21 OCTOBER 1972, Page 22

Will Waspe

Readers cursorily familiar with the London night-club scene may have been surprised by one omission from Atticus's benevolent salute to the entrepreneurs of the business in this week's Sunday Times. There was no mention of Prince Rico Dajou (the ' Prince ' is a courtesy title, courtesy of Dajou himself) who, down the years, has launched a whole string of Mayfair night-spots with varying measures of success, from the original Bagatelle (greatly patronised by young royalty) to Le Prince. Atticus kindly refrained from observing that Dajou, as of a week or two ago, is now on the outside looking in — that is, since the sale of the River Club by film producer Harry Saltzman, with whom Dajou was associated. The folks who have quietly taken it over (a sum close to £200,000 has been mentioned) are television's Stella Richman and her husband, Alec Hyams, who already run the White Elephant in Curzon Street. The River Club, now close for refurbishing, will, I gather, be re-named the White Elephant on the River. Dajou will not be there and is presently seeking alternative employment or backing.

What goes up goes up

I am amused by the readiness of newspapers to •print those publicists' handouts proclaiming "the costliest film ever made" or "the most expensive show ever staged" or — and this one is increasingly frequent —" all box-office records broken." It would be more remarkable if these things were not so. They are the inevitable achievements of the inflationary spiral, of rising costs and admission prices.

Doctor's doctrine

Though asked to re-associate himself with his old Beyond the Fringe confederates, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, Dr Jonathan Miller declined. In a rare audienice with the great doctor, Pete and Dud were firmly reminded that he no longer has a taste for any arts that might also be described as showbiz, that he is now a director not a performer (although many would regard him, in some sense, as more of the latter than the former). Even in the great days I remember his saying, I don't want to sound priggish, but I really do find something degrading about a lot of people watching one man on a stage and that man depending on their acclaim for his living." Cook and Moore, unashamedly degraded, will be appearing on their own in a new show, Behind the Fridge.