Matthew Norman: That contacts book may prove useful, Archie

Diary

Warmest congrats to ITV on finally concluding its thrilling quest for a new chairman. It’s been a blast these recent months, with a seemingly endless succession of giants touted for the job before vanishing from view.

But all good things must come to an end, and there could have been no worthier winner than Archie Norman. Even if his qualifications to succeed Michael Grade remain tantalisingly opaque, the important thing is to make it crystal clear that his appointment has not one iota to do with his political past. Sad to say, some may regard this as a further sign of the media firmament rearranging itself in readiness for a change of government.

Why would ITV want an erstwhile Tory shadow cabinet member with refreshingly non-existent television experience at such a perilous time, these nincompoops will wonder, if not his long friendship with David Cameron, whose mentor he once was at McKinsey’s and whose leadership he has lavishly praised? This naivete is baffling. A major media company would no more hire a man for his political connections than a political party would hire somebody primarily for their media contacts. Andy Coulson will bear me out on this.

This sort of neo-Berlusconian blurring of the politico-media dividing line isn’t how things work over here. No, Archie’s appointment isn’t merely inspired but also a gorgeous piece of symmetry. As chief press officer for Michael Green’s abysmal Carlton, Mr Cameron colluded in the destruction of ITV standards that eventually led the network to the precipice. Now his old chum is going to clean up the mess he helped create.

Charity case

Last week Liz Jones was mostly writing about poverty. Confiding to Daily Mail readers that she is £150,000 in debt, Liz detailed her brutal efforts to avoid a trip to Carey Street.

She is now, so she claims, living on the jobseeker’s allowance of £64.30 a week, and the sacrifices are inspiring. She has, for instance, shaved her own legs for the first time since the Seventies. She has been to Primark. She even, the Lord have mercy, came frighteningly close to catching a bus.

“I hadn’t realised how spoilt I had become,” confesses the bucolic tourist who spent £26,000 on a bat sanctuary at the Somerset home she seems to have abandoned after the botched assassination attempt by livid neighbours that saw gunshot pellet besmirch her letterbox.

This is distressing to read, and if Mail editor Paul Dacre doesn’t double her “hefty salary” forthwith, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure are expected to step in.

No party in Liverpool then

Wouldn’t you have thought that The Sun might make a bit of fuss about its 40th birthday? Every day last week I turned expectantly to the paper in the hope of proper coverage of this anniversary, but apart from the odd understated reference on pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7, 11, 13, 15, 17-23, four-page pull-out in the middle and half the sports section...nada.

Alright, I exaggerate a little. Those with access to the Hubble telescope may have located the odd bit of own trumpet-blowing. “Biggest Names On Earth Salute Sun On Our Big 4-0”, a minuscule strap line declared on Tuesday, above a contribution from planetary titan Freddie Starr. That apart, there can’t have been more than an aggregate 150,000 words on the matter. In fact cerebral new editor Dominic Mohan restricted the self-indulgence so much that, among the reprinted headlines, there was no space for that Hillsborough classic “The Truth”.

A true visionary

As for the man who no longer has a shred of influence on Sun editorial policy (it breaks his noble heart to see how it has forsaken Gordon Brown; but then love sometimes means having to let go), Rupert Murdoch had another lively week.

After the triumphant interview with Sky in Australia in which he agreed with Fox’s Glenn Beck that President Obama is racist, and struggled heroically for the meaning of that wickedly recherché media term “online”, Davros fired his PR man Gary Ginsberg. And then, just to prove that he needs no nurse-maiding, Rupert delivered a carefully nuanced critique of New York governor David Paterson...“a very nice, honest man”, in his opinion, “who’s blind and can’t read Braille and doesn’t really know what’s going on”. Still, it all ended happily enough. The governor later said that all was “fine” because Rupert rang to “apologise like a gentleman”. And gentlemen, as everyone knows, prefer blinds.

Jungle fever

Daily Mirror Exclusive of the Week goes to Mark Jeffries for Thursday’s report, wittily headlined “Kim And ‘Ave A Go”, this concerned leading I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! grotesque Kim Woodburn – a woman you would cross not a road but a galaxy to avoid – being beastly to that lovely Katie Price. How Mark managed to protect this scoop is beyond me when barely 12 million viewers had watched the exchange from which it was transcribed the previous night. What is wrong with the Mirror back bench? It’s an illness.

Time to move on

As for Mark’s most venerable colleague, finally, Paul Routledge was our guide on a Club 88-90 outing to Mother Kelly’s doorstep down memory lane. “Extraordinary,” wrote the Chelsea Pensioner of working class warriors, “President Obama bowing to Emperor Akihito of Japan, the Pearl Harbour foe. Then swapping pleasantries with President Hu of China, America’s enemy in Korea.”

Isn’t it extraordinary though? If things continue to slide on the insanely rushed rapprochement front, how long before Paul has to rebuke his beloved Gordon Brown for shaking hands with Nicolas Sarkozy of Agincourt opponent France, or pecking Angela Merkel on the cheek?

Sport
Premier League Live
footballLIVE Follow all the Premier League action as it happens
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + echSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
James Argent from Towie is missing, police say
peopleTV star had been reported missing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...

Head of Marketing (Online & Offline, Media, Digital, Strategy)

£85000 - £100000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing - Slough, Berkshi...

Administration Assistant / Office Assistant

£18 - 20k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An Administration Assistant / Office Assistan...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone