Matthew Norman's Media Diary

Noel, Noel ... a saviour is (re)born

Is there any societal ill beyond the range of Noel Edmonds? There is so much more to the man than doling out Christmas presents to sick children without a passing thought for the personal publicity, and in the last few days alone the Isaiah Berlin of the Gotcha has shone the halogen lamp of his intellect at two contentious issues. Especially inspiring is his clarion call to the public to help him correct serious social problems, among which he identifies not merely teenage knife crime but speed cameras and the London congestion charge. "Whether we call it broken Britain or toxic Britain," writes Nolly, "we have to accept that something in our society has happened and someone needs to do something about it."

Can anyone guess who the saviour might be? No? Well, it's Nolly, with a show in which the one-time owner of a Jacobean mansion in Devon set in the country's largest private grounds without a public right of way will humiliate "the greedy and ungenerous" and celebrate altruism wheresoever he might find it. Sparing a moment from his duties as social reformer, meanwhile, he also addresses the loss of public confidence in television which Noel's HQ is expected to reverse. Broadcasters must "take the initiative" to restore trust in British TV says the presenter of Deal or No Deal (fined £500,000 by Ofcom's for continuing with a phone in competition for seven weeks after the producers became aware of its dodginess).

Until now, Nolly's own contribution to restoring public trust in telly (and if that memory doesn't highlight the full wickedness of misnaming a Blue Peter cat, what will?) was believed to peak with Michael Lush's death while rehearsing a bungee jump for the eerily titled Late, Late Breakfast Show in 1986. But apparently not.

A PERPLEXING advert appears in the media section of German paper Der Taz. Under the headline "Publisher Wanted", the text refers to a "highly motivated newspaper staff, still not made redundant ... seeking a serious buyer ..." What's wrong with the people at Berliner Zeitung, where a quarter of the editorial staff is about to be laid off? In placing this ad, don't they understand that they have a perfectly good proprietor already in the lovable shape of David Montgomery?

FROM A former Mirror Group boss to the incumbent, although how long Sly Bailey (Sylvia Grice as was) will remain so is uncertain. Sylvia may be little more interested than Monty himself in those fiddly bits of the industry that don't revolve around the cutting of costs, but not everyone can be an all-rounder. The important point is that she's done such a bang-up job with the share price, which has seen the group's capitalisation realigned from a disappointing £1.3bn a year ago to a cheerier £280m today. And still questions are raised about her future. What a brutal industry this is.

AND SO to the increasingly fractious relationship between Sunday Telegraph theatre critic Tim Walker (after the interest-declaring fashion of my colleague Stephen Glover, I must remind you that he replaced my wife in the post) and his fellow wielders of the illuminated pen. For no better reason than Tim's penchant for confusing such minor Shakespearean characters as Iago and Othello, these bullies have taken to teasing him. "I see Tim Walker fell into the Jonathan Miller trap of denouncing the casting of Dr Who as Hamlet," runs a contribution from Michael Coveney. "You'd expect a professional critic to know about David Tennant's brilliant stage career before he was Dr Who, surely". Why Michael blithely ignores the perils of over-research is his business, but happily Tim has launched a counter strike. "I have no doubt that saying all of this will once again put me 'out of step' with most of my fellow critics," observed the Ken Tynan du jour at the end of a recent unfavourable review, "but happily I have a day job, I am beholden to no man and so I don't really care if I am out of step. I will continue to tell it as I see it. It's a pity that Lefties in theatreland can't do the same". More than that, Tim, it is an indelible stain on their mortal souls. Still, best not give up that day job.

THE BASIC English comprehension problems that afflict the work of favourite columnist Jon Gaunt have infected The Sun's back bench. "The BBC will be cut to one channel and a radio station in 10 years, a report claims today," ran a page-two story on Friday, referring to Sir Antony Jay's argument that "there is a strong case for dismantling the BBC". I am convinced there is a strong case for Spurs winning the Champions League in 2010, but that doesn't make it likelier to happen. Wishful thinking is a marvellous thing, but we mustn't let it lure us into blatant misreporting.

HATS OFF to Peter Oborne. Peter's research on Islamophobia, for tonight's Dispatches on Channel 4 (see page 10 of this supplement), is laudable enough, but getting a double-page spread headlined Is Britain Anti-Muslim? into the Daily Mail, home of Mad Mel Phillips and her thoughtful reflections on the clash of civilisations, is something else. Superb work.

STILL WITH that paper, finally, the award for Imbecile Headline Question of the Week goes, as ever, to the Mail for "Was this Aliens Trying to Say Hello?" above a photo of that Siberian forest devastated by fire a century ago. If it was, it's a funny old calling card.

Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Sport
Jose Mourinho restrains his assistant manager Rui Faria, Fabio Borini celebrates his winning penalty and Connor Wickham equalises for Sunderland
sportChelsea 1 Sunderland 2: Deafeat is extra bitter as former Chelsea player Fabio Borini scores late penalty to seal victory
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Easter a dangerous time for dogs
these are the new ones. Old ones are below them... news
News
Brand said he
people
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Online Advertising Account Executive , St Pauls , London

£26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

Advertising Account Executive - Online, Central London

£25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

NGO and Community Development in Cambodia

Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...

Business, Marketing and Tourism Volunteer Projects

Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: As part of an ongoing effort to support local...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit