THE BACK PAGES

Getting it on again after the big off

Is Venus in the ascendant, prompting this outbreak of reunions among celebrities?

ROSALIND MILES July 23 2007
THE BACK PAGES

Getting it on again after the big off

Is Venus in the ascendant, prompting this outbreak of reunions among celebrities?

ROSALIND MILES July 23 2007

Getting it on again after the big off

Is Venus in the ascendant, prompting this outbreak of reunions among celebrities?

fame

ROSALIND MILES

In tabloid world, reunions like these are made in heaven. First London throbs with the rumour that Hugh Grant and Jemima Khan are back together after their split earlier this year. Next comes the revelation that Prince William is seeing his former girlfriend Kate Middleton again, and now Pamela Anderson is cozying up to exhubby Tommy Lee. Is this the cue for a communal aaaaahhhhh! or a moan of despair?

The tabloids love it, commissioning astrologers to roll out all the crystal balls money can buy. Is Venus in the ascendant, prompting this outbreak of summer madness among the celebs? Don’t ask. Happiness reigns, and all the couples are ready to have another crack at that crazy thing called love.

They must be joking, right?

If it’s wrong once, it’s usually wrong.

But celebs don’t think like that. They believe they’re living out the big themes for all of us: the course of true love never did run smooth, etc. This view is strenuously encouraged by the gossip writers, for whom these thundering old clichés are the tools of the trade.

And celebs follow celebs. The George and Martha of them all were Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who loved, fought, married, fought, divorced, remarried, fought, and divorced again. But the trend was there long before the young Elizabeth got her first ride in National Velvet and Richard Burton emerged from the black ooze of South Wales. The leading lady of the Algonquin’s celebrated circle, Dorothy Parker, married actor/scriptwriter Alan Campbell in 1934, divorced, remarried, separated and reunited in an endless loop before drink and drugs did him in in 1963.

Alcohol was the glue that stuck and unstuck both duets, but the true addiction is the excite-

ment, the hysteria which carves out peaks and troughs in chaotic lives: think Sienna Miller and Jude Law, Kate Moss and Pete Doherty, performers wedded to attention, inoculated against embarrassment, often addicted to pain.

And women are all too ready to take back hopeless men. Hugh Grant has been a lost boy since Jemima left, recently snapped hurling a plastic box full of baked beans at a photographer, a silly scrape that could have landed him in court, like his L.A. adventure with the divine Divine. Despite this, the separation is said to have clinched things for the pair, and Grant is set to make Jemima his bride and joy. For Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, the future looks equally clouded by past misdemeanours and brushes with the law. Tommy Lee may turn into a regular old sweetie pie, but what are the odds?

For William, a return to his long-time love Kate makes more sense: he may be a prince, but in the goldfish bowl of royalty, how will he get another girl? Kate floated by in his student days, a window of normality that won’t come again. Now he is subject to scrutiny so severe that the loneliness of the longdistance royal is his lifelong fate. His mother, Diana, was the most adored woman in the world, but most of her life she dined and slept alone. Where will he find another woman

who fits the bill? Kate is smart but not too smart, a real looker and above all discreet.

Plus the lad himself is not every woman’s cup of tea. Despite one of the best educations in the world, William’s vocabulary consists largely of “you know,” and brain action is not his strength, a condition unlikely to be alleviated given his family’s ancestral aversion to anything like thought. The company he keeps is even worse. The reunion with Kate took place at an army party, a Moulin Rouge-themed event called Freakin’ Naughty, fraught with blow-up dolls and other off-colour delights. Given naughty nuns, girls in underwear and lashings of flesh on show, the couple’s passionate kiss on the dance floor, after which they retired to William’s quarters, may have been one of the chaster events of the night.

As this suggests, getting it on again after the big off is for the terminally immature, which is why the tabloids are onto these couples like rats up a drain. To forget all that disillusion, betrayal and pain requires the willed equivalent of a frontal lobotomy and a reversion to a childlike state of innocence and hope. The reward may be fabulous, frantic and frequent sex, and the lust of repossession is just one more of those unnatural, addictive substances, which insulate the lovers from reality for a while.

But then it’s over. As everyone knew it must be. So axe the ex, guys, or it will all end in tears. Again, and again, and again. M