UK

Charles Saatchi Offers To Cage Fight Spectator Columnist Taki After Nigella Column

22/01/2014 08:45 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 21:01 GMT
David M. Benett via Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 14: Charles Saatchi attends Christa and Bella's School Project fundraiser hosted by Christa D'Souza and Bella Pollen in aid of Marefat High School in Kabul on January 14, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)

Charles Saatchi, the art collector famously disgraced after being photographed grabbing the throat of his now ex-wife Nigella Lawson, has hit out at one of his most fearsome critics - and offered to hit him in person.

The Spectator magazine has now offered to host a cage-fight between Saatchi and the magazine's High Life columnist Taki.

Taki wrote in his Spectator column, referring to Saatchi, last week: "I read that [TV presenter] Trinny Woodall is now accompanying that particular cowardly slob.

"The art world is full of rogues and pirates, and in my book the heroic man who grabbed Nigella by the throat is both of these things, and he is most welcome to come and try to grab my little throat anytime."

The Spectator has now published a letter from the former Mr Nigella, accepting the challenge.

He called the magazine "a lovely read" but said he always skipped Taki's column, being "simply not interested in your social life". According to Saatchi, Nigella also found Taki "toe-curlingly vile, and would have been aghast at having you as her valiant supporter," he wrote.

He said that Taki liked to "brag that you are a Black Belt at karate. Well, me too, old boy.

"But apparently your ‘fights’ are genteel affairs, against other soppy geriatrics rolling around the floor in crisp white outfits, in some bit of judokai nonsense.

"Mine take place in cages, 20 feet square, unofficial little events with no gloves, no rules, and the loser being carried out, usually battered to bits. You will understand why I laughed out loud at your schoolyard boast that I should try throttling a real hard case like you."

However Taki responded: "I am 77 years old, 5ft 9in and weigh 185lbs. I am willing to face him any time under cage-fighting non-rules, which will be a first for me. I need three days’ notice,"

The magazine has offered its garden as a venue and said tickets may be sold for the fight, with proceeds to The Boxing Academy, a specialist sports school that supports pupils at risk of exclusion.