Europe is led by celebrity-obsessed tits
Jacques Chirac misusing the office of the presidency? Surely not!
"while [director Ron] Howard and [producer Brian] Grazer were in Paris auditioning actresses for [The Da Vinci Code]'s female lead, they got a call from the office of French President Jacques Chirac inviting them to swing by and say bonjour. 'We thought it was going to be a five-minute thing,' says Grazer. But Chirac asked them to sit down and get comfortable. Coffee was poured. They ended up staying close to an hour. Chirac insisted that his guests alert him if their request to film at the Louvre hit any snags. Not only that, he offered some... pointers. He suggested they cast his daughter's best friend—an actress of some acclaim—in the role of Sophie Neveu, the elegant young cryptographer at the heart of the book's mystery. And he wondered aloud, half seriously, if they could sweeten the paycheck for actor Jean Reno"Shame Brando's dead, really - I could just picture him playing Chirac in full-on Don Corleone mode - "I do you a favour, you do me a favour" etc. Still, it puts Tony Blair's visiting of former drug addict, alcoholic, statutory rapist and home-made porn film producer Rob Lowe in the the wake of the July bombings in perspective - they're all at it, ignoring matters of state to suck up to celebrities. Still, Sam Seabourn's slightly more impressive than Richie Cunningham in my books - and The Da Vinci Code's going to be a pile of shite so, erm, well done Tony, I suppose...
In other news, keep your eye on the European Parliament today - MEPs may yet scupper Blair's budget deal. On which more, perhaps, later.