The Diary: Damien Hirst; The Pitmen Painters; Guy Ritchie; Gary Giddins

Case closed on the pilfered pencils

A détente has now been reached in the art war waged by Cartrain, the 17-year-old graffiti artist, against Damien Hirst. The teenager was arrested earlier this year for damaging a £10m Damien Hirst sculpture, after the multi-millionaire artist registered his displeasure at Cartrain's use of Hirst's skull motif in his artwork (and apparently demanded a share of the profits). In retaliation, Cartrain crept into the Tate and stole some "vintage" art pencils from Hirst's "Pharmacy" sculpture early this year (the pilfered pencils were apparently valued at £500,000). Cartrain told me that, happily, all police charges have since been dropped and that he's even had a meeting with the Tate to discuss the issue.What's more, he came face to face with Hirst himself at the latter's current show at London's White Cube gallery. Cartrain said: "He asked me if I was Cartrain to which I replied I was. He explained he was all right with all the publicity and that he wished to speak further. He seemed quite all right at the time but he did make a quick exit."

On the road

The cast of the Live/National Theatre's 'The Pitmen Painters', who performed across the country for eight weeks (before returning to London), told me all about their touring exploits. Michael Hodgson, Christopher Connel, Phillippa Wilson and Lisa McGrillis say they lived in a barrister's front room in Sheffield, a long boat in Milton Keynes and a £30-a-night hotel in Cardiff's red-light district. In Plymouth, Connel found a place to fly-fish, bringing his catch to the theatre so that co-actor Ian Kelly, could cook their meals.

Pedal power

A curious appeal for cyclists has been launched by the sound artist Kaffe Matthews. She has invited people who are reasonably fit and able to cycle non-stop in five-minute bursts to become part of her latest installation in Dalston, London, this Sunday. 'Invisible Dust', an audio work that will take nine hours to create through eight speakers, will be entirely powered by bicycle. Will we see those avid cyclists Boris Johnson, David Cameron or even Peter Mandelson, on his Brompton, at the event in east London?

Guy Ritchie owns up to boy-crush

Guy Ritchie is, by his own confession, besotted with Robert Downey Jnr, the American actor who is starring in his "buddy movie" version of Sherlock Holmes, even though he was quoted in 'Total Film' magazine's January edition as saying that he didn't think much of the actor's intellect or talent at the outset. Speaking about Downey Jnr's role as the opium-addicted detective (with Jude Law as Watson), he said: "It's true, I had reservations" but later effused: "I think I've probably got a bit of a crush on Robert ... I really love him!" Ritchie, a well-known "mockney" whose fake cockney accent has been known to veer precipitiously back to posh at any given moment, added a few commendations about Downey Jnr's mastery of the British accent.

Vonne-gutted by post from the past

The legendary New York jazz writer Gary Giddins reveals that he has kept all his fan (and hate) mail from the 1970s and '80s, including post from Ralph Ellison and a witty missive from Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut wrote to Giddins after he gave Vonnegut's novel 'Deadeye Dick' a lukewarm review in 'The Village Voice'. "I thought it was sub-standard and typically, Vonnegut made me feel guilty, by writing 'My best work is behind me now that I'm 60 years old'." In spite of the gripey letters, Giddins bemoans the onset of the age of email and the internet, since when all such post had dried up.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face

books
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from How To Train Your Dragon 2

Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigour

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland and Jena Malone in Mockinjay: Part 1

film
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
A waxwork of Jane Austen has been unveiled at The Jane Austen Centre in Bath

books
Arts and Entertainment
Britney Spears has been caught singing without Auto-Tune

music
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips

music
Arts and Entertainment
Gay icons: Sesame Street's Bert (right) and Ernie

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton

music
Arts and Entertainment
The new film will be shot in the same studios as the Harry Potter films

books
Arts and Entertainment
Duncan Bannatyne left school at 15 and was still penniless at 29

Bannatyne leaves Dragon's Den

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The French economist Thomas Piketty wrote that global inequality has worsened

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck plays a despondent Nick Dunne in David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty (L) and Carl Barât look at the scene as people begin to be crushed

music
Arts and Entertainment

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Caral Barat of The Libertines performs on stage at British Summer Time Festival at Hyde Park

music
Arts and Entertainment
Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea perform on stage at the Billboard Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Zina Saro-Wiwa

art
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice