British actor Stephen Fry has attacked hotel heiresses PARIS and NICKY HILTON, accusing them of lacking the "style and wit" a true socialite should have.

The Hilton sisters have been regular tabloid fixtures over the past few years, and Paris especially is a noted figure on the celebrity party scene, but Fry believes the sisters have nothing on the socialites who graced elite circles decades before them.

He says, "There is some kind of life and spark missing from the eyes of today's socialite. If the Hilton girls are examples of what it is to be a modern socialite, then I think they fall as far as style and wit go. Maybe they have simply been holding it back.

"My view is, in a sense, what's extraordinary about the '20s generation is that they invented it all. They were the first youth culture that ever existed. Of course people were young in the past, but it was a pretty seamless progression to being adult. There was no generation gap.

"The generation gap wasn't invented, as people sometimes think, in the '50s when the teens were invented. It was in the 20s. That's when girls started to smoke. So they had the energy. They were thrashing away with their machetes, clearing the path which is now a very well-worn smooth path that the young follow.

"So there's no adventurism in being a young party animal now, because all terms and conditions of it have been laid out, if you like."

16/08/2004 21:07