Diary: A pair of Blow-Up models

Last week David Gandy D&G's favourite budgie-smuggler, kept us guessing as to the details of his first acting role, in a film he's shot with fellow model Helena Christensen. Cornered at the Triumph Inspiration Awards, Christensen, was more forthcoming than her co-star. Turns out the short is a tribute to Antonioni's 1966 classic,
Blow-Up. Its director is Edoardo Ponti, son of Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti, who produced the original movie about a fashion photographer embroiled in a murder. Gender roles reversed, the tribute features Christensen (herself a snapper) as the photographer, with Gandy in the blessedly unchallenging role of one of her models. "I have huge admiration for actors; it is one of the strangest places you can go with yourself," said Christensen airily. "I wanted to push myself into a situation where I'm pulled out of a comfort zone and put in a very challenging place... It was an amazing experience." Essex-born Gandy's description was somewhat earthier: "I haven't had a single acting class," he told me, "[so] I was really bricking it."

* The sight of Bob Hoskins and Sir Ben Kingsley on the same red carpet, at the premiere of Made in Dagenham, prompted an obvious question: is Hoskins expecting a knighthood soon? "I wouldn't know what to do with a knighthood," the actor, 67, insisted. "I wouldn't want it." Sir Ben, meanwhile, breezed by without comment – presumably far too grand, nowadays, to waste words on the gutter press.

* Rachel Johnson's plans to spice up The Lady, bastion of gentility in a magazine rack full of FHMs, continue apace this week with an extract from Jilly Cooper's novel Jump! Pocock, a suggestively named gardener, is removing ivy from a window of his employer Miss Painswick's cottage, when "he nearly fell off his ladder, for there, changing to go out after a vigorous morning's housework, was a naked Miss Painswick ... she had the most charming body, with full high breasts, and as she turned, a plump but firm bottom curving in at the waist. Leaning inwards, he discovered there was not a varicose vein in sight and her lady garden was the softest mouse brown." The pair then clinch while Miss Painswick's ill-defined pet Chisolm (dog or sheep?) munches her hors-d'oeuvres and, naturally, her copy of The Lady.

* Swingeing cuts to the Lib Dem press team, down to six from a pre-election 12, took their toll during Conference, as the party website was graced with a Twitter feed featuring every tweet appended with the #ldconf hashtag. Until, that is, it was pointed out that this allowed unsympathetic web users access to the site's front page, to post such downbeat messages as "#ldconf hall virtually deserted, one activist gave huge yawn" during a key speech, as well as disparaging remarks about the delightful Miriam Clegg. Guess the new budget doesn't cover web moderation.

* No handlers were available, either, to keep a lid on Lembit Opik, glamour model-bothering star of Celebrity Come Dine With Me, former MP for Montgomeryshire, stand-up comic and self-promoting candidate for Mayor of London (well, if no one else will do it ...). Opik, who recently moaned that the Lib Dem leadership was briefing against him (almost as if they didn't consider him a serious candidate) has lightened up in Liverpool, where he's found his fellow party members friendlier than in past years. "People are so much nicer to me at conference now that I've actually lost my seat," he told me. "There's a part of me that's actually missed the old backbiting!"

* Here's a debate to hold after breakfast: to pee or not to pee? Self-deprecating sophisticate Stephen Fry, in a little-reported paragraph from his latest memoir, The Fry Chronicles, admits to urinating in the shower: "Some people pee in the shower, others do not. I have to confess that I do. I try to be good and refrain from doing so in somebody else's shower, but otherwise I am guiltless about what seems to me to be a logical, reasonable and hygienically unexceptionable act." Fry declares himself a fan of web acronyms (LOL, IMHO and so on). Is he familiar with "TMI"?

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

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