Diary: Harvey hit by the acting bug

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The Independent Online

This column began with high hopes of sustaining a series of stories on rappers-turned-actors.

First Diddy appeared on high-falutin chat show Inside the Actors Studio, then news broke of 50 Cent's De Niro-worthy weight loss for a movie about a cancer-ridden sports star. We continue to wait in vain for word of Vanilla Ice's off-Broadway debut, but the next best thing has occurred: Brian Harvey, the "crooning" one from East 17, is set for his first screen role since he wore a tartan flat cap backwards in the "Stay Another Day" video. Costume details remain sketchy, but Harvey appears in a short film expected to be entered in the Virgin Media Shorts competition. "Harvey's acting debut," we're told, "sees him playing a love cheat having an affair with his friend's girlfriend. However, the film ends badly, with a massacre scene where Brian and his mistress are left for dead."

Quite a comeback for a man who last made the news for being run over by his own Mercedes, and failing to become Britain's representative at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest.

* Many congratulations to Piers Morgan, 45, and Celia Walden, 33, who were married on Thursday at a private ceremony in Oxfordshire. When, four years ago, their romance was in its infancy, Morgan was unwise enough to escort his new girlfriend to the launch of a book by former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie at the Cheshire Cheese in Fleet Street. (The book in question: The John Prescott Karma Sutra – a modern interpretation of the ancient guide to love-making from the office of the Deputy Prime Minister.) During MacKenzie's short speech, Morgan attempted a gentle heckle, which was met with a withering barrage of put-downs, as follows... MacKenzie: "What's that Piers, your career's gone down the toilet? Yes, I know it has." Morgan: "If by 'toilet' you mean 'Hollywood', then yes, you are correct." MacKenzie, (with a glance toward the lovely Celia): "Bloody hell. All the stuff you used to print in your paper about paedophiles. Now you're grooming at my book launch. Who is that, your niece?" Cue much laughter and, for perhaps the last time since, the firm closure of Morgan's gob.

* The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has become notorious for overenthusiasm in the performance of its duties, but the tale of Parliamentary "baby" Pamela Nash – at 25 the youngest MP in the Commons – takes the biscuit. After finding it difficult to secure a flat in London without references from an employer, the new MP for Airdrie and Shotts (who stepped into the large shoes of former Cabinet polymath John Reid) turned to her Westminster masters. But when a landlord withdrew the offer of a flat, she was surprised to learn IPSA had told the accommodation agency she didn't work at the Commons. "I thought it was funny, so I spoke to them to sort it out," Nash told The Sunday Herald. Satisfied the bungle would be fixed, she thought nothing more about it – until the same thing happened again. "IPSA had looked at my date of birth and thought I couldn't possibly be an MP," she explains. "I'm not particularly angry. I got the flat. If I hadn't, I would have been annoyed." Don't worry, they're used to that.

* Concert promoter Harvey Goldmsith knows a thing or two about staging big events, so the organisers of the Olympics won't be overjoyed at what he has to say about their plans. Goldmsith, whom AEG consulted about the transformation of the failed Millennium Dome into the wildly successful O2, was interviewed by Editorial Intelligence for its Brand New Britain report, launched today. "The Olympics building team should have had creative, far-sighted people on board from the beginning," he says. "Why isn't there more thought about creating a real legacy out of the Olympics?... Boris and the Olympics committee are keeping a tight circle around them rather than opening up to fresh, big ideas." We presume Harvey has a few such ideas of his own. Over to you, Mr Mayor.

* Reports reach us of a Lib Dem event recently at the Park Plaza in Westminster. The thank-you dinner to celebrate the coalition was an odd affair, at which Nick Clegg's speech was upstaged by a performance from a Shirley Bassey impersonator. It may have been before the Budget, but is "Big Spender" really the most appropriate soundtrack to this new Age of Austerity?