David Baddiel is making his best-selling polemic Jews Don’t Count into a documentary for Channel 4.
The book was not only a huge sales success, but moved the dial on in terms of explaining left-wing antisemitism to a crowd that can normally only spot Jew-hatred when it comes from the far-right. Frequently amusing and always hard-hitting, it did well on both sides of the Atlantic and is now being turned into a documentary hosted, of course, by David himself.
The 75-minute one-off programme, made by Louis Theroux’s production company Mindhouse, has started filming in New York, with David also meeting up with US comedian Sarah Silverman, who said of the book: “If you think you don’t need to read it, that’s just the clue to know you do.”
Baddiel, a JC columnist who describes himself as a Jewish atheist, was moved to write his short but influential book after British Jews experienced the existential threat of “progressive” antisemitism.
The book, which has been hailed by Stephen Fry as “a masterpiece”, posits the idea that while left-wing circles deem themselves to be anti-racist spaces, they not only have a blind spot when it comes to anti-Jewish hatred but sometimes are even the drivers for it.
David told the JC: “My critique is aimed mainly at progressives, at those people who care about minorities and racism – those people who consider themselves on the right side of history – and I think of a lot of those people as Channel 4 viewers.
“So let me thank Channel 4 in advance to giving me this opportunity to address, and maybe take apart a bit, their own audience’s self-image.”
Big Fat Essex Wedding
After the paucity of simchas during the pandemic, we are now being blessed with our second big fat Jewish celebrity wedding of the year.
Following the £3million, A-list-star-studded Miami beach nuptials of Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz, come the decidedly more homespun celebrations of reality star Stacey Solomon and actor Joe Swash.
The wedding is due to take place at the end of July in the grounds of the pair’s £1.2million Tudor-style Essex mansion.
Between them they have five children – the youngest being their only daughter, Rose, nine months. Their son Rex, two, Stacey’s older boys Zachary, 14, and Leighton, 10, and Joe’s son Harry, 15, will all act as page boys at the big event. The couple’s two dogs, Peanut and Teddy, will also have roles walking down the aisle. They will be wearing suits and bow ties.
Honey-voiced Stacey, 32, a former pupil at the King Solomon School in Barkingside, found fame on The X Factor when she was a finalist in 2009. A year later she won I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and it was after her victory in Australia that she first met former EastEnders star Swash, 40 – who, as a previous winner, was presenting the spin-off show. The two were just good friends as both were with other people, but got together in 2016 and became engaged in 2020. Their plans have been put on hold several times due to the pandemic.
Stacey, whose father David is a wedding photographer, is a favourite on Loose Women and recently reinvented herself as a cleaning and tidying guru with her BBC show Sort Your Life Out, for which she was nominated for a Bafta earlier this year.
She has five million followers on Instagram but admitted last year she found it difficult getting antisemitic abuse during the Israel Palestine conflict. Recently she has been detailing many of the wedding plans on Instagram, including a tearful trying-on of wedding dresses with her sister Jemma. “I loved every single second of today, trying them on, imagining seeing Joe for the first time, feeling the veil on my shoulders and seeing the glitter sparkle as I moved around,” she said.
The bridesmaids – who will include Jemma and, it is rumoured, fellow Instagram cleaning guru Mrs Hinch – are due to wear green, based – somewhat bizarrely – on Stacey’s favourite artificial Ikea Fejka plants.
Guests will also feature Stacey’s Loose Women co-stars including Coleen Nolan, Ruth Langsford, Christine Lampard, Linda Robson, and Nadia Sawalha while entertainment will include a karaoke and dancing under a thatched-roof barn area.
Jews in the news
Talking of the Beckham-Peltz duo, all is not well in paradise. The couple – both heirs to millions – have put their £9 million “starter home” on the market because it, apparently, wasn’t “quite what they wanted”. One can only hope they find something more to their exacting taste soon.
Rachel Riley has found herself in hot water for questioning whether Strictly Come Dancing could be fixed. A contestant on the show in 2013, she claimed producers “knew from the start” who they wanted to win. BBC chiefs angrily denied the claim, saying: “The BBC has strict procedures and editorial guidelines in place regarding impartiality.”
Is it mean to cry “diddums” after the mixed critical reception for the TV adaptation of Israel boycotter Sally Rooney’s book Conversations with Friends? Following the success of the TV version of Normal People, this new BBC series, also directed by Irish Jew Lenny Abrahamson, was eagerly awaited but missed the mark.
Special mazel tov to Barbara Charone, legendary UK publicist for the likes of Madonna and Mark Ronson, who is having something of an incredible year. Not only has this Chelsea-mad fan found herself becoming a non-executive director of the club as part of the winning consortium that also includes Danny Finkelstein and Jonathan Goldstein, but next month her memoirs Access All Areas will be released.