Footballers don’t talk. They can’t, as a rule, and those who can have it coached out of them. For some reason, the Chelsea and England midfielder felt like breaking that rule when we sat down for a nice up of tea. There’s stuff in here about the World Cup, Capello, John Terry, the breakdown of his own relationship, his kids, being booed on the pitch, having too much money and being considered thick, as well as this about his mum: “Before every game, I have a little moment thinking about her. It’s like a prayer, basically. Not like the Lord’s Prayer, there’s no “Amen”, it’s just my own little prayer to my mum, saying, “Give me strength and look after the family.’ When she died I started visiting church every day, basically. That was hoping for a miracle. I just went to spend time in there. Sit there for half an hour. I know it sounds stupid, but I don’t even really know how to pray. I just sort of speak to my mum in my head. I still go fairly regularly. I certainly believe in God. I don’t think I would be able to handle it anywhere near as easily if I didn’t.'” He also said that “too much is made of the money thing”. When he said that he was wearing a (borrowed) watch. It was worth a quarter of a million pounds. Anyway, here it is. Enjoy.
‘Pull my hair,’ says Ricky Gervais, leaning towards me, face down, shouting. ‘Pull it!’ He wants me to grab a handful and give it a yank, to prove there’s no wig, but I don’t know if he’s joking or angry. ‘You win one award, you’ve got the room. You win two awards, it’s “Yeah, good luck to them.” You win 25 awards and everyone in that room hates you,’ said Ricky Gervais, who has multiple awards. ‘Do you want to check I haven’t got lifts in my shoes?’
Gervais has gone manic, grinning wolfishly with a fire in his eyes as if he’s about to bite my throat. His dark hair seems real enough close up, but all I asked – and all I really want to know – is if he wears a corset. ‘A what? Why?’
A corset. You know, to keep it all nicely in place around the stomach region. He is a star, after all. The romantic lead in his own film, The Invention Of Lying, which comes out on DVD tomorrow and sets him alongside Jennifer Garner. As a Hollywood leading man… ‘Definitely a bit of sarcasm there,’ he says quickly. ‘And your left eyebrow went up. A hint of sarcasm. Or incredulity.’ I know what “leading man” means here. Not Brad Pitt and George Clooney. It means Woody Allen and Stan Laurel.’ Read the rest here
“He dazzles,” says Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in The Independent. “You stay with Moreton because you can’t bear to jump off.”
“This exuberant and assured book posits the central dilemmas of our times.”
There are warm words too in The Observer, The Independent on Sunday and The Tablet. The Bookseller previews the book with those by Peter Hitchens and Desmond Tutu and calls it “hugely readable and thought-provoking.” You can read all the reviews here.
‘We didn’t know what we were doing. We were teenagers, we’d drunk too much – frankly, we did behave appallingly, irresponsibly, criminally. Next morning, one of the organisers of the exchange rang me up and said, “We know you did this.”‘ What was Nick Clegg talking about? Find out here.