The Diary: Moazzam Begg; Justin Adams and Juldeh Camar; Lisa Jewell; Election Drama; Colm Toibin

Tale of two terrorists Beggs no questions

Moazzam Begg, the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner, was consulted by Chris Morris during the making of Four Lions, a film satire on the adventures of a bunch of bungling Islamic terrorists. Begg tells me he was sent the script by Morris and found nothing that could offend the British Muslim community – other than an over-generous littering of Urdu swear words. The actor Riz Ahmed, who stars in the film, also phoned him to ask whether it was "too raw" a subject matter. Begg watched the finished film recently at a special screening with an ex-Belmarsh detainee on one side of him, and another who was held (and released without charge) for a "beheading plot" on the other. "I was looking for faults that would offend Muslims," Begg says, "but all three of us loved it." He apparently related some more light-hearted tales of Bagram and Guantanamo to Morris during two meetings in Birmingham. Lucian Randall, who has just published Morris' biography, Disgusting Bliss, adds that Morris spent months conducting serious- minded research for the film, attending terrorism trials at the Old Bailey and spending time with the Muslim community in Bradford.

Sculpted in rock

The musicians Justin Adams and Juldeh Camar had a Warholian moment (is it art or ordinary life?) at a recent gallery opening in west London, when they were mistaken for a human artwork. The pair, who today won a Songlines Music Award 2010 for their album Tell No Lies, were playing a set at the private view for Malik Sidibe's photographic exhibition when they found themselves being stared at intently. Adams explains: "Some art lovers obviously thought we were an installation and peered at us as if we were up for auction, while others, Brian Eno included, were carried away by three hours of nonstop Trance Grooves."

Unlikely bedfellows

Lisa Jewell, the chick-lit author of Ralph's Party, might spin yarns about hapless 30-somethings falling into bed with other hapless 30-somethings, but when it comes to her own sleeping arrangements, she and her husband of 10 years have separate bedrooms. Despite being every bit in love as they were when they met 15 years ago, they have kept their own bedrooms for years. It's a necessity (Jewell's husband needs to sleep in total silence and used to wake her up in the night, demanding quiet) that has become a guilty pleasure. "He is such a sensitive sleeper," she says, "He wears eye masks, ear plugs, black-out blinds. Now I have my own bedroom and I love it. After a holiday, we are both secretly looking forward to getting back to our own beds. I think this habit should be outed. Lots of couples have a spare bedroom which is really the other person's bedroom," she says.

A dramatic night for the elections

Debates not dramatic enough? Theatres will soon be filled with election night drama. Five playwrights will do an all-nighter on 6 May having been commissioned to write short plays based on the events and outcome of election night. The plays are to be cast, produced and rehearsed in 24 hours. The results of this experiment in immediate political theatre, will be Election Drama, showing for one night on 8 May at the New Players Theatre in London. Meanwhile, further north on election day, Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre will stage Gordon Brown: A Life in Theatre, featuring an insomniac PM, on the night before the election and on the verge of an electoral breakdown.

Yes, and what was the question again...

The author Colm Toibin lost himself in praising the internet for ending gay loneliness and making life better for homosexuals in Nebraska at a London Review of Books panel discussion in New York. One of the wonders of the world wide web, suggested the Costa Award winner, who grew up gay in rural Ireland, was the creative licence afforded to subscribers of gay chatlines. "You can say you're 6 foot 11" (and alter the size of other parts of male physiognomy) he said, before being asked by the panel's chair, ever so politely, to answer the unrelated question, I'm told.

Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

Arts and Entertainment
Dapper Laughs found success through the video app Vine

comedy Erm...he seems to be back

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)

tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Arts and Entertainment
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly flanking 'Strictly' winners Flavia Cacace and Louis Smith

tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special

Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Shenaz Treasurywala
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all