Diary: Bill's plan to join the A-Team
Wednesday 25 May 2011
Bill Clinton's preferred mode of international transportation is often said to be his billionaire chum Ron Burkle's plane – also known as "Air F**k One" – so it's perhaps not entirely surprising to find that the former president enjoys watching laddish Hollywood comedies while airborne. Todd Phillips, director of The Hangover and Old School, tells Entertainment Weekly: "The guy flies every day all over the world, and they watch movies on the plane. He just loves movies. He loved Old School. He loved The A-Team." When Hangover star Bradley Cooper met Clinton, moreover, "The first thing he said when he sat down [was], 'Is there going to be an A-Team 2 – and can I be in it?'" A double cameo alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger seems appropriate.
* It's almost a shame that Ryan Giggs should be exposed as the Premiership star whose supposed sex life has been the subject of so much dubious tweeting this past fortnight. A shame for the Giggs family, of course, but also for this and other diary columns, in which knowing innuendo must now be replaced by common-or-garden (alleged) facts. There's only one thing for it: to dust down old Giggs interviews in search of unfortunate quotes such as the following, in which the Welsh Wizard laments the entanglement of football and celebrity culture: "Celebrity culture, it's everywhere, isn't it? It's reality TV, Big Brother. I didn't become a footballer to be famous, I became a footballer to be successful. I didn't want to be famous. Now people want to be famous. Why? Why would you want people following you about all day? I couldn't think of anything worse." Big Brother, geddit?
* Privacy is not solely the preserve of Premiership footballers, TV stars, Premiership footballers, actors, disgraced bank chiefs, journalists or Premiership footballers. It's also a commodity beloved of our politicians. Which is why, last week, leading broadcasters were hauled into No 10 for a "bollocking", or so I'm told, after repeated doorstepping of the Deputy Prime Minister – even disrupting visits to his children's piano teacher (for piano lessons, I should add). Clegg will, I'm sure, be grateful to his Lib Dem colleague, John Hemming MP, for sending the newshounds scurrying north for a few days.
* When he bought Channel Five in 2010, Richard Desmond – philanthropist and former publisher of Asian Babes – promised to invest more in programming, and it seems the seeds of that policy are starting to flower.
With Big Brother due to grace the channel later this year, contestants are also being sought for what sounds like another groundbreaking televisual contribution to the cultural life of the nation: "Do you think libraries are dull?" asks the ad, forwarded to me by a helpful member of the target demographic. "Can you suppress your laughter and hold your nerve whilst all those around you are losing theirs? Do you want to win up to £2,000 in cash? We are currently producing a new TV series for Channel 5 based on a cult Japanese game show. We are looking for fearless, game for a laugh, up-for-it teams of six mates for a TV challenge like no other... Do you think you can avoid cracking up in the face of physically challenging, irresistibly silly pranks in the one place where the universal rule of SILENCE applies – a library?"
* It turns out there are, in fact, two major foreign dignitaries in town this week. For while the US President was hob-nobbing with the Prince and the Prime Minister, Westminster regulars spotted another substantial entourage hogging the corridors of power yesterday: SNP leader Alex Salmond and five of his flunkies, whose trip to the capital (of England) was unfortunately timed to clash with Obama's.
Mr Cameron thus had a perfect excuse to fob off his Scottish visitor on the governmental B-team of Osborne, Clegg and Huhne. Whether Salmond had been hoping to press his case for independence to the Leader of the Free World remains unclear.
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