly…there are a lot of people doing things behind the scenes.”

Smell of Henry’s Horrible History

PERFUMER Azzi Glasser has revealed she’s been working on a secret fragrance with actor Jude Law. A perfumed Azzi, who was celebrating Piers Adam’s birthday at Walmer Castle in Notting Hill, told us she creates perfumes for actors who want to immerse themselves in a character because perfume ‘works with your emotions’ . They met this month to create the fragrance for Law’s film Firebrand, in which he plays Henry VIII. “Scent is a powerful tool,” she said. While Henry has executed around 57,000 people, including two of his six wives, we imagine that might smell rather bloody…

Joe prepares the dinner of his dreams

Cooking up a storm: Joe Wicks seen on BBC Radio One on March 17, 2022 in London, England

/ CG pictures

JOE WICKS confessed he was a ‘terrible cook’ at the launch of his latest cookbook Feel Good Food last night. “I’m good at making simple dishes,” the country’s physical education coach told us. However, that didn’t stop him from making plans for his dream dinner party: “I would like to meet the Rock, because I think he’s awesome. I would invite the queen… and I would probably have my grandmother there too,” he told us. The next hot ticket.

Fiennes piglet stuffing is a cry

Prankster: Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes poses for the photographer on March 14, 2022 in Falmouth, England

/ Getty Images

SIR Ranulph Fiennes’ wild youth was about unleashing a greased piglet at a Sandhurst military academy ball. “We thought we were going to get there at night…and put the piglet out the window while they were all dancing,” he told What If? by Lorraine Kelly. Podcast. “The screams that continued!” Fortunately, the story has a happy ending. “Someone inside must have grabbed the piglet and thrown it out the window, so we got it back,” he confessed. “We put the piglet back with its mother and we never met the farmer…it was a successful raid.” A real bandit.

Elegant Olly shows the art of menswear

THE V&A held a preview of their show Fashioning Masculinities: The Art Of Menswear last night. Holding court were singers Olly Alexander and Sam Smith, rebel rapper Kam-Bu and Daniel Lismore. Across town, Piers Adam celebrated his birthday at his new Notting Hill bar, Walmer Castle, with Jason Donovan and perfumer Azzi Glasser, with guests Ben Goldsmith and Jemima Khan enjoying Copper Dog cocktails.


DAME MP Margaret Hodge is all for housing Ukrainian refugees in repossessed homes, but has a confession to make about the militants’ invasion of a Kensington mansion. “I suggested it on Woman’s Hour last week,” she tells Us. “Then I suddenly thought, oh my god…they took it back. Well, fine if they want to. The power of radio.

Labor MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy celebrated winning the MP of the Year awards by… working. “I just went to another meeting,” she explains. “But my team is fantastic, so I will be really happy to celebrate with them.” Will she open a bottle of champagne or prosecco to celebrate, we asked? “Prosecco,” she joked. “The choice of the socialists.

Lucas E. Kelly