Diary: Do the decent thing, Gary

This column had been wondering when it could expect Gary Lineker's principled resignation from the BBC's Match of the Day over Panorama's FIFA investigation, given that he so quickly relinquished his Mail on Sunday slot when that paper's Lord Triesman sting put England's 2018 World Cup bid in jeopardy. "The story... and the actions of the Mail on Sunday in publishing it have undermined the bid to bring the World Cup to England," he said at the time. Yesterday, however, Lineker wrote in The Times that he was "unsettled" by Panorama's timing, but while there was "a lot of debate about whether media coverage has damaged our attempts to win... in terms of the bid, they are irrelevant." Lineker, 50 this week, glossed over his change of heart with a headline-grabbing birthday interview for BBC Sport, in which he confessed to having discreetly voided his bowels on the pitch during England's opening match at the 1990 World Cup. Meanwhile Manish Bhasin, after crying himself to sleep, dreamt once more of being trapped forever within the faux-warehouse walls of The Football League Show.

* Sarah Palin supporter Nadine Dorries, honourable-ish member for Mid-Beds, is back to her blogging ways, and this week produced a corker worthy of this column's patented Truthometer. Dotty Ms Dorries, you'll recall, informed the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, who probed her expenses, that her blog was "70 per cent fiction". Her latest sad, semi-fictional tale begins by introducing a cabbie whose wife, he allegedly told the mendacious MP, suffers from breast cancer. So far, so vaguely plausible. "When I tipped my taxi driver," Dorries continues (a likely story), "he gave me a pink ribbon. 'I hope you don't mind, love,' he said, 'only I don't keep the tips, I give them to breast cancer research. If you really want to know, nothing makes me happier... I hands my donations over in £100 lots'". ("I hands my donations over"? Note the use of colloquial verbiage, a Dickensian trick designed to put us in mind of Bob Cratchit.) Let's imagine, for a moment, that the above is entirely truthful. Even accounting for Dorries's later, revised estimate of 30 per cent fiction, her conclusion sent our Truthometer (whose name is John) into paroxysms: "[The cabbie] then thanked me for the work I did. Told me he admired brave MPs who didn't take the silvery shilling and stood up for the bigger issues. He made me feel very humble indeed." Did she get a receipt for that?

* No word yet from BBC3 about my sitcom pitch, "Anyone But Lembit", in which Lembit Opik will star as himself, trying vainly to win the Lib Dems' London mayoral candidacy. Every week, the party leadership attempts to convince a more voter-friendly celebrity to take the job nobody wants (episode two: Ashley Cole). Lembit, sadly, has scuppered my spring pre-production schedule by agreeing to a theatrical tour alongside "Dr Gillian McKeith, PhD": he reportedly hopes to cure McKeith of her countless phobias live on stage, then pen a spin-off book. The former member for Montgomeryshire, 45, has also hinted at plans to marry his girlfriend, Merily McGivern, 21. To judge by his past form as a fiancé, that means he'll be free to film all summer. Channel 4, you interested?

* The Government's "fair pay tsar", Will Hutton, has rather unfairly roped in Daybreak presenter Adrian Chiles (hasn't he suffered enough?) to illustrate the ill-effects of superstar CEO salaries, such as Chiles's reported £6m. Hutton warned organisations to beware of the "'Adrian Chiles effect'... ITV thought having him would have a very good effect. It turns out you need a whole production team." Naturally, I wondered what the beleaguered programme-makers made of Hutton's simile. An ITV spokesman revealed: "I don't think that's something we'll be making a comment on." Chiles recently described Daybreak as "one of the biggest crocks of shit anyone had seen in years" – a turn of phrase to make even Sir Fred Goodwin blush.

* Matthew Goode tells me he's just back from Australia, where he's been shooting his next film, Burning Man. "I play a bastard chef," he says. "He's a really messed-up chap. There was lots of inspiration for the character. But," he concludes cryptically, "I couldn't possibly say which chefs I modelled him on," It's probably Gordon Ramsay though, isn't it?

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

Recruitment Genius: Management Trainer

£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Scientist / Research Assistant

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...

Reach Volunteering: Chair of Trustees

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game