Kate's winning way
Few can deny that Kate Winslet was wise to write a winner's speech in the lead-up to the Baftas to prevent a repeat of her gushing performance on the Golden Globes podium last month. But I wonder which film she had in mind when she wrote it? She won, of course, for her role in 'The Reader' but was also nominated for her husband Sam Mendes's film Revolutionary Road (again in the best actress category), for which she apparently received a very modest number of votes from the academy. Let's hope she wrote the winning speech for the right film. Meanwhile, the phenomenally talented Dev Patel, found himself, perhaps a little absurdly for an 18-year old in his first film, nominated alongside the heavyweight Hollywood greats Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Frank Langella and Mickey Rourke for the best actor gong. Unsurprisingly he failed to win but he didn't look too perturbed. At the lavish Royal Opera House ceremony, he positively glowed all night.
So, the day Mark Wallinger wins the £2m Ebbsfleet Commission, for which he plans a 50m-high white stallion on the chalk pits of Kent, he gets lucky on the horses. Riviera Red, which he part-owns, galloped home at Lingfield. Sadly, Wallinger was too busy talking to the press to place a bet. "I was probably talking to you about Ebbsfleet when Riviera Red won. I don't know whether to laugh or cry," he said.
Sir Ian McKellen, who rapped a version of Shakespeare's sonnet "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" after becoming inspired by the kids he was visiting in Limehouse, east London last year, appears to have developed a taste for urban yoof beat. On Tuesday, he launches the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company, with the Mobo award winner Akala. It all kicks off with a workshop, which will discuss similarities between the Bard and the likes of 50 Cent.
Wait till she gets to the naughty bits
Charlotte Roche's X-rated book 'Wetlands', about her 18-year-old narrator's sexual grooming habits (pubic shaving accidents an' all) is now out in Britain in translation. The book's graphic nature caused uproar and fainting fits when it was published in Germany last year. Roche tells 'The Independent' that it would be wise for UK bookshops to prepare for mass faintings, as she plans to do book-readings. "The thing that always happens is people start fainting. I don't even read the hardcore stuff; it's always the first 30 pages, which are quite sexy and light. I hear thumping as people faint. It's a good idea to have people [on call] to carry them out," she says.
Oh snow you don't
It wasn't just Theatreland (and opera land) that came to a standstill when a few inches of snow dusted the land. The Barbican's cinema cancelled its afternoon show, but if staff thought this meant a day building snowmen, they were wrong. A total of 530 calls had to be made by only three box-office staff who made it in to the Barbican to tell ticket holders not to turn up – and another 150 calls were made by staff who hadn't made it in to work after customers' contact numbers had been emailed to their homes.