For the record: 14/09/2009

"I'm out! I'm free!" Stephen Farrell calls the New York Times's foreign desk after being rescued from Taliban kidnappers by British special forces


A flop and it's over


Congratulations to Music Week, which publishes its 50th anniversary issue today. It carries an interview with Sir Cliff Richard, who warns the music industry it may be discarding young talent too soon: "The music business now seems to spit people out very easily. One flop and it's all over – I had four."

Malcolm McLaren, meanwhile, tells MW that CDs and records will not quite disappear: "Antique technology, if that is what you mean, will continue to exist and be desired by those who in the same way, desire vintage fashion."

Ahead of ourselves

Regular readers of these pages who saw last week's story of Blackadder creator Richard Curtis's plans to write an episode of Doctor Who will not have been surprised, having learned of the matter here back in June.

Conflict of interest

In a damning critique of the Labour years in The Spectator, The Sun's political sage Trevor Kavanagh says British troops "lost our grip on bomb-hurling militants and were effectively driven, defeated, out of southern Iraq." Not quite the sentiment of The Sun's headline when the Union flag was taken down in Basra: "Job done".

The play for today

Surely a producer will come forward to make The Last Page, the final play by Keith Waterhouse, which he finished shortly before his death. I visited him at his London home just as he was starting it, nearly three years ago. "It's about the death of Fleet Street. I won't tell you any more about it because I know very little about it myself at the moment," he said at the time. "I was going to call it The Back Page, but I thought that sounded too much like the sports page, a subject I know nothing about." We now know that the play is an affectionate portrayal of the craft of journalism, and there aren't many of those around these days. Let's get it made.

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