The Word On The Street

Click to follow
The Independent Online
MAX HASTINGS had better watch out. Lord Archer, rather like Baldrick from Blackadder, has a cunning plan. Since a meeting with the Press Complaints Commission two years ago, he has been carefully keeping a scrap-book of everything Hastings' Evening Standard writes about him - with pride of place no doubt going to Paul Foot's recent deconstruction of his past. One day he hopes to use the scrap-book to prove that a vendetta is being waged. To the surprise of the PCC's director, Lord Archer admitted at the meeting that everything the Standard wrote about him was true, but he just wished they would stop going on about it all the time. It makes a nice image: the peer in Archer Towers, tongue sticking out of the side of his mouth, glue-pot in hand, happily sticking down another expose of his A-level results.

u

CONFUSION OCCURRED over the Barb television ratings figures for the number of Scots watching Scotland vs Brazil last week. Of a population of some 5 million, only 1.8 million seem to have watched the game. What happened to all the rest of them? The streets were deserted, industry shut down, yet 3.2 million seem to have missed Scotland's plucky little losers' act. Then enlightenment dawns. Barb's figures count only those who watched at home. Not those at the pub.

u

MUCH MUTTERING on the Thames isn't where Express readers go to retire - it's what's been going on in the Express newsroom since the new editor, Rosie Boycott (above), moved the editor's office. Its traditional location has a superb view of St Paul's Cathedral and the river that is most relaxing when you've been looking at circulation figures. However, Ms Boycott found it too distant and elitist for her egalitarian heart and moved herself into the middle of the newsroom. Her sentiment may have been laudable, but the reporters are muttering because her new location means she can keep an eye on them at all times.

u

TASTE AND Decency Part One: a new lobbying group was born last week in response to the British Board of Film Classification's tour of Britain to hear about the public's changing tastes. The Sexual Freedom Coalition has been set up to convince the BBFC that sado-masochism isn't cruelty, but "sexual domination administered with care and love". Led by the splendidly- named Dr Tuppy Owens, the coalition includes George Melly and Cynthia Payne and organisations such as Anne Summers and, er, Miss Vera's Academy for Boys who want to be Girls.

u

TASTE AND Decency Part Two: the Broadcasting Standards Commission has published its annual report into attitudes to sex, violence and bad language on television. Tucked away at the back is a frankly blush-making page of the swear words people find most offensive on television. All the usual bodily function terms are included, but in a frankly bewildering juxtaposition of the nasty and the sweet, "strumpet, "harlot" and "trollop" are included. It must be something to do with all the period dramas we've seen of late.

Comments