Bit of a misstep at the relaunched Pillars of Hercules. The Soho pub, once a favourite of literary types such as Ian McEwan and Martin Amis, closed earlier this year. It has now been reopened as Bar Hercules by the team behind Be At One cocktail bars.
But regulars have spotted that a portrait of a group of drinkers has been edited — two black punters have been replaced with white ones.
The original image dates from November 1933 and is something of an iconic picture for the pub featuring black drinkers propping up the bar in a pre-Windrush Britain.
As part of the redecoration, which has seen the horse brasses and fag ash carpet go and a stained glass window with an image of a naked Arnold Schwarzenegger come in, the new owners decided to update the old picture as well.
The latest owners of the historic pub — the Pillars dates back to at least the 1730s — super-imposed the faces of three founders of Be At One, Steve Locke, Leigh Miller and Rhys Oldfield, on the old 1930s picture. The trouble being that they are all white, and they were painted in to the work in place of the black men.
“Who are these new white guys?” one punter tweeted. “Really not impressed,” another despaired.
A representative of Bar Hercules said that the picture will be taken down, explaining that it was an innocent mistake.
The new Hercules owner Matt Fleming told the Londoner this morning: “Firstly, I’d like to apologise for any offence that this has caused. When the founders of Be At One invested in my vision, I wanted to say thank you to them in the pub. With the challenges facing Soho and the pub sector, I thought it was a great opportunity to bring an iconic pub back to life. The original picture will be taking back its pride of place at Hercules.”
Hercules was forced to do 12 Labours as punishment for misbehaviour. Could drinks on the house be a suitable penance for this modern mishap?
No sign of help for the Rahman posse
The campaigners who took Luftur Rahman to court to expose his vote-rigging are left facing £1.1 million in legal bills. Tower Hamlets’ new mayor, John Biggs, recently wrote to Theresa May: “They stood up for local democracy — we owe them a great debt of gratitude.”
The Cabinet Office has confirmed it will not be covering the bills: “the Government was not a party to the 2015 legal case, and it would not be appropriate to use taxpayers’ money to pay legal costs where it has no involvement.”
While the campaigners were awarded costs in the High Court, there is no money left after Rahman declared himself bankrupt.
Actor Tom Hardy was a surprise face at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May. How did he secure an invitation? He tells Esquire only that “it’s deeply private”. But he does add that “Harry is a f**king legend”.
Zombie Boy, the Canadian artist and model, died last week. But he will live on in London. Heavily tattoed and a friend of Lady Gaga, he was sculpted by Marc Quinn last year. The work will stand in the new Medicine Galleries at the Science Museum when they open next year.
Rosie gets snappy with son Jack while Jason gets friendly with sharks
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley shared a few candid snaps of her family on Instagram last night. The model posed with her fiancé, actor Jason Statham, while their one-year-old son Jack ambled towards them. The photographs were taken on Monday night before the premiere of Statham’s latest film The Meg — about a gargantuan shark.
Statham, a scuba enthusiast, travelled to Fiji to swim with bull sharks. “To swim in close proximity to a three-metre shark is to be recommended to all and everyone,” he said. “It’s quite a tranquil sort of thing. It’s remarkable to experience.
“These things don’t mess about,” he continued. “If they want to get nasty, they get nasty.”
LABOUR mp Dawn Butler is shortlisted for an Investing In Ethnicity Award. She seemed thrilled, and surprised, despite the fact that the prize is run by Square Peg Media. Its CEO is Sarah Garrett, ex-wife of DIVA magazine publisher Linda Riley, who was appointed to the UK Labour LGBT board by… Dawn Butler. Congratulations.
Ed Miliband still isn’t talking about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Instead, what’s his favourite childhood book? Geoff Lloyd, his podcast co-host, says it was “a picture book version of Das Kapital”. “It’s out of print now,” Miliband adds, “but it was really good.”
Theresa May’s advisers must regret telling her to visit Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival, when liberal arty types fill the streets. She was greeted by a chorus of boos. But there was also a busker playing the Stars Wars death march as May walked by.
Quote of the day
‘”You pull your hand away and go: “Yuck.”’ Kathleen Turner says Donald Trump’s handshake left her repulsed
Tamara – from It-Girl to It-Granny
Gallery owner and former It Girl Tamara Beckwith has become a grandmother at the age of 48.
Her daughter Anouska, a photographer and artist, has given birth to a little girl named Luna Mae McSwiney: she posted the news on Instagram last night.
The baby’s father is Luke McSwiney, who runs a company that harnesses “the power of your breath as the ultimate tool for physical, emotional & psychological wellbeing”. Does that mean Anouska managed without an epidural?