September 18, 2021

ALEXANDRA SHULMAN’S NOTEBOOK: WAGs at war is just what gloom-laden Britain needs


You have to hand it to them. WAGs are the gift that so brilliantly, so reliably, keeps on giving.

There couldn’t be a better time for Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy to wage war. We’re all desperate for a bit of escapism and this is a blockbuster.

Particularly joyous is the way Coleen posted a trail of fake stories on her private Instagram account while increasingly blocking followers to finally deduce who alone would be in a position to leak them. I wonder who came up with that idea?

WAG wars: Coleen Rooney’s battle with Rebekah Vardy is perfect ‘escapism,’ according to Alexandra Shulman

Was it one of the army of legal, PR and reputational management brains she and Wayne presumably have on speed dial?

I suspect it was more likely Coleen’s very own work, cooked up on the corner sofa, perhaps with a glass of Veuve Clicquot.

The biggest mystery though is why anyone in the position of either woman would decide to use Twitter and Instagram for the battleground. Such gems as Coleen’s investigative revelation: ‘It’s… Rebekah Vardy’s account’ (those dots… what dramatic tension) or Rebekah’s heartfelt riposte: ‘I’m not being funny but I don’t need the money’, make heavenly reading for the rest of us but surely can’t be doing either woman a jot of good in the long run.

Temporarily they may get the Go Girl! vote but in the long run, given the fact that the whole dispute is about leaks of private information, it’s a massive own goal. 

The more anyone posts about themselves on social media, the less defence they will have if and when they want to complain about invasion of privacy in the future. 

Social media fight: Rebekah Vardy has been accused by Coleen of leaking stories about her to the press and could end up in court 

Thoroughly entertaining, yes. But also a marker of our times. It used to be the more famous the person was the more intent they were on remaining private. 

Sure, we’ve come a long way from when the only three acceptable times to see your name in the papers was in the Hatch, Match and Dispatch columns but, even so, this WAG feud breaks new ground.

Not only have Coleen and Rebekah gathered us all round to watch the fun and games but they’re positioning themselves right out front, speedily tapping out character assassinations with their gel mani’d fingers, and delightedly pressing send.

Does your face lean to the Left… or Right?

There’s another, if rather less glam, spat taking place. First Spectator columnist Charles Moore claimed actress Olivia Colman had ‘a distinctly Left-wing face’, now Andrew Marr has hit back in a review of Moore’s latest Thatcher biography, writing that Moore has a ‘Right-wing face’.

‘Left-wing face’: Spectator columnist Charles Moore claimed the actress Olivia Colman has that feature about her visage

What a great parlour game – is political ideology aligned to physiognomy? Jeremy Corbyn’s grizzled, snaggle-toothed visage obviously speaks man of the Left, and could Jacob Rees-Mogg’s throwback appearance ever, even for a second, show him as anything other than man of the Right? But once out of the Commons, can we really tell? David Beckham, Ben Stokes, Maggie Smith, Tess Daly. Who knows?

Perhaps Dominic Cummings could start to use facial recognition technology at the ballot box.

Why I’m besotted with heavenly Shiv

Wickedly mischievous: Sarah Snook stars as Shiv in Succession has the allure to attract people across the board  

The star of the second season of the most riveting drama on TV – HBO’s Succession – is Shiv. Heavenly Shiv. Everyone fancies her. Men, women, me. Shiv, played by Sarah Snook, is full-bodied allure. 

She has all the strange, captivating power of the manipulative girl at school – the one who always seemed to know just that much more than you did about everything, including sex.

Pitted against her two older, hopeless brothers in the battle to succeed their all-powerful father, in this second season Shiv’s costumes are crucial.

 Her Jessica Rabbit body slides in and out of limos in a mixture of mannish high-waist pants and turtle necks, making the odd foray into something severe but backless for evening. It’s grown-up sexy. 

None of the currently fashionable Little House On The Prairie floral frocks for her. But the coup de grace is her loose, flame-haired bob that swings distractingly around her quizzical glance and wickedly mischievous grin, as she lands the next lethal blow. Ivanka Trump has clearly taken note on the hair front. Who’ll steal Shiv’s style next?

The thin end of the wedge for pizza fans

Closure fears: Alexandra warns we ‘need to act fast’ to save the firm ‘before it becomes a global emergency’

Is nothing sacred? How can Pizza Express be threatened with closure? We love Pizza Express, don’t we?

Even if the sizes have shrunk, the prices have risen and their salads are even more high-cal than their Margaritas. I, like many of my generation, have eaten more than our body weight of their doughballs alone in the past 40 years. But I hate to think they might go under.

Poor pizza is under fire from all directions. Crucified by the clean- eating school, demonised by the anti-carb brigade, and recently suffering the indignity of removal from the military’s breakfast options to be replaced by avocado on toast. 

That’s serious stuff. Pizza Express may find a way to restructure their debt but pizza is becoming an endangered species and we fans need to act fast, before it becomes a global emergency.

Diana will reign Supreme at Glasto

It’s going to be great to see Diana Ross in the legend slot at next year’s Glasto. 

The only time I saw her perform live was in the somewhat less egalitarian setting of a dinner Philip Green threw for his birthday at Annabel’s nightclub in Mayfair. 

She was the real thing.

Legend: Diana Ross is preparing to take Galsto by storm next year

Gliding in straight off the jet from Vegas, all wigs, sequins and stupendous eyelash-batting, she shimmied around singing all the old favourites to a party of heavy-hitters who included a wildly enthusiastic Lakshmi Mittal, the steel magnate who’s one of the world’s richest men, who jumped up to film her on his iPhone.

Next year’s appearance at Worthy Farm will undoubtedly be equally mesmerising, but a lot more PC.      

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