If 'The Guardian' is green, it won't shout it from the rooftop
Sunday 25 November 2007
The Guardian, so proud of its right-on green credentials, has been embroiled in a potentially embarrassing row over the so-called "environmental" quality of the planned roof of its new seven-storey building in King's Cross. All new office blocks in the capital are being encouraged by the environmental lobby to provide a green roof – with grass and/or plants. But activists fear that the newspaper's roof will not cut the mustard. Developers are planning to create a sedum roof, which contains hardy plants and moss, described by some environmentalists as "bland, cheap and low maintenance". A 'Guardian' spokeswoman said: "We would rather not get into a debate about just how green this roof will be." No, we don't suppose you do.
Bad week for
Former Hollyoaks actor and 'Love Island' contestant Paul Danan. As the star of a panto in Preston, he was given the honour of turning on the town's Christmas lights. Clearly overcome by the occasion, he greeted assembled local bigwigs and families with the words: "Come on, you motherfuckers!" He did apologise, but not before he was given an £80 fine and dismissed from 'Jack and the Beanstalk'.
Good week for
Tony Blair and family. Associated Newspapers donated a large sum to a charity of the Blairs' choice after agreeing to settle a legal case out of court. The former first family had argued that long-lens pictures of them holidaying in the Caribbean infringed their right to privacy. Clearly, now that Blair has stepped down, he is not afraid to rile newspaper owners.
A fond farewell to Kamal
An invitation to Kamal Ahmed's leaving party at 'The Observer' arrives. Entitled "Alastair, is this ok...?", it continues: "After 11 years of shambles and disaster, Kamal Ahmed is finally leaving the premises. Please come and sneer, tell jokes and generally catcall from the back." The party, at The Clerkenwell Kitchen, also promises "dancing, special guests (not really), halves of lager, candles". How very un-New Labour. The reality is bound to be buckets of champagne.
BSkyB plan pooh-poohed
The news that another Murdoch organisation is considering going brown will cause shivers among political types. But the Tories have nothing to worry about. Having taken Sky carbon neutral more than a year ago, BSkyB chief James Murdoch is fixated on reducing the satellite broadcaster's energy usage. He told 'Spectator' he had been looking at processing human waste, but a spokesman, Robert Fraser, said: "We have now dis-counted that." He promised to get in touch when he had something solid to report.
Off the record
The Guardian has been proudly boasting about how well it has done (a) with Guardian Unlimited, which has maintained its lead as the UK's most popular newspaper website, and (b) at last week's Record of the Day music awards – best critic for Alexis Petridis, best podcast, and best music coverage, no less. However, it omitted to mention that 'The Guardian' also won best live reviewer for Sophie Heawood. Possibly because she has been working at 'The Times' for the past year.
Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer is clearly rattled by the imminent rise of Channel 4 Radio. In an article for BBC in-house magazine 'Ariel', he quotes Channel 4 commissioning editor Dorothy Byrne, who says that listening to Radio 4 is "as if you're walking down the street and you enter a shop and it's full of old people knitting – like I'm in the wrong building". Damazer's defence? "I am tempted, on the day Channel 4 Radio launches, to start a series on knitting."
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