The Travel Bookshop in Notting Hill is on the brink of closing, or it may be on the brink of being rescued - it's the kind of flurry of activity that would suit a Richard Curtis film, except instead of the hero making a late, desperate bid for the woman he loves, it would be to save a bookshop.
We may need to work a bit more on that script.
On Monday, the shop started a two week closing down sale. The owner now lives in France, his children don't want to take over the business and the Telegraph dug out the most recent accounts which reveal it made a loss of £18k. (Perhaps some of the tourists who have a photo taken outside - even though no actual filming took place there - should pop in and buy something.) This is a huge shame, as the shop is a lovely place with excellent stock and knowledgeable staff - who now face losing their jobs.
A team of writers and journalists have volunteered to work for free if a buyer can be found (though the shop would probably fare better if the current staff, who know their stuff, can be retained), and the Standard reports two "mystery buyers from the art and film worlds" have shown interest in buying the shop. However, the owner doesn't seem to be contactable. Oh! Oh! They'll have to make a last-ditch journey across the Channel, probably in a Mini!
The fate of The Travel Bookshop is not generally indicative of the health of London's bookselling community (indeed, a new bookshop is about to open on Ebury Street), but the lesson for any ailing business is clear: make sure you always, always, star Hugh Grant.