The City and Media Diary

A little 'Knowlivator' is a dangerous thing – just have a word with John Humphrys
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Inspiration can come from the strangest of places. It seems the graduate recruitment programme of law firm Eversheds has provided the spur for 'Today' stalwart John Humphrys (right) to pen a third book. The literary pedant's anger has been stoked by frankly ridiculous descriptions of would-be recruits on the firm's site, to be found at

Top of the list comes the "Innovateer" – the innovative volunteer who is effervescent, fresh, imaginative and occasionally rebellious.

"Knowlivators" (knowledgeable innovators) are also sought. The Logithiser (the logical empathiser) and the Performibutor (the performing contributor, for whom "only success is acceptable") feature too.

"Ye Gods!" cries Humphrys. "I did a follow-up to 'Lost For Words', 'Beyond Words', and I have a horrible feeling there may have to be yet another."

The object of my affection

Some pretty wacky groups have emerged on Facebook but by far the saddest would seem to be the Scottish Widows Appreciation Society. Boasting a 43-strong following, it dedicates itself to discussing the merits of the Widow herself, personified by the sultry Hayley Hunt (right). Imagine, then, the delight of three members who were last week given the opportunity to meet their heroine. It was all too much for group founder Chelsea Lea Bagnard, who said: "I still have to pinch myself to check that I'm not dreaming."

Perhaps even sadder was the response of Scottish Widows brand director Mike Hoban: "It is exciting to see that the 21-year-old brand-name icon is resonating so strongly with today's i-generation."

Er, yes, Mike.

A name to launch a thousand celebrity features

Over to 'Metro', where the byline and photo of one Andrei Harmsworth has begun appearing on the Guilty Pleasures celebrity pages. Surely he can be no scion of the Harmsworth clan, owners of Associated Newspapers, whose titles include the London freesheet? "Who wants to know?" stammers Andrei, contacted for clarification on the matter. When pressed, he finally concedes he's from a branch of the family. Show some pride in your heritage, young man.

Dacre-baiter decides it's time for a career change

A fortnight ago, the Diary reported that former 'Daily Mail' employee James Black had opened up, a sarcastic appraisal of the editor's style. However, no one from the supposedly web-savvy 'Mail' seemed to care that much. He has now taken the site down, his point having been made. " As for my career – the words shit, paddle, creek and 'would you like fries with that?' spring to mind," says Black, who has headed into the fresh pastures of internet TV.

Tory iconoclasts and Labour Rottweilers

Not so much tea with Thatcher as a breakfast with Thatcherite ideas, attended by Dylan Jones, 'GQ' editor, and Michael Portillo. The latter shocked an audience composed exclusively of the chattering classes by describing Zurich Insurance's report on "cultural revival" as an extremely Thatcherite document.

Talking of our political masters, Whitehall sources are unhappy at criticism of John McFall in this section's Comment pages for his hard line with financial services folk (hapless Northern Rock executives were the latest lab rats). The Treasury Select Committee chairman is merely doing the bidding of Gordon Brown, they say. Still, the grilling was enough to see the Rock's chairman, Matt Ridley, fall on his sword and resign. Not much sign of him taking it personally, then.

Good week for

Google. The search engine's profits rose 46 per cent to $1.07bn (£535m) in the third quarter. Shares jumped to their highest level of $639.62. The seemingly unstoppable Google has only one problem: the continued controversy over the amount of unauthorised material on YouTube, which it bought for $1.65bn last year. Let's hope the profits don't all go to the lawyers.

Bad week for

Terry Wogan. In the midst of all the BBC turmoil, spare a thought for Tel. Already under fire for an £800,000 salary, he got hauled up by the 'Daily Mail' for wearing moleskin trousers so tight that they left little to the imagination of the audience of 'Points of View'.

Email your best diary stories to for a chance to win a bottle of 12-year-old single malt from Bruichladdich – the progressive Hebridean Distillers.