The Diary: LSE's arts lecture; Yann Martel; Ekow Eshun; Magne Furuholmen; Paul Schrader

A stand-up guy

The most amusing part of the arts lecture at the London School of Economics this week, at which the director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor and the Tate director, Nicholas Serota, expounded their theories on the future of museums in the 21st century, was arguably the introduction by Howard Davies (right), the LSE's director, who performed a mini stand-up routine. Introducing MacGregor to the crowded auditorium, he said: "I'm glad to see him at a time when he hasn't lost his marbles," referring to the Elgin marbles, which the British Museum still refuse to hand over to the new Acropolis Museum. "We have a lot of Greek students here," he continued, to a burst of astonished laughter across the room. He then aimed his wit at Serota, saying that when he had been the interim chair of the board of trustees at Tate, "I liked to fantasise he [Serota] was working for me. That's not true. He has never worked for anyone."

Word shares

Yann Martel, the Canadian author best known for his Booker prize winner 'Life of Pi', is launching the world's biggest "readalong" to mark the reissue of the book about a tiger stranded at sea with an Indian boy. Readers from 35 countries have signed up for the event in August (you can too at www.lifeofpi.co.uk). Martel is believed to be penning a new book about the colourful journey of a monkey and a donkey who live on a shirt, which will deal, metaphorically, with the Holocaust. The book is rumoured to be published next year.

Elevate yourself

Ekow Eshun, director of the ICA, and latterly, chair of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, said he may well apply to stand atop Antony Gormley's empty plinth for his hour in the sun. "I wouldn't mind being there at 3am in the morning... it's about being alone in public, a public space for solitude and contemplation," he said. Neil MacGregor, the British Museum's director, was less keen, saying that "I spend enough time dodging the pigeons of Trafalgar Square," before swiftly adding that it was a "brilliant idea" and hailing it as "Twitter art".

Art is as easy as ABC for this pop star

Magne Furuholmen, from the pop group a-ha, is to unveil a series of paintings called Alpha Beta. His artwork will show in October at the Paul Stolper gallery in London. The pieces are apparently based around the Norwegian alphabet, not entirely unlike Peter Blake's typographical works. The keyboard player, whose father was a jazz musician, has apparently been painting for years. Much of his work has been bought and displayed in his native Norway. "With my visual work, just like with music, I work with composition and rhythm, association and atmosphere," he said. He is not the first 1980s pop star to turn to paint. Only recently, José Maria Cano, from the band Mecano, unveiled his own fine works at the Riflemaker. Feels like a growing trend.

You singin' to me?

The screenwriter Paul Schrader, best known for writing the script for the brutal 1976 masterpiece 'Taxi Driver', has turned his attentions to the (relative) glitter and froth of Bollywood. He revealed: "I've written a Bollywood script with song and dance and everything. It's a cross-cultural crime drama – an American comes to Mumbai... gets caught up in its crime underworld." Speaking in Nottingham, he cast aspersions on his compatriot screenwriters: "Writers do like to complain. Writers are perhaps the most overpaid complainers in the arts. The grossly overpaid, put-upon man."

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