The Diary

Comic who's going places

By Simon Rocker, May 28, 2015

Self-deprecation is a key skill in the arsenal of any self-respecting Jew. Just ask stand-up comic Philip Simon, who was recently named Lastminute Comedy/Kill for a Seat's Comedian of the Year.

The 36-year-old, from Borehamwood, beat off stiff competition from 300 other acts to claim the title, after entertaining the crowd with the foibles of his Jewish life.

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Bucks Fizz for regal bagel

By Simon Rocker, May 28, 2015

What greater proof could you have that the bagel has become part of British culture than that it is served in the very highest of high society - Buckingham Palace?

Along with such traditional fare as cucumber sandwiches, scones and Victoria sponge, smoked salmon bagel was on the menu this year for the Queen's Garden Party.

There's hope for shmaltz herring crackers yet.

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Kuwait Airways' Mystery Read

By Simon Rocker, May 28, 2015

When Andrew Feldman recently travelled to the States from London with Kuwait Airways, he found a "massive batch of JCs" being handed out as he boarded the plane. "It was extremely bizarre," he revealed. "In general, the entertainment left a lot to be desired, but I was pleasantly surprised to pick up my free copy." The question is: how did they get there?

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Souper Choice for TV Chef

By Simon Rocker, May 28, 2015

Regina Waldman received an MBE for her charity work four years ago.

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Why bad jews are good news

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2015

It seems we can't get enough of Bad Jews. Josh Harmon's new comedy about an American Jewish family has proved so popular that London's Arts Theatre is extending its run for six weeks until July 11.

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This label's no fable

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2015

Maybe Jamie Oliver ought to be sent in to revamp kosher airline meals. You wouldn't want to add up the additives in this barbeque chicken served on a BA flight to London from New York. "By the time I had read the label, I was ready to land," said passenger Michael Fishberg.

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High fives for happy halfon

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2015

New Conservative Party deputy chairman Robert Halfon described his swearing-in as a Privy Counsellor at Buckingham Palace as a "very special moment". A highlight was the small copy of the Five Books of Moses he was presented with.

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Boy king from Borehamwood

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2015

It's a crowning achievement for Micah Gordon of Borehamwood - and he is only six. He is playing a child king in a series of advertisements for Israeli company Yes TV's new children's channel.

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Kosher meals fit for Lords

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2015

A kosher food stall has kept Wimbledon-goers fuelled for some years. Now cricket-watchers need not worry about food. Kosher caterers Adafina are offering to make up picnic hampers for Lords.

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Still in love with Eurovision

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2015

Presenter Nigella Lawson is not the only Jewish interest in this year's Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday. The British hope Still In Love With You, sung by Electro Velvet, was written by David Mindel (pictured).

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