Sleb Safari: Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is allowed one shade of grey

Maeve Connoly

Maeve Connolly

Maeve is the deputy digital editor at The Irish News. She has worked for the company since 2000.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has no choice but to embrace the colour grey in his barn conversion
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has no choice but to embrace the colour grey in his barn conversion

SPARE a thought for Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen who has been insulted beyond what a gentleman could be expected to endure with an insistence by planners that he use grey paint on a barn conversion. LLB is not a man who grapples with grey. Grey? GREY? It must stick in his craw.

Honestly, a man of good taste wants to convert the barn beside his sixteenth century Grade II listed manor into a two-storey home for family members and the world and his stepmother has an opinion.

Planners have stipulated that Laurence can convert part of his Cotswold property if, IF, he paints the external woodwork a shade of Dulux grey called Flake Grey.

There are 13 other planning conditions but none as offensive. Laurence has made his feelings on ultra-neutral colours known, several times over, and holds Farrow & Ball in disdain, singling out shades such as Elephant’s Breath and Mouse’s Back for particular criticism.

Last month he wrote that “Grey is the colour of death — the hue of depression”.

Weeks before that he penned: “Farrow & Ball is part of what I call the John Lewis Ethos, the crushing belief that one should eradicate any visible element of taste from our attire and our interiors.

“We feel we should remove anything showy, under the misapprehension that understatement is posh. It isn’t – it’s the hallmark of poverty, both intellectual and financial.”

And in case he wasn’t making himself clear he added: “Look I know there’s a terrific affection for Farrow & Ball. People imagine it is manufactured in a Beatrix Potter factory by small woodland creatures, dressed in poke bonnets, that greet each other every morning with warm little squeaks.”

The planners were taking no chances with the Changing Rooms presenter who is known the world over as a tastemaker with a penchant for colour, ostentation and naughtiness in his full-fat decorating.

For his own wardrobe Laurence wouldn’t be seen dead (either half or fully) dressed in anything but an extravaganza of a suit. His shirt cuffs have to be substantial enough that when he gesticulates sparks are knocked off their ladders. Scarves must be raffish and if you promise to truss him up like a Big Purple from the Quality Street tin with tonally appropriate floral wellies to match then you’ll have his heart and credit card details for life.

And when the man says that “the trend for colours now is rich and juicy and rumpy pumpy” you just know that although the exterior of his converted barn will be one shade of grey, the interior is going to be 50 juicy shades.

The Rock likes a super early start



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The Rock posted a picture of himself on Instagram beside a clock showing the time as 3.46 and with the caption “Monday morning. Let’s get to work, my friends.”

What sort of a job-on-the-side does this man have that he needs to get up at that time of the morning? Knocker-upper?

Mark Wahlberg is a fan of a 3am start too. He likes to hit the gym early. Sleb Safari has no clue why. When Sleb Safari wakes up and sees 3.anything am it rolls over and goes back to sleep.

Paris Hilton has scored a cookery show


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POP the champagne and dust off the spice rack because Paris Hilton has scored herself a cooking show on Netflix.

Paris has had a few forays into the world of cooking on camera and making a meal of it. Paris likes to wear fingerless gloves and carry a small dog as she dices, dashes and dishes. Sleb Safari can only speak for itself but it wouldn’t fancy eating anything Paris prepared while dangling a dog over it.

How and ever, Paris is fascinating to watch. Her Cooking With Paris YouTube tutorials were a thing of wonder.

The first tutorial began promisingly: "Today I am going to teach everyone how to make my famous lasagna" before descending into "don't use these lasagne sheets", and "don't get this mozzarella, get the grated one".

Here’s hoping Netflix doesn’t tweak this winning formula too much. Too many cooks and all that.

Social Media Smut


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