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.


Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star