Diary: As older women like it

To the Chelsea Theatre, for the opening night of As I Like It, an autobiographical play by the socialite and poet (no, really), Amanda Eliasch. The racy 75-minute monologue takes in everything from childhood sexual abuse to adult infidelity. "After the age of 38," Eliasch complained, "there aren't any sexy roles for women in plays, and nowadays women can be sexy until they're 80!" Was she playing to the gallery? Her audience contained, among others, the sexy older women Nancy Dell'Olio (49), Vivienne Westwood (70), and newly blonde Tracey Emin (48). "I enjoyed the play," Emin told me. "But it was seven minutes too long."

* Glenn Mulcaire, best known to the public as one of the private investigators hired by the News of the World to engage in ethically dubious activities on its behalf, once harboured dreams of footballing stardom. As a semi-professional player, he was the scorer of plucky AFC Wimbledon's first ever goal, against Bromley in 2002. The YouTube footage exists, and the goal is a genuine screamer: a left-footed volley from outside the area. This week, the former jailbird issued a request through his lawyers, asking hacks and paps to leave the area surrounding his family home, where they were lying in wait to accost the man at the heart of the phone-hacking storm. I do hope he takes some comfort in finally being able to experience the life of a Premier League star.

* Hugh Grant, this column can now semi-exclusively reveal, has a new "other half": the dissolute former News of the World journalist and publican Paul McMullan, who has been linked to the just-about-retired actor by newspapers, magazines and a number of television and radio broadcast outlets. Their relationship was cemented after a lengthy drinking session and intimate conversation at the Dover establishment owned by Mr McMullan – an encounter that was later splashed across the pages of the celebrity publication the New Statesman. The pair are now, I have been led to believe, virtually inseparable. Where one of them appears, arguing a point about the phone-hacking scandal, the other will surely follow. Might I propose Messrs Grant and McMullan formalise their union, and begin a tour of the country's provincial town halls, where they can continue to present their opposing views while titillating the audience with their love-hate relationship, until the matter is well and truly dealt with by a public inquiry – which may, of course, take some years. It's a show I'd pay to see again and again.

* More news from the contest to become the Lib Dem nominee for London mayor, which has been compared (by me, now) to the three-legged race at a primary school sports day. Announcing his candidacy, the late entrant Brian Paddick boasted "my news and current affairs appearances outweigh my light entertainment appearances by at least 100:1." His rival, Lembit Opik, now tells me he'll be damaging a ratio already endangered by the likes of Celebrity Come Dine With Me and Bargain Hunt Famous Finds when he takes part in a new reality show for the Welsh channel S4C, alongside such high-profile names as Ross from Goldie Lookin Chain. Still, Paddick shouldn't brag. The remaining candidates, the former councillor Brain Haley and ex-accountant Mike Tuffrey, have approximately zero light entertainment appearances between them: an unassailable record.

* Meanwhile in the Midlands, the former parliamentary candidate and Lib Dem council leader Roger Harmer tells the Birmingham Mail that he was "shocked" to be offered "sexual services" after visiting a Thai massage parlour in the hope of alleviating chronic back pain. Mr Harmer quickly made his excuses and left, he says. It is this column's civic duty, therefore, to warn anyone in search of a massage, and nothing more, to avoid the establishment in question, which is called Fruity Spa, and is (says its website, with which clients must register before their visit) "run by women with men in mind".

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

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

Recruitment Genius: Management Trainer

£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Scientist / Research Assistant

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...

Reach Volunteering: Chair of Trustees

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game