Poor James Bond. Three words I never thought I’d write.
When I grew up in the 1970s he was considered to be the epitome of masculinity and the man that women dreamt of joining them between the sheets.
Now the ultimate womaniser and expert seducer is patronised by, of all people, Daniel Craig; the actor who has done more than most to breathe new life into Ian Fleming’s creation.
He told Esquire magazine: “As a man gets older it’s not a good look.
“It might be a nice fantasy – that’s debatable – but the reality, after a couple of months …”
Ironically Bond’s failure to bond with any of the women he beds was seen as part and parcel of his glamour in my day. That was the whole point of him!
But apparently that is nowadays considered old hat, and misogynist dinosaur Bond is now patronised as being “desperately lonely” and weighed down by “a great sadness.”
He is, the narrative goes, a sad wreck of a man, chain-smoking and drinking himself into an early grave with his endless Martinis with only a success of meaningless one-night stands to keep dark thoughts at bay.
That’s not how I recall him in his prime; the master of the throwaway line, the man who always knew what to do and what to say, supremely confident and with a wonderful line in devil-may-care quips.
But it seems even James Bond, saviour of the universe several times over, can’t overcome his feminist gainsayers.
It can only be a matter of time presumably before he appears on our screens dressed in a pair of sandals eating quiche and promising to take the kids to the crèche.
But, hold on, that has happened already. Author Anthony Horowitz, who has written new bond novel Trigger Mortis, says: “With women, he has this sort of patronising carnal attitude with them which is absolutely accurate to the Bond of the books.
“I also gave him a very outspoken gay friend, who chides him and says ‘come on Bond, you’re living in the 21st century now not the Middle Ages’.”
When a man compliments a woman on her appearance nowadays a degree of caution is always required.
Personally I would no more dream of complimenting a woman on her looks than I would of diving headfirst into a wasps nest.
But Alexander Carter-Silk, 57, was so overcome with admiration for barrister Charlotte Proudman’s profile on a social media networking site that he threw caution to the winds.
The solicitor told her: “Charlotte, delighted to connect. I appreciate that this is politically incorrect but that is a stunning picture! You definitely win the prize for the best Linked in (sic) picture I have ever seen...”
But he was made to realise he had chosen the wrong target very quickly when she replied in the most humiliating terms, taking him to task for his “offensive” message and accusing him of “disgusting sexism”. He was also berated for his “unacceptable and misogynistic behaviour”.
Although Mr Carter-Silk, a father-of-two, was quick to rectify his mistake and apologise, Ms Proudman was not batted off so easily. The 27-year-old sternly demanded a full apology, which if not forthcoming, would result in her reporting him to the solicitors’ watchdog.
Gosh! That’ll learn ’Im!
It’s a shame that such innocent remarks can generate such uproar. Legendary ladies’ man Terry Thomas must be spinning in his grave.
The pub industry we are constantly being told is in decline with more than a dozen hostelries closing every week.
But while that is undoubtedly true and the number of pubs being turned into supermarkets and offices is on its own enough to turn people to drink, there are glimmers of light.
Bruce Travis, landlord of the King’s Head, opposite the George Hotel, is spending £200,000 on restoring the pub to its 19th century architectural glory by getting rid of the false ceilings and showcasing the glorious coving.
Elsewhere, the down-at-heel Plumbers Arms, just yards from Huddersfield Bus Station, is getting a proper makeover by property developer Mark Robertson.
His intention is to turn it into a real ale bar with at least six different brews for punters to choose from.
And when The George Hotel in St George’s Square finally reopens there will not only be a revamped bar on the ground floor but a spanking new rooftop bar.
But it’s not just the town centre that’s seeing money being pumped into its bars. In Rastrick Maggie and Rick Starkey are busy revamping The Clough House, while the Elephant in Holmfirth has just been given a £150,000 makeover.
Few things in life make my spirits soar like the prospect of whiling away two or three hours eating and drinking in a rooftop bar.
So when dentist-cum-entrepreneur Altaf Hussain gave me a conducted tour of our most iconic building, The George Hotel, in April 2013, I asked if we could go up onto the roof.
It was a gorgeous day and Huddersfield was bathed in bright sunshine. “This would make a cracking rooftop bar, Altaf,’’ I said, peering over the edge.
“That’s a great idea, Robert,” he said. Next thing I knew it was in his plans which have now been passed by Kirklees Council.
Former council leader Mehboob Khan quipped it should be named The Sutcliffe Suite. We shall see.