Saturday, December 10, 2005

Taki Boris

Boris Johnson, editor of The Spectator until today, has accepted a position as front bench spokesperson for Universities and Higher Education under the new British conservative leader David Cameron. To avoid conflicts of interest, he has relinquished the editorship of The Spectator, but retained a column in that magazine as well as his op/ed column in Britain's Daily Telegraph. He has also agreed to appear less on such comic/satire programmes as Have I Got News for You.

Boris is a chacter - sharp as a razor, creative and courageous. He is also a bit of wild card - he had an affair with one of his columnist (Petronella Wyatt), made unflattering remarks about Liverpool and was made to go there are repent and has stood by his infamous columnist Taki (full name Taki Theodoracopulos - a greek multi millionaire who writes a column about the rich and famous and faced various libel and slander suits. The Greek patrician is an incorrigible provocateur. He is also an iconoclast, a philosopher, a polemicist, a philanthropist, a propagandist, an au contraircian, an optimist, a bon vivant, an aesthete, a hedonist, a sybarite, a cyberite, a Lothario, a crusader, a saboteur and a boon companion. Taki is always courteous and never a bore. Did Imention that he is endlessly controversial?

Taki is 67 (ish). As a child in Athens, Taki was a member of a prominent family. His maternal grandfather was a prime minister and his father, born poor, accumulated great fortunes in textiles and shipping. Taki attended the poshest schools and has been life-long friends with such nobs such as Fiat mogul Gianni Agnelli, the de facto king of Italy. They often sail around New York harbor on the Italian’s 92-foot all-black titanium-filled Stealth, the fastest boat in the world, with a crew of 16.

Taki has been married for 30 years to an Austrian princess, Alexandra Schoenberg. They have two children– Mandolyna, who works at the National Theatre in London, and J.T, who lives in a loft in Brooklyn and fancies himself a "graffiti artist" (he defaces buildings with his "tag").

Taki is a hopeless romantic, a playboy in every sense of the word. He can’t resist a flirt and Alexandra is infinitely understanding. Girls come into his life regularly, but then they go– and Alexandra stays. They have exquisite homes in New York, Southampton, Athens, and London

Taki is mellowing a bit–in 2000 at the Royal Enclosure at Ascot, he ended a feud with the Aga Khan that began 40 years ago over a pretty girl– but not completely. He now vows, "The only man I’ll continue to hate is Hillary Clinton."

Ah, ever the wit.

Boris will be a lively, creative minister when Cameron replaces Blair at the next election and becomes Prime Minister. He may have to be careful about Taki meantime.

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