Monday 13 December 1999
VOTER APATHY was not the only thing to mar Michael Portillo's return to Parliament. Portillo's minder during the Kensington & Chelsea by-election, Michael Morley (son of the ex-Miss World boss Eric) is facing police investigation into his conduct at a meeting during the campaign. The gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, who hounded Portillo during the run-up to the by-election, claims to have been manhandled by Morley in an episode caught on film by Channel 4 News. Tatchell saw Kensington police last Friday for more than three hours, to give a seven-page statement. The long arm of the law is understood to be keen to pursue the matter.
Mais non! Associated Newspapers has surpassed itself with un grand faux pas over the weekend. The Daily Mail has re-started its Just Say Non campaign against buying French goods, in defiance of France's continued ban on British beef. Saturday's grand effort was a piece headlined, "How you can make champagne go flat". But the bubbly battle cry was somewhat undermined by a promotion in The Mail on Sunday offering - surely not? - "A free bottle of champagne for every reader."
FEW PEOPLE will have read Jeff Randall's description of how he saved the world, or at least acted as an intermediary between two billionaires in solving the Ashcroft-Times libel dispute, since it was printed in his own Sunday Business. It was stirring stuff, an international tale of suspense and intrigue. Pandora particularly enjoyed the part when Randall told Murdoch to accept Ashcroft's draft of the settlement statement. Poor old Rupe saw little option but to comply meekly. "Fine," he told his saviour. You can't help but wonder whether Jeff made any demands of his own - reading his account, you suspect a mere editorship would not enough for such a fine diplomat. The UN, at the very least, beckons.
England are the football world champions; the trophy was lifted in London last week. But the venue wasn't Wembley, or even Highbury - it was Clerkenwell's splendid Cafe Kick, where the great and the (very) good of the bar football world were gathered to slug it out to become world baby-foot beaters. In a competition organised by the bar, pros and amateurs were randomly paired under equally random national team headings. But England couldn't do it with home-grown talent alone; Alan Cribbs, the top scorer, was in fact American.
MILLENNIUM EVE may prove to be the mother of all soul-searching evenings. Some celebrities, such as Kelsey Grammer of the US sitcom Frasier, have already got that part out of the way. Spending time alone on one New Year's Eve early in his acting career, Grammer (who plays a radio psychologist in the show), experienced something of a revelation. "I suddenly had this intuition that I had to stop being a loser," recalls Kelsey, prescribing the most obvious advice for the blues since "cheer up, it may never happen".
John Cleese is carving out a niche for himself in US television by developing a series for the ABC channel. The Monty Python legend will write and produce a pilot programme for the station, though there are no plans for him to star in it. The show is set in a law firm in which some partners have made deals with the devil. Might they have strange ways of walking, too?
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Amy Winehouse film director: 'I wanted to show the fun, bright-eyed girl we didn't know'
James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Contemporary art is a fraud, says top dealer
Family Guy, BBC2 - review: The Simpsons crossover highlights gulf between the cartoons
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture