Diary: Fearne's foolish foes

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Being proudly of the old school, High Street Ken waits for no man when it comes to defending the honour of a damsel in distress.

So you can appreciate my concern yesterday when a clearly distressed Fearne Cotton observed with admirable restraint: "Always remember if someone is horrid to you or bitchy, they are definitely not happy within themselves. Just pity them."

The target of the Radio 1 stalwart's philosophical Twitter statement is rumoured to be none other than a pair of troublesome hags over at the Daily Mirror who recently saw fit to mock her dress sense. "Honestly, some people really need to look in the mirror before they go out... then they might Cotton on to how awful they look," the duo had squawked.

While this column certainly doesn't just simply exist in order for its author to clumsily hit on glamorous female celebrities whenever a tenuous opportunity arises, I for one won't rest until the honour of the young lady in question is satisfied.

* What with the Lib Dems apparently enjoying the nationwide support of roughly 11 voters at present, it's fair to conclude that the past few weeks have been bruising ones for Nick Clegg. Still, following fresh briefings to the media that the party hierarchy now wants children's presenter Floella Benjamin to be their candidate for London mayor – and not the "embarrassing" Lembit Opik – Clegg's problems might just be beginning. Opik, who had recently announced he wanted to be the next man to uphold that trusted Lib Dem tradition of coming a disappointing third in the English capital's mayoral contest, was already sensitive about the prospect of party chiefs turning on him. His supporters have often claimed he was the victim of a "well-orchestrated whispering campaign" – do Lib Dems really do those? – preventing him from becoming party president in 2008. Prior to "Project Benjamin" being unveiled this week – Opik had privately let it be known he'd hit back with "all guns blazing" should party bosses start "spinning" against him again. Ladies and gentlemen, let battle commence!

* Among the familiar faces enjoying the West End premiere of Sylvester Stallone's subtle new action blockbuster The Expendables this week was BBC newsreader Kate Silverton, who assured me Sly and the boys were right up her street. "I like action men," she pointedly purred, prompting High Street Ken to flex his muscles – with minimal effect. Just when it seemed we could while away the hours discussing which Rambo sequel most took the biscuit, this silly clod only had to go and mention the Beeb's increasingly troubled plan to move its London-based presenters to Salford. "Of course, I can't really comment on that, can I?" she gracefully replied.

* Their football club having became England's wealthiest after Sheikh Mansour tossed some loose change at it, it's heartening to see that Manchester City's stars have been bravely attempting their owner's Arabic tongue when promoting the club's new international website. While there were varying degrees of success, special mention should go to the Sunderland-born winger Adam Johnson, who appeared to be forging his own entirely new language.

* Meanwhile, tabloid reports this week that Wayne Rooney not only (a) occasionally likes going out on the lash with his mates but (b) can also get a bit rowdy when the mood takes him – frankly left me wondering whether I could ever look at our national treasure in the same way again.

After Rooney was photographed relieving himself in a Manchester street corner, the council's colourful city centre spokesman Pat Karney now angrily states: "I will be writing to him to point out that we are introducing a bylaw that will see people who urinate on our streets prosecuted." Mr Karney, long uncharitably dubbed something of a "publicity tart" by his critics, goes on to add ominously: "I would not want to embarrass him by taking him to court." I'm sure Wayne has learnt his lesson – the next time he drunkenly wets a wall, my money's on it being down the road in his native Liverpool.

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

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