As ideas for TV shows go, ‘Oligarch Dust-Up’ is firmly in the Partridge School. It’s a hair’s breadth from ‘Inner City Sumo’ and ‘Cooking in Prison’.
Alexander Lebedev, the 51-year-old owner of both the Evening Standard and The Independent newspapers, appears to be keener than most to get the franchise up and running.
During an interview on a Russian TV show, the businessman cracked out some of the moves he may well have learned while working for the KGB on property developer Sergei Polonsky.
Although it’s unclear where the rivalry stemmed from, the Russian desk at ShortList (ahem) tells us that testy exchange went something like this:
Polonsky: I'm already worn out from the desire to give [him] a punch in the chops.
Lebedev: (Jumping to his feet) Well, try it. Go on then, or are you waiting for me to take off my glasses?
Upon which Lebedev wades in, landing punches on a stunned Polonsky.
Polonsky has since called the attack ‘disgusting and repulsive’.