Diary: Gemma's a hair's breadth away from Bafta glory

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The Independent Online

As her fellow guests sipped Moët or Grey Goose "Le Fizz" cocktails (mixed with elderflower and fresh lime juice) at the Baftas afterparty – also sponsored by Evian, one of the event's two official waters – Gemma Arterton was lamenting her loss in the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star category, as voted for by Orange Wednesdays customers.

The award was won by Tom Hardy, who hadn't even bothered to attend, but she contented herself with a rumour that she was the poll's runner-up. "Apparently, I came second," said Ms Arterton, who played an Independent journalist in last year's Tamara Drewe (never spotted her in the office, more's the pity). Her hypothesis? "First the worst, second the best, third the one with the hairy chest!!" On the basis of this theory, I must conclude that Andrew Garfield placed third, as neither of the remaining contenders are likely to have hairy chests – one being Emma Stone, the other the recently pubescent Aaron Johnson.

* The annual Sky News poll to find Westminster's most fanciable MPs has concluded with a veritable Prom King and Queen taking the number one spots: Luciana Berger (Lab, Liverpool Wavertree) and her latest alleged love interest, Chuka Umunna (Lab, Streatham), who topped the men's list alongside that dreamy Tory divorcé Zac Goldsmith. I can't help but suspect the hand of Tom Watson (Lab, West Bromwich East) in the voting process, having reported last year the former Brownite plotter's partiality to Umunna.

"A potential future leader", Watson wrote. Umunna is "perhaps the most beautiful man who has ever sat on the green benches. Intelligent, dynamic, articulate... he's perfect. He'll have his own statue with a brass plaque one day... I am jealous of young Chuka for his six-pack, natural athleticism and exquisite taste in clothing and skin products..." Chuka would easily top any list of fanciable chaps, I hear you say, but how, without his chum Watson's coup co-ordination skills, could Ed Balls have contrived to sneak into the top five?



* Anyone redecorating in this economic climate ought to thank alleged sexists Richard Keys and Andy Gray, whose new radio show began yesterday on TalkSport, and was punctuated at regular intervals by Keys' plugs on behalf of its sponsor, a well-known retailer of DIY supplies. "Get down to Wickes," said the disgraced former Sky Sports host, "where you can get ceramic floor tiles for only £8.99 per pack." "Get down to Wickes," he said again, about three minutes later, "for 33 per cent off ceramic wall tiles," and so on. During one brief gap between ads, in which the unsavoury pair were permitted to discuss football, Keys asked his companion: "Why wouldn't you take a job in the Championship?" "Pride," Gray replied. So he still has some.



* This column, it turns out, has at least one celebrity reader. Piers Morgan, no less, who was piqued by a recent item. As he wrote in his own column for the Mail this Sunday: "If you've ever wondered where Cherie Blair gets her, ahem, lively personality from, then look no further than her firebrand father Tony Booth.

Asked by one newspaper [yes, that's us] for his view of my interview scoop with Tony [Blair], Mr Booth sneered: 'I suppose when you're trying to bring peace to the Middle East, you have to meet all sorts of objectionable people...'" Of course, Morgan may not be a regular reader; more likely, he has a Google alert set up for his own name. You are the type, after all, aren't you, Piers?



* This week sees the last episode of Episodes, the BBC's somewhat disappointing transatlantic sitcom, starring Matt LeBlanc "as himself", alongside Tamara Drewe star Tamsin Greig. The comic high point of the series, I recently informed Ms Greig, came when a drunk LeBlanc vomited gently on her jacket. "It even surprised me when I watched it," she admitted, explaining that the vomit was, in fact, porridge. "It came right out of the blue. I thought it was a lovely, delicate moment in Matt's career."

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

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