Londoner's Diary: Teens still wild about Harry Styles – but with a twist

Harry Styles is returning to the big screen. Sort of. Last year the former One Direction heartthrob, pictured, made an impression in his first film role, the Oscar-nominated Dunkirk, but now he will be immortalised in a different way: a movie based on a piece of fan fiction about Styles is in production.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, fan fiction is a genre in which writers create imaginary scenarios using real-life characters. It tends to verge towards the erotic and is particularly popular with teens and young adults. Anarchy, a story which has been read more than 20 million times online, follows Styles’s adventures in post-apocalyptic London and a romance therein. 

Anarchy’s author, Megan de Vos, has announced that production on the film is now under way. The initial story, published originally on social network Wattpad, called for Styles to play himself but de Vos has resigned herself to finding someone cheaper, and has renamed the character Hayden. She is also crowd-sourcing for soundtrack suggestions as well as casting tips. 

It may sound like a doomed project but it worked for EL James: the British writer’s 50 Shades of Grey trilogy started life as erotic fan fiction using the characters in teen romance Twilight. The books, and resulting films, have enjoyed huge success. 

A spokesperson for the film told us Hayden “was inspired in part by the loyal and charismatic tendencies of Mr. Harry Styles, and the character of Dax was inspired by Dylan O’Brien and his witty sense of humour. Neither character are intended in any way to be representations of either person.” They added that they feel the label of ‘fan fiction’ is firmly behind them. 

So could Styles make his fans’ dreams come true by auditioning  to play himself? That would be a sign of the times indeed.

Border blunder: Boris Johnson (Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg via Getty Images) (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Today Boris Johnson compared the border in Northern Ireland to that between Camden and Westminster. But that’s not the most insensitive thing said about the border by a blustering blonde: Johnson could learn a lot from Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw. “Maybe the fight between marrieds and singles is like the war in Northern Ireland,” she once mused. “We’re all basically the same but somehow we wound up on different sides.” At least she was fictional. 

Lady Hale lays down the law in clubland

Clubber: Baroness Hale (Photo: Alice Lubbock)

Which club should you join? Brenda Hale, president of the Supreme Court, has been outspoken about her legal colleagues who are members of the men-only Garrick Club. 

Lady Hale doesn’t question its right to exist but does question whether it is judicious for judges to be chowing down on the roast beef there to the exclusion of women. Speaking at a Trouble Club event at Mortimer House last night, compered by lawyer Miriam González Durántez, she was asked if she would join a historically men-only club if it changed its rules to allow women in. “No,” she said. “I’m a member of the Athenaeum and I don’t need a second club.”

Quote of the day

‘It’s a long time since I’ve had a man on his knees in front of me’

Mary Berry caused blushes last night with comments on her co-presenter Niklas Ekstedt’s fire-making skills

McCartney and Tyler are California dreamin’

In search of peace: Liv Tyler, Bob Roth, Stella McCartney (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Stella McCartney)

LAST NIGHT designer Stella McCartney and actress Liv Tyler hosted the launch of Strength  in Stillness, a new book by American author Bob Roth. 

The Californian guru and his New York Times best-seller on transcendental meditation brought stars Daisy Lowe and restaurateur Camilla Fayed out to the Wellington Arch. Tyler and McCartney have been close friends for decades. Perhaps they were sharing tales of the strength and stillness needed to deal with energetic dads in rock bands. Or maybe they were just talking about nirvana?

GOLDEN handshakes are expected from City firms but if you work for a famous writer you might receive something more interesting. Matthew De Abaitua worked for Will Self in 1994 for a period of six months and has now written  a book about it, Self and I. In a piece for The Idler magazine, he described his severance package: “A box of matches containing a cheque for a hundred pounds, a pebble of  hash and a  couple of magic mushrooms.”

Hercules calls it a day

End of the line: the Pillars of Hercules pub (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

The Pillars of Hercules have been toppled. The Soho pub, which has entertained generations of boozers since the 1730s, shut its doors this weekend, and with it went a slice of literary London. There are claims that it is name-checked in Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, although we haven’t been able to find the mention, but Clive James did name his second book of criticism after the pub. 

Writers who have flocked to its bar include Martin Amis, Christopher Hitchens and Atonement author  Ian McEwan. “During the Seventies almost every writer in London must have had a drink in the Pillars”, McEwan told us yesterday. “Its literary moment  passed long ago but I’m  sad to see it go.”

The whole pocket of Soho is something of a building site as Soho Estates develops Ilona Rose House behind the pub but the building is not part of the development. One Twitter user pointed out that the pub’s lease has been sold — will there be a second chance or is coping with London’s developers one labour too far for the iconic pub?

Tweet of the day

After news of the death of former Treasury Solicitor Sir Paul Jenkins, fans reposted one of his final tweets.

Tribute of the day: the BBC interrupted normal scheduling last night in honour of Emma Chambers, the Vicar of Dibley actress who died last week, to screen the episode in which her beloved character Alice gets married.

Joanna shows her socks appeal

Striped: Joanna Lumley (Photo by Gemma Levine)

It’s nippy out but Joanna Lumley knows how to keep cosy. The actress has joined the Lymphoedema Support Network’s “Sock It” campaign, which is encouraging people to wear odd socks to raise awareness of the disease. Photographer Gemma Levine is behind the snaps. We think it looks ab fab.

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