Actually, that’s not true. We know him very well — Ben was a fixture on the gossip circuit for nearly a decade in New York. He moved to the city from Australia in 1998 to write the column “Chic Happens” for Hint Mag with Horacio Silva (now fashion guru at T), then started as a legman for the Daily News’ “Rush & Molloy” column. After a year and a half of that business*, he launched his weekend column “Gatecrasher” four years ago. The column expanded to its current five-day iteration when Lloyd Grove’s “Lowdown” column left the tabloid. As anyone who read “Gatecrasher” knows, it’s really the only column in the city that is as funny as it is dishy. (It also had the best daily blind items.) So it is with great sadness that we learned from Gawker over the weekend that Ben is leaving the gossip world. Today’s column includes this quick, last biting good-bye:
Oh no! After four years (which is 28 in liver years) Gatecrasher has crashed its last gate for the Daily News. I hope you’ve had as much fun reading the column as I have had writing it, but today I am leaving to pursue my ambition of becoming the world’s first plus-size hand supermodel. Wish me luck!
Ben tells us he’s taking some “me” time to travel with friends now, though his liver will probably take years to recover. By our estimation, so will the city’s gossip landscape.
*Do we seem a little fawning this morning? If so, it’s because when Widdicombe left “Rush & Molloy,” he was replaced by an inexperienced young gay who completely idolized his wit, writing, and charm. That boy grew up to be Daily Intel editor Chris, and he remains a fan to this day.