ONE of the many tragedies of this pandemic is that there is no leader uniting the world in the global fight against Covid.
In normal times we would have looked to the USA for inspiring oratory and diplomacy, with the UK working in partnership due to that so-called “special relationship”.
Sadly that’s never going to happen while we have a nasty, spiteful narcissist in the White House and a blithering idiot in No 10.
I’d really like to think that now that Trump has tested positive for the virus he will finally take the Covid threat seriously and start behaving like a proper leader.
But Boris Johnson was extremely ill from Covid and it didn’t turn him into a statesman, so sadly I doubt it will make much difference.
Here this week it was particularly unedifying to see bumbling Boris unable to explain his own tortuous government guidelines. He sounded uncannily like that sly impersonation by Bake Off’s Matt Lucas.
It could even work in Trump’s favour. He won’t be able to campaign for at least two weeks and he may also gain sympathy from undecided voters.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic we had two grumpy old codgers hurling bad-tempered insults at one another at what was laughingly billed as a Presidential Debate.
Like Boris, Trump doesn’t read the small print of his briefs, but bombastic cunning will only take you so far and he gave a petulant, abysmal performance.
Joe Biden wasn’t much better, failing to call Trump to account and grinning inanely at the most inopportune moments. His best jibe was telling the President to shut up, which wasn’t exactly up there with zinger of the decade.
When you think about it, the only person who resembles a global figurehead we can rally behind is the inspirational Sir David Attenborough.
At 94 he has earned the trust and respect of us all. I was delighted when he recently joined Instagram and broke all records, reaching a million followers in four hours.
It gives me enormous hope that so many young people, in particular, will have abandoned warbling pop stars and reality show-offs to follow the great man on social media and will regularly hear, and heed, his wise words.
It was also heartening to see those delightful photos of Sir David with William and Kate and their children. It must take a lot to impress those three kids and you could see they were hanging on his every word. I’ve been lucky enough to interview Sir David and treasure a photo of the two of us.
It struck me forcibly this week, however, that one day we won’t have him around to be our moral compass and to enthral us with his passion for wildlife and his compassion for humanity.
It’s a sobering thought, which is why it is so important that the world listens to him right now.
Sir David has written for this newspaper setting out clearly what needs to be done to avert disaster and this week made a heartfelt plea to 65 world leaders and heads of state to do more to protect Mother Nature.
Addressing the virtual UN event he said they have a chance to make a difference, but it cannot be put off.
His recent documentary, which should be required viewing, gave us a stark warning about the looming crisis for all life on earth.
Hunting and destroying the habitats of wild animals is not only bringing them to the brink of extinction.
Sir David also spelled out clearly that a loss of biodiversity will inevitably mean more disease and more pandemics, killing millions of people and bringing us to our knees.
He has told us in no uncertain terms that, “left unchecked the consequences will be catastrophic”.
We are all living through this hideous pandemic as best we can, and it’s hard to see the bigger picture, but we can’t afford to take our eye off the ball when it comes to climate change and saving the world.
We need to listen to Sir David while we still can.
Meghan courts disaster
I CAN’T help thinking Meghan and Harry have been making an awful lot of noise in the media for two people who so dearly want their privacy.
What they are saying is often admirable and sometimes toe-curling, but it’s all a bit baffling.
They upped sticks and fled to Canada, blaming media intrusion for their unhappiness, when I suspect it was about family pecking order and royal restraints.
Meghan is embroiled in a court case with the Mail on Sunday, which could backfire horribly and cost her a fortune.
If I had been able to advise them both, I would have told them to get round the table with their family and have an open and honest conversation, to air their gripes and come to a solution.
I’d have said to smile sweetly and not grab the media tiger by the tail, to do the royal photoshoots and tours and to be available for interviews.
With the Press on side, they would have been able to get their heartfelt messages about equality across loud and clear.
There would have been no house in LA nor a big Netflix deal, but they would still have the respect of the British people and be an important part of the Royal Family. Or was that never the plan?
SO lovely to talk to Captain Sir Tom Moore this week.
Along with his daughter Hannah and his grandchildren, he has written a beautifully illustrated children’s book about his life story, which made me cry.
Sir Tom also urged us to support the Poppy Appeal and get behind The Sun’s campaign to raise as much money as possible for the British Legion and to make sure we all wear our poppies with pride.
You can go online and make a donation, visit the online poppy shop for a special range of themed products and buy a poppy from Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Aldi or Morrisons.
I know times are tough, but whatever you can spare will make all the difference.
Quest friends forever
LOOKING for light in the Covid darkness, I happened upon the story of Dean Nicholson and Nala the pussycat.
Dean, an adorable, tattooed, bearded gentle giant, got fed up with the nine-to-five rat race and decided to get on his bike to travel the world.
Two years ago, while cycling in the Bosnian mountains, he spied a starving kitten who clung on to him for dear life and hasn’t let go since.
Dean, from Dunbar in Scotland, named the little scrap Nala, after a character in his favourite movie, The Lion King.
The two of them have become internet sensations, with millions following their travels all over Europe.
Nala sits in a special cat basket at the front of the bike but will dig her claws into Dean when he cycles over cobbles, as she’s not keen on all that jolting.
'LIFE ON THE ROAD'
Covid has put paid to their travels further afield, but they are still enjoying life on the road.
Nala is a feisty wee thing and acted as a “guard cat” when robbers tried to break into their tent.
Dean simply adores her. So much so, he’s written a gorgeous book about their adventures, complete with photos that will melt your heart.
The money raised goes towards helping animal charities in the various countries they have visited.
You can follow their adventures on YouTube, and the book, Nala’s World, is out now.
I’M still smiling at the Bake Off cake versions of David Bowie, Freddie Mercury and Sir Chris Hoy on last week’s show.
A right good belly laugh is exactly what we all need right now.
It was pointed out to me that if you were going to make a Chris Hoy cake, his face is probably not the most tasty and juicy part of his anatomy to tackle.
Whatever can they mean?
Hugh's a prop star
HUGE thanks to Hugh Jackman for appearing in the buff in a new Australian advert for . . . well, I can’t remember what he was actually promoting.
Hugh’s assets are ingeniously covered up by various props and clever camera angles in the hilarious ad that shows his “cheeky” sense of humour.
I also thought this week his wife Deborra-Lee Furness had the perfect riposte to all of those rumours that Hugh is gay by declaring them to be mean-spirited and made up.
Quite. And who cares anyway.
I’M loving the newly released Spitting Image puppet of Piers Morgan, which has had all of the team on breakfast TV chortling with glee, especially as it resembles a particularly tight cat’s bum.
Of course he’s pretending to hate his latex alter ego, but secretly Piers is relishing every moment of being lampooned by this wonderful show.
And despite all of those chins, it’s actually rather flattering.
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