Diary: Bum steer on Pippa's rear

While the matter of Carol Vorderman's controversial victory in the annual "Rear of the Year" awards seemed settled, after bookies refunded any losing bets placed on Pippa Middleton's pert behind, this particular bunfight now looks set to run and run, like the lovely Pippa competing in a mini-marathon. "Call yourself a journalist?" demands one Alan Hardie, in a pungent email addressed to this column. "How are we, your concerned readers, expected to make a judgement about the shocking 'Arse-gate' debacle without comparative pictures? Preferably in colour. Preferably side by side. Frankly, the high standards of journalism we have come to expect from The Independent are sadly lacking here. Please see to it that this is rectified." Alan, I shall.

* At long last, a date has been set for the final selection of the Liberal Democrat London mayoral candidate: 12 August, while everyone's on holiday. To the great relief of party members, a second nominee has been persuaded to run against the Estonian juggernaut, the glamour model-bothering Lembit Opik. And, as if to add to the case for my still sadly uncommissioned television sitcom Anyone But Lembit (in which Opik – playing himself – tries, with increasing desperation, to persuade the party leadership of his mayoral qualities), his rival really is "anyone". To be more precise, he is the London Assembly member Mike Tuffrey, previously best known for professional accountancy. Lembit, for his part, is ready to roll his sleeves up, just like in Miami Vice. "From now on," he calls to tell me, "I'll be taking a much tougher stance against all the rubbish that's written about me in the press and indeed by members of my own party... The shadow-boxing is well and truly over!" I tried to explain that I was jolly busy, and he really ought to speak to the news desk instead, but he was having none of it.

* Pippa Middleton's behind also threatens to cause a diplomatic rift between Britain and France, just as the two nations are locked in a tense coalition over Libya. Last week, French establishment mag Le Point, saw fit to publish an outrageous article by Patrick Besson entitled: "Pippa Middleton is Ugly". The future King's sister-in-law, he claimed, possesses "a posterior that's not, in fact, especially round or prominent, that's a little inert ..." Besson then went on to disparage Miss Middleton's breasts. Frankly, the sexism of the French male is shocking.



* After John Bercow, the Cuban-heeled Speaker of the House of Commons, decided last week to publicly denigrate the Daily Mail as a "sexist, racist, bigoted, comic cartoon strip", one presumed it was only a matter of time before the estimable organ turned its guns on Señor Bercow and/or his wife once again. In fact, it's the paper's stablemate, The Mail on Sunday, that has fired the first retaliatory salvo, with the MoS contributor and former odious Big Brother contestant Derek Laud accusing Bercow himself of racism and homophobia. Señor Bercow's views were "vile", his behaviour "stomach-turning", even "mad", writes Laud, once a fellow member of the Conservative Monday Club. Yet it seems the future Speaker always spoke out against one particular form of prejudice: "He was not sensitive to anything, or anyone," writes Laud, "apart from his height – 5ft 6in – and often accused people of 'heightism'." Poor little chap.



* News of another Daily Mail bête noire: The BBC, which has, allegedly, enlisted a "Chair Champion" to help staff at the corporation's new Salford HQ to choose the chair that's right for them. The denizens of MediaCityUK are to be given a choice of three different hi-tech seats, and the "Chair Champion" will aid them in their selection, demonstrating each model's workings as part of health and safety training. Whether they will also be responsible for teaching staff how to use BBC Salford's soon-to-be-iconic "hooded collaboration pods" is as yet unclear.

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

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...