The Diary: All Greek to Wire writer; Roger Hiorns' Seizure reopens; bucketloads of publicity for Antichrist; is fourth plinth theatre or art?; student's 90-hour Friends-a-thon

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The Independent Culture

'It's all Greek to me,' says Wire writer

George Pelcanos, the veteran crime writer who is celebrated for his Emmy nominated collaboration with David Simon in writing and producing the brilliant HBO crime series, 'The Wire', says he reckoned the reason why the second series is entirely focused around a dockland criminal ring of Greek origin in Baltimore is because the show's creator, Simon, used it as a way of enticing Pelcanos – himself of Greek original – to work on the show. He told me: "He called me up and he said 'I need you, lots of the characters speak Greek. But in the last episode, (the main criminal kingpin called) 'the Greek' admits he's not even Greek. David wrote the last episode and it came as a surprise to me. I wouldn't say he lied to me at the start but he's a good salesman." The writer, is currently visiting England to speak about his latest of 15 books, called 'The Way Home', about a wayward teenager, at the Harrogate Crime Festival.

Copper load of this

Last year, the artist Roger Hiorns took over a derelict South London property to create 'Seizure', his stunning sculptural project in which he transformed the flat into a cavern coated in copper sulphate crystals, which became one of the most popular installations to be launched in the UK. Yesterday, it re-opened to the public on 23 July. The work led to Hiorns' nomination for the Turner Prize, and the house became a site of pilgrimage for art lovers. The council is set to pull it down so catch it while you can.

Devil of a job

It is a film that has incurred censure from 'The Daily Mail', been described as "depraved", been booed at its Cannes premiere and had its lead actress, Charlotte Gainsbourg, admit it was harrowing to make. Lars von Trier's 'Antichrist' has had bucketloads of publicity, all before its UK release date today. Even the film's own PR people know they're on to a good thing saying it featured "explicit penetrative sex, masturbation, extreme torture and genital mutilation" (although I doubt that will feature on the posters).

Penny for your thoughts on the plinth

Nicholas Penny, director of the National Gallery and Renaissance scholar, already appears jaded by Antony Gormley's portrait of Britain. After all, he has to walk past the fourth plinth on his way to work every morning. He told me with a barely suppressed sigh that he wondered if it had not been devised as a "way to humiliate people". Later, he elaborated diplomatically, that it could be seen as a piece of theatre. "It does strike me as a historian of sculpture that it is more to do with theatre than British sculpture. I leave it to theatre critics to discuss what they feel it is." Unlike his compatriot, Sandy Nairne, who did a stint on the plinth when a volunteer failed to turn up, Dr Penny confirmed he was not on the substitution list.

That's what Friends are for...

Steve Misiura, a particularly steely drama student has become a cause célèbre among thespians including Steven Berkoff, James Bolam, Wendy Craig and Natalie Dormer. He plans to raise £7,000 for his post-graduate course at the Central School of Speech and Drama, by staging a sponsored 'Friends-a-thon'. Starting on the 31 July at 8am, he says he will watch all 10 seasons of, 'Friends', in one sitting. "With 233 episodes it should take me about 90 hours, just under 4 days. I'm not allowed to sleep, or take breaks (apart from the toilet!)." Hmm, a weekend's work for any British teenager.