Diary: An accent on authenticity

The hottest unfilled role in Hollywood is that of Lisbeth Salander, title character in David Fincher's US version of
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

A young actress need only cut her hair these days to be linked to the part of the computer-hacking bisexual goth. But despite their Twiggy-themed tress-reductions, Emma Watson, Carey Mulligan and Mia Wasikowska have all been counted out by the director, who reportedly hopes to cast an unknown.

* Yesterday, however, the New York Daily News turned the story on its head by suggesting Scarlett Johansson had entered the running. If Fincher decides against said unknowns, claimed the paper's source, then Johansson, right, is a "shoo-in" thanks to the impressive Swedish accent she unveiled at an audition last week. The most worrying thing about this dubious tale is the idea of English-speaking actors (confirmed stars include Daniel Craig and Robin Wright) playing Swedes by speaking English with accents. Is that really what Fincher has planned, or was Scarlett simply a touch over-prepared?

* Ignoring the PM's pleas to support UK tourism, James Gray MP informs readers of his weekly column for the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald that he's off to Madrid on his hols. While he's away, the small-state supporting Conservative member for North Wiltshire asks them to consider the following: "Is Britain during August while the House is in recess really a worse place than during the rest of the year?... If your answer is as I suspect, then, perhaps in future, you will encourage longer recesses rather than upbraiding us for taking them? Just a thought..." Yes, and a thought that may appeal to his constituents in particular. Mr Gray is the MP who fought off calls for his deselection after conducting an extramarital affair while his first wife was undergoing chemotherapy to treat breast cancer. The chairman of the all-party group for the Army, he also claimed (unsuccessfully) on parliamentary expenses for the purchase of Remembrance Sunday wreaths, and was then accused of snapping photographs of a badly wounded soldier during a fact-finding visit to Afghanistan. If he really believes the country would be better off without MPs, perhaps he'd like to turn his vacation into a more permanent arrangement.



* Daniel Craig's attachment to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and its likely sequels bodes ill for the James Bond franchise. And opinions aired by the world's greatest spy novelist (no, not Ian Fleming) won't improve matters. In a 1966 interview to be re-broadcast by BBC4 this week as part of the In Their Own Words series, John Le Carré told Malcolm Muggeridge: "I dislike Bond... I think that it's a great mistake if one's talking about espionage literature to include Bond in this category at all... He's more some kind of international gangster." Le Carré's stance has softened in the intervening decades, he assures the Radio Times, but, "at the root of Bond there was something neo-fascistic and totally materialist". Re-watching the 1966 interview is embarrassing, the author adds – not least because he smoked throughout, hoping to appear intellectual: "I shouldn't think I've smoked 20 cigarettes in my life since then."



* Predictable sneers greeted news that Tony Blair would donate the proceeds from sales of his memoir to the Royal British Legion. But, £4.6m advance aside, how much does Blair expect to make from sales? Amazon and Waterstones are already offering A Journey for half the cover price of £25, while Tesco has it at £17.50. I expect it will still earn more than Gordon Brown's account of the economic crisis (the profits from which will also go to charity); Brown's last tome reportedly shifted just 32 copies – barely enough for a rubber wristband.



* An item on yesterday's Today programme about the chemistry between broadcasters began unfortunately, grumpy Humphrys spluttering at his co-host's questionable vocab ("Presentorial?!"). But Evan Davis recovered admirably, and a consensus was reached: content is king, chemistry irrelevant. After all, Humphrys insisted, "You wouldn't want Evan and me – God forbid – flirting with each other!"

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Officer

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - London - £40,000 + Bonus

£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own