At about 16:00 today I’ll be on The Dan Wootton Show on TalkRadio, commenting on remarks made by Jilly Cooper at The Hay Festival yesterday. You can call in to the show on 0344 499 1000.
A piece in today’s Times by David Sanderson, Arts Correspondent:
Jilly Cooper bemoans the state of modern men. They are, according to the novelist, always crying, growing beards and, if married, frequent visitors to gay dating sites.
Cooper, whose most famous male character is the roguish showjumper and lothario Rupert Campbell-Black, said yesterday that she thought men were now scared of the opposite sex.
“I think the men are so terrified of women it is easier to go with their own sex,” she told the Hay Festival. “Men are crying all the time, they are growing beards — and if you read Shakespeare, nobody cried.”
Cooper, 81, also said that men now had to restrain their behaviour. “You can’t flirt any more, it is so sad,” she said. She was married to her late husband Leo for 52 years and has admitted that the marriage survived affairs on both sides.
Her series of semi-erotic novels about upper-class charmers in the showjumping world made her one of Britain’s bestselling authors. She has written about 50 books, but said that her next novel would probably be her last. She plans to set it in the football world and told the festival that England needed a glamorous football manager.
She also revealed that she had been tapping into the knowledge of Sir Alex Ferguson, the former Manchester United manager. Cooper charmed him, she said, by telling him a joke about three Scottish mice discussing how tough they were.
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