Diary: Craig Oliver's special spin on the Sound of Music

As the two halves of my torn betting slip lay forlornly in the wastepaper basket, I wasn't the only one scratching my head and wondering who Craig Oliver is. Even Westminster's most experienced hacks described Andy Coulson's replacement as a man without a past. Yet how swiftly such a past can be cobbled together when Fleet Street's finest are on the case. Here, for your continued enjoyment, is a picture you'll surely be seeing more of: Oliver in lederhosen at a so-called "BBC charity event".

Meanwhile, one reader of this column was so quick off the mark with a scurrilous email about Craig's father (let's just say that it involves "troosers", a car and a "young lady") that I almost suspect that "Pete from Aberdeen" is a pseudonym for a rival spinner such as Labour's Tom Baldwin. But that, surely, would be unthinkable?

* Monday's football transfer shenanigans seem yet more spectacularly misjudged in the context of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee's imminent investigation into football governance. "We'll be taking evidence from some interesting characters," agrees committee member Alan Keen, also the chair of the All Party Football Group (you'll recall him from yesterday's column). Sadly, the committee only has powers to compel witnesses to attend if they're domiciled in this country – which, by my count, precludes the owners of Manchester's United and City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Sunderland and Aston Villa. Still, they could definitely get Mike Ashley. Do they serve beer?



* What, I wonder, did equality minister Lynne Featherstone make of the Sky sexism row? The lovely Lynne seemed flattered to be named "Most Fanciable MP" in a Sky poll last year, and her male colleagues concur. I'm told one beer-swilling Lib Dem parliamentarian recently declared, Andy Gray-like, that a call from the honey-voiced Featherstone is "pretty much as good as phone sex".

* To the Shaw Theatre, to hear Gilbert & George discuss their latest exhibition of "Urethra Postcard Art". The conceptual art veterans also provided some hints about their next project, to be named "Vultures". It was inspired, they explained, by a waiter at their favourite Kurdish restaurant, who comes from an easily mispronounced region which I could only assume was Uyghuristan, in the greater Turkestan region of Central Asia, now part of China (thanks, Google). Said waiter, said Gilbert and/or George, loves vultures (his region's official bird) so they gave him a vulture-shaped hand puppet as a gift. Now, whenever he serves them, he "flies" it to them while wearing the puppet. The best ideas, they claimed, always come "out of the blue". You probably had to be there.



* An earthy coda to yesterday's tale about the late John Barry composing the Goldfinger theme as Michael Caine tried in vain to sleep upstairs. Barry's successor on the Bond movies, David Arnold, recently recalled a phone conversation with his hero: "I rang [John] up and asked, 'What's the secret to a Bond theme?' All he said was, 'Do whatever you like, but never forget – it must always be about cock'."



* I fear my Cotswold correspondent Crispin Mount may require a slap on the wrist – to be administered, in my absence, by his good lady wife Evadne. Last week he sent word of an alleged Conservative conspiracy to subcontract the costly council loos to a company whose MD is a councillor from neighbouring Wiltshire, one Roger "Chuck" Berry. In fact, an amused Chuck writes, "Council contracts are robustly tendered for [and] this sort of favouritism does not go on." Despite charging 20p to spend a penny, Chuck continues, "We are certainly not mega-profitable... [Cotswold District Council] takes about £100k in revenue from the 20ps, which works to lower the cost to local residents as most users are visitors from outside the district." All in all, Crispin, a bargain bathroom break.

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

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

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game