Diary: Choccies fit for a Queen (Mother)

As I set to work on the screenplay for my notional joint biopic of squeaker George (né Gideon) Osborne and stammerer Ed Balls (working title: A Cock and Balls), I'm minded to avoid the accusations of inaccuracy that have been levelled at its inspiration, multi-Oscar nominee The King's Speech. While Christopher Hitchens has warned that the film dodges the troublesome topic of Winston Churchill's loyalty to Edward VIII, my sources have revealed an equally uncomfortable historical error. Nick Crean, chairman of Prestat hocolate and tcruffles, complains that, in the film, the late Queen Mother (played by Helena Bonham-Carter) and her husband George VI are seen eating marshmallow candies – in 1936. These particular confections were not available, Mr Crean insists, until the late 1940s. "Billy Tallon, the Queen Mother's colourful steward, told me Her Majesty had a lifelong love of classic English rose and violet creams," he explains. "They travelled everywhere with her." And went down nicely with a gin and Dubonnet, I have no doubt.

* Friends of Sebastian Faulks, formerly of this parish, assure me he's a good sort. Yet rival writers can't help but knock the great man. Yesterday I reported that Michael Arditti, Linda Grant, Susan Hill and Amanda Craig had slighted him ahead of his BBC series, Faulks on Fiction. Today comes this tale, added to their Facebook-based Faulks-bashing by biographer Julian Evans. "I interviewed Faulks once at home," Evans recalls. "I'd made notes in a notebook that sat on the chair arm while we talked. We drank most of a bottle of wine he generously provided and towards the end I needed a pee. Before I left the room I closed my notebook, I thought inconspicuously, because my notes included some very unflattering observations about the way he created characters. When I came back his mood had completely changed, from expansive and charming to monosyllabic. I left to a chilly goodbye. I've always felt a bit chastened, but when I do I think, 'Whose was the greater sin – mine (horridness) or his (spying)?' Then I think grandiosely that of course my comments helped prick him to less facile characterisation in future. Not much less..." Pride, thy name is Sebastian.

* On the subject of grandiosity and facile characterisation, yesterday's third-person recollections of the WikiLeaks affair from The Guardian's David Leigh were worthy of an airport bestseller. "David Leigh," wrote David Leigh, "sat in a rented cottage in the Scottish Highlands. The Guardian's investigations editor had originally planned to spend his annual summer holiday with his wife, hill-walking in the Grampians. But the summits of Dreish, Mayar, Lochnagar and Cat Law went unconquered. He sat transfixed at his desk instead, while the sun rose and set daily on the heather-covered hills outside. On the tiny silver Hewlett Packard memory stick plugged into his MacBook were the full texts of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables. To search through them was maddening, tiring – and utterly compelling." Next week, Leigh reveals the true location of the Holy Grail.

* The Guardian's "project of astonishing boldness, which stood a chance of redefining journalism", was also compared (by The Guardian) to HBO drama The Wire: editors, including the eminent Alan Rusbridger, purchased leak-proof, pay-as-you-go "burner" phones to outsmart the police. Sadly, Rusbridger couldn't remember any of the numbers and was forced to resort to texting his deputy's regular phone. Remarkably, the "cops" did not "swoop" as they'd feared. The Wire, the paper explained, "was popular among some Guardian staff," as anyone reading The Guardian in the last five years will have gathered. The paper also compared the WikiLeaks affair to the Bourne films, in which a Guardian journalist was shot dead by an assassin. Reports that Rusbridger now wears a flak jacket to morning conference remain unconfirmed.

* Another hack accustomed to claiming his life is in danger is News of the World investigations editor and "fake sheikh" Mazher Mahmood, who was in Doha last month for the ICC's Pakistan spot-fixing trial, concluding this weekend. Attendees were surprised to see the secretive Mahmood give evidence in public, without his customary disguise – particularly in Qatar, where it would, for once, have been inconspicuous.

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

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing