The Diary

Rooms to spare at chez Sacha

June 1, 2014

If you’ve dreamt of living in Hollywood or fancy a change of scene, Sacha Baron Cohen and actress wife Isla Fisher are looking to rent their Los Angeles home. It has a screening room, a wine room and a pool, according to the Sunday Times. But you will need to have a little money to play with — the asking price is £51,000 a month.

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What Dylan did for Israel

June 1, 2014

We may have Bob Dylan to thank for the Rolling Stones’s visit to Israel next month. Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood said that he had asked Dylan, after a performance, where he was going next. “Israel” the singer replied. “He had a big smile on his face, because he loves it,” Wood said. “That planted a seed that I’d like to play it one day."

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Mr Clegg makes someone happy

June 1, 2014

Leeds Grammar School sixthformer Nadav Winehouse stepped out of an A/S exam and was stunned to find Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg waiting for him.

Nadav, who is studying politics, had tweeted an invitation to Mr Clegg to visit the school but had assumed nothing would come of it.

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Mind the ectoplasm

June 1, 2014

French-Jewish actress Eva Green is indeed bewitching ; she played Morgana the sorceress in TV series Camelot and was a witch in the film Dark Shadows.

Now she’s back on gothic duty in the new Sky Atlantic series Penny Dreadful, starring as spiritualist Vanessa Ives, whose séances are not for the faint-hearted.

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A booba to make you blush

May 26, 2014

Sheila Vogel-Coupe knows a trick or two and I am not talking about bridge.

The 85-year-old St Johns’ Wood resident was proclaimed by the Sun this week as “Britain’s oldest prostitute”, who can command £250 an hour for her services.

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Ed Miliband's Pesach pledge

May 26, 2014

If Labour leader Ed Miliband were to triumph in next year’s election, there is one pledge we we’ll make sure he keeps. Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna told the JC that his boss would follow President Obama’s White House example and hold a Pesach Seder in Downing Street.

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Les Miserables - the Shabbat version

May 25, 2014

Stanmore Synagogue’s Purimspiel is still raising smiles weeks after the festival.

A spoof on a Shabbat service sung in the style of the musical Les Miserables, it has drawn applause far beyond Stanmore via Youtube.

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Beatles best for Tzipi Livni

May 23, 2014

“Don’t let it get under your skin” — a line from Hey Jude that must have appealed to Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. When she returned home after a trip to London last week, facing right-wing calls for her resignation, she tweeted that the Beatles classic was her recommended choice of Shabbat song.

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Inside story of JC report

May 23, 2014

JC reporter Rosa Doherty’s documentary, Jail Birds, on the impact of prison on the lives of the families of those inside, aired on new TV station London Live this week (and is available online). It stemmed from her own experience as a teenager — when her then boyfriend was convicted for robbery and received a 12-month sentence.

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Merron stands up to be counted

May 19, 2014

Board of Deputies chief executive-designate Gillian Merron has more than one string to her bow. The Liberal Judaism board member and former Labour government minister has been taking a drama course whose requirements included delivering a stand-up session in a pub. When Board meetings descend into deathly dullness, you know who to call on to lighten them.

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