EPHRAIM HARCASTLE: Will Wimbledon serve up an awkward encounter for Kate? 

EPHRAIM HARCASTLE: Will Wimbledon serve up an awkward encounter for Kate?

Wimbledon has banned Russian and Belarusian players, apparently to spare the blushes of the Duchess of Cambridge – who as patron might be embarrassed if a Putin supporter triumphed. Might she have another awkward encounter ahead? 

Bad boy Nick Kyrgios, who faces a charge of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, is through to the final after Rafael Nadal pulled out of today’s semi-final match. We can probably assume, if Kyrgios goes on to win the championship, he won’t get three kisses from the duchess – as Roger Federer did when he last lifted the trophy in 2017.

Boris’s determination to remain as interim PM is endorsed by Madame Tussauds, which is keeping his waxwork in place until a new Tory leader is elected. A sign declaring ‘Vacancy’ now graces the Downing Street display and when it’s filled he will be melted down. When the late Terry Wogan suffered that fate, he claimed there was sufficient wax to mould Ant and Dec. Maybe a melted-down Boris will provide sufficient wax for Penny Mordaunt and Liz Truss!

Where did Boris dredge up the phrase ‘them’s the breaks’ to describe his plight? It originated in the US, referring to when a pool player takes the first shot, scattering the balls and each player has to subsequently accept where they end up. Whatever happened to ‘That’s the way the cookie crumbles’?

Charles Moore notes BBC Today presenter Nick Robinson’s query to treacherous Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi: ‘I am asking you whether you told the truth and whether Boris Johnson told the truth and the simple answer is that you didn’t and he didn’t.’ Moore adds in The Spectator: ‘Since he has the answers to all his own questions why does not Nick just interview himself?’ And why doesn’t Moore retune his wireless to Classic FM?

Chick-lit writer Marian Keyes, observing Nadine Dorries striding into Downing Street on Wednesday, tweets that her ‘ridiculous’ dress is from Samantha Cameron’s designer range, adding: ‘It is a gift I have to know these things, like.’

Dakota Johnson’s portrayal of Jane Austen’s Persuasion heroine Anne Elliot, in the new Netflix version ditches the lovelorn spinster’s demure, dignified and self-effacing persona.

 Instead, Dakota, pictured, plays her as a sassy, accident-prone, Miranda-style goofball with Fleabag-esque snarky asides and eye-rolls to the camera.

‘We wanted a version of Anne who’s incredibly contemporary, strident and funny,’ insists director Carrie Cracknell. 

And likely to have Jane Austen rotating at high speed in her grave.

Wimbledon-bound Piers Morgan trawls west London in search of a Panama hat, wailing that ‘I tried the AELTC website but they only had size ‘Large’, which wouldn’t fit my big head’. You said it Piers!

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