Diary: Hacking goes to Hollywood

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The Independent Online

It is with understandable excitement that I can today announce my previously little-known company, Surbiton International Productions, has boldly acquired the film rights to the ongoing phone-hacking scandal.

I'm sure readers won't be offended when I say I'll only be able to dedicate a limited amount of time to this column over the coming months, as, let's be frank, I'll have bigger fish to fry. As we all know, show business is a cruel mistress and inevitably some people are going to be disappointed. While casting remains at an early stage, I can regrettably confirm England's finest living actor, Hugh Grant, will not be playing Hugh Grant, as the consensus is he's not quite as good at playing himself as he used to be. But as of now, I can reveal the following:

Rupert Murdoch – Kirk Douglas

Rebekah Brooks – Christina Hendricks

Steve Coogan – Rob Brydon

Hugh Grant – James McAvoy

James Murdoch – Mackenzie Crook

Andy Coulson – Todd Carty

Andy Hayman – Harry Enfield

David Cameron – Hugh Bonneville

* Having successfully taken the fight to his old foes at News International, Labour's Chris Bryant is rightly enjoying his stint in the limelight. Prior to confirmation yesterday that Great Uncle Rupert and his troubled young lad would be giving evidence to our politicians after all next week, the MP for Rhondda was again smelling blood, announcing across cyberspace: "House should consider emergency motion on Monday to arrest Murdochs if they continue to refuse to attend." There are now unconfirmed reports that Bryant will also be demanding the heads of Great Uncle Rupert and co are proudly displayed on spikes in the vicinity of London Bridge by the weekend.

* Before people continue with their unhelpful reports trying to drag television's Piers Morgan into this unseemly affair, they should take a step back and consider what we're in danger of losing. As anyone lucky enough to read the former Daily Mirror editor's relentless updates on Twitter would verify, without his hilarious online banter with the increasingly infirm Lord Sugar – "I've got more viewers than you... loser!" – not to mention his bloody brilliant one-liners at the expense of countless others, the world would almost certainly be a better place.

* You don't become a brand leader in the cut-throat world of public relations without knowing how to handle a crisis when it's sitting right in front of you. Earlier this week, former deputy editor of The Sun, Neil Wallis, enjoyed a generous billing on the Outside Organisation's website. Placed just below chief executive Alan Edwards in the pecking order, readers of Wallis's biography were informed: "Neil Wallis's experience in national newspapers needs little introduction – what he doesn't know about journalism and media isn't worth knowing." It concluded: "Neil became a consultant to Outside in 2009 and was appointed Managing Director in 2010." Following news of his arrest yesterday, those returning to the said website couldn't help noticing that Wallis had not only been relegated to the bottom of the management team list, but was now described as a more lowly "freelance media consultant".

* After memorably landing himself in hot water when it was revealed he'd been bragging to a couple of girls about "declaring war" on Great Uncle Rupert last December, an understandably smug Vince Cable looked like his happy old self in the House of Commons yesterday. "I'm delighted to discover that the whole of Britain and the House of Commons now agrees with me," he purred. Now just make sure you stay away from those pretty female undercover reporters in future, Vincent!

* Finally, my generous offer this week to retell the anonymous anecdotes of News International staff continues to be met with an enthusiastic response. If only I had the column inches. Still, I should add I've been advised that certain submissions relating to "The Wicked Witch of Wapping" are pretty near the mark. Let us remember her fate is now in the hands of righteous lawmakers. If she floats in the water, we'll have the answer we're looking for.