Diary: Blessed booms for Cambridge

This column is delighted to report that the actor and coal miner's son Brian Blessed remains in the race for the Chancellorship of Cambridge University, and last week released his first campaign video on YouTube. The next Chancellor, Blessed booms, "must be a pretty energetic guy with huge vision, a love of life, a love of people and a deep appreciation of education. He must sweat blood to help people who are underprivileged; you've got to sweat blood. That's why I want to be Chancellor." He added: "Gordon's ALIVE!!!" (No, of course he didn't.)

* Frankly, this column's staff of one fears for the mental wellbeing of Señor John Bercow. Though he has nobly weathered the storms of his wife Sally's doomed participation in Celebrity Big Brother: The Richard Desmond Years, it seems there may be worse yet to come for the Cuban-heeled Speaker of the House. Speaking to Desmond's favourite showbusiness editor, the fragrant Ms Elisa Roche of the Daily Express, Mrs Bercow revealed yesterday that she'd be keen to take part in further reality television adventures, and was already signed up for a series of the increasingly inaccurately entitled I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! "I'd love to be on Loose Women or have my own show like [Daily Express columnist] Vanessa Feltz has done on [Richard Desmond's] Channel 5," she said. Mrs Bercow's loyalty to the Desmond brand family seems to have paid off: it was also announced yesterday that she would henceforth be contributing a weekly column to the Daily Star Sunday. Señor John recently described the Daily Mail as a "sexist, racist, bigoted, comic cartoon strip". I do hope the Star is more to his taste.



* On the subject of I'm A Celebrity..., we turn now to the titanic clash between two of its former contestants: Brian Paddick, and this column's favourite Estonian (I only know the one), Lembit Opik. The lucky loser with the thankless task of flying the tattered Lib Dem flag in next year's London mayoral elections was to have been unveiled last year, but the process was delayed when the party learnt that their only willing and eligible contender was Opik, also the star of my now-defunct sitcom pilot Anyone But Lembit. Once they had persuaded Paddick to run again, the party leadership dithered over when to announce the winner. Having decided to unveil Paddick (they hoped) at conference, they've now changed their mind and will, I hear, make the announcement this Friday. The Opik camp remains chipper. "If Lembit loses," an Opik loyalist (they're scarce, but passionate) tells me, "the party hierarchy had better watch out, as he's ready to let rip with a few home truths about the way things are being run internally." Brace yourselves.



* So the chill wind of recession continues to blight the spending habits of the Ecclestone clan. Last week, Tamara "don't call me a socialite" Ecclestone, 27-year-old socialite daughter of F1 boss Bernie, claimed her surname was "as much a curse as a blessing", and that she thinks "a lot more carefully these days before splashing out on a £700 handbag... My dad has always instilled in me the need to be careful with money. At 17, he gave me my first credit card. It was meant to be for absolute essentials. The problem was that we had a very different idea of what was essential." (Essential includes, for instance, the £370,000 Ferrari 599 she had delivered on Wednesday – her second.) Tamara's sister Petra was so keen to celebrate shedding the cursed Ecclestone surname that she spent an estimated £5m on her wedding this weekend: £310,000 for rental of an Italian castle; £400,000 for security; £500,000 for booze; £100,000 for bridesmaids outfits; £250,000 for hotel rooms; £250,000 for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Eric Clapton, Andrea Bocelli and The Black Eyed Peas fees remain undisclosed, so maybe they just performed for the hell of it. Of course, I expect Tamara will get hitched at the local registry office when her time comes.



* Following Arsenal's 8-2 capitulation to Manchester United this weekend, no twit is tweeting louder for the manager's head than celebrity Gunner Piers Morgan. "If I was Arsene Wenger, I would resign," went one of his many 140-character musings on the topic. This, naturally, brought to mind Piers's own principled history of P45s. "Nobody's ever proved for a fact either way what those pictures were," he still bleats, about his unceremonious exit from the Mirror. You'd think, given his CNN viewing figures, that Piers might be more sympathetic to someone who is under fire for repeatedly failing to deliver the goods.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week