High Street Ken
26 April 2011 12:00 AM
Wily swordsman Hugh Grant doubtlessly thought he was a right old clever dick when he pulled a fast one over that tabloid weasel Paul McMullan the other week.
19 April 2011 12:00 AM
After being reminded that John Cleese can understandably take exception to ill-founded fears his funny bone may have been surgically removed in recent years, I would like to place on record the confident belief his best work could still be ahead of him. (Just pretend it's some other bloke in those rubbish AA adverts). Now the old boy proudly informs us that he wouldn't still be plain old Mr Cleese to you and I, if he had seen fit to accept a peerage from Paddy Ashdown back in 1999.
12 April 2011 12:00 AM
There goes Piers Morgan again, overstating the size of something modestly proportioned. Morgan tells Radio Times: "They reckon 3-400 million watch [Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN] every night." His interviewer consulted "Them" – a CNN spokesman – who "clarified that '300m is a potential nightly audience' globally". So that potential audience includes me, even though I've never watched it (except for the silliest bits, on YouTube). Still, Morgan won't mind me saying so, as he claims to miss the irreverence of the British. When he was last in the UK, shopping at Boots in Kensington (I know it well), the cashier pointed over his shoulder at a group of old ladies and asked, "Is that your fan club?", then burst out laughing. "And I thought, that would never happen in America."
29 March 2011 12:00 AM
Gore-based film-maker Eli Roth has been working with Russell Crowe on the unlikely-sounding historical kung fu action thriller The Man with the Iron Fists, co-starring Wu-Tang Clan rapper RZA (as a "weapons-making village blacksmith in feudal China"), who is also the film's director.
22 March 2011 12:00 AM
Cheery property expert-cum-TV homemaker Kirsty Allsopp was at Thursday's Hodder dinner at Café de Paris to promote the new paperback edition of Kirstie's Homemade Home. Deciding, however, that the subject of craft would yield few gags, she chose to recount a racy anecdote from her youth.
15 March 2011 12:00 AM
Easily angered chef Marco Pierre White is a compelling televisual presence, so anyone who saw him fire John McCririck from Hell's Kitchen (for criticising his food) will be disappointed to learn that he's just turned down the chance to make a prime-time cooking programme for the BBC – as well as an equally lucrative project for a Canadian broadcaster.
08 March 2011 12:00 AM
A glancing encounter with scandal for Tim Farron, Lib Dem party president: blogger Guido Fawkes reveals that he recently indulged in a first-class train ticket (though, admittedly, at the ultra-cheap advance rate). Despite this trifling matter for Ipsa, Farron is yet to fall victim to the Curse of Lembit. Glamour model-bothering Lembit Opik, as this column has previously noted, came out in staunch support of Charles Kennedy, Mark Oaten, Simon Hughes and David Laws, soon before each of them resigned either their jobs or their leadership candidacies. Until last year, Farron rented a room in the south London shag-pad that Lembit likes to call home. Following his flatmate's electoral drubbing and subsequent spiral into stand-up comedy, however, the upwardly mobile Farron smartly re-located.
18 February 2011 12:00 AM
It's a while since Martin Amis wrote a novel of any great renown, but media types remain intent on sniffing out controversy in the poor chap's every utterance. So it was that last week he landed himself in a literary version of the Sky sexism row, with the Keysian contention that he'd only write a children's book if he had "a serious brain injury". Children's authors rushed to condemn him. "Arrogant twaddle," said Lucy Coats. "If he looked at the talent in children's literature he might change his mind," said Anthony Horowitz. "If I gave him £100 to write a children's book I bet he'd do a good one," agreed Roger McGough. Yet Amis has an ally in Jacqueline Wilson, creator of Tracy Beaker, who was today named the most borrowed author of the past 10 years in British libraries. "He's a very committed dad," she tells me. "When one of his daughters was younger, Martin and his wife queued up to get my book signed for her. He was sweet and charming and he's committed to making sure children are brought up reading children's books. He just likes to make dramatic statements." You'd think, with all this publicity, that he might sell a few more books.
08 February 2011 12:00 AM
Hollywood's elite recently took a memorable bashing at the Golden Globes when host Ricky Gervais calculated that he was probably rich enough to throw caution to the wind and give it to them with both barrels.
11 January 2011 12:00 AM
Heston Blumenthal's eclectic tastes are not confined to food, it would appear. The iconoclastic chef's new London establishment, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, is due to open this month at the Mandarin Oriental hotel beside Hyde Park. And its main design attraction, should you happen to glance up from your snail porridge, will be a vast, udder-shaped chandelier.
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