DIARY: Break the US? Billett's bouncer rebuff shows China's tough to crack

While John Billett's recent announcement that he intends to crack the US market may have been inspired by Robbie Williams' similar expedition, judging by recent unedifying scenes at Chinawhite, the comparison comes to an end here.

After all, Robbie would not have encountered the difficulties that poor Billett, a candidate for the greatest living Englishman if ever there was one, had to suffer as he attempted to gain entry to the club, the favourite haunt of pop stars, glamour models and Premiership footballers.

While other guests found themselves ushered in, overzealous bouncers barred Billett's way because his name was not apparently on the guest list. "We've got a Jordan and a Jodie, but no John," one was heard to say.

It seems unlikely the bouncers were just protecting their young and beautiful guests from men of a certain age - can't imagine Peter Stringfellow or Michael Douglas being refused entrance on grounds of their advanced years.

But John's intentions were nothing but honourable - this was, after all, the launch party for Aegis Group's second-string media network Vizeum.

Although Billett failed to utter those immortal words "Do you know who I am", his thunderous face revealed he was fair bristling with anger, and quite right too.

Fortunately, the door staff came to their senses. After several guests vouched for his probity John was whisked down the stairs for a comforting glass of Champagne to recover from the trauma.

We wish him all the best in his attempts to gain entry to Hogs & Heffers in the Meat Packing District in New York.


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