Diary: Harvey seeks a little charity

Heavyweight concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith has already had one good reason to be displeased by the BBC this year. He and Bob Geldof got a formal apology from the Corporation, after a World Service programme suggested the cash raised for Africa by Band Aid had helped to fund weapons rather than charity.

Now, however, Goldsmith is ticked off again, about a forthcoming docudrama entitled When Harvey Met Bob, which purports to tell the behind-the-scenes story of the Live Aid concert in 1985.

"They portray me too much as a wide-boy promoter and slightly uncaring," says a disgruntled Goldsmith, who helped to correct an early script, and has watched the finished film. "It's not true: I didn't get involved with Live Aid for any other reason than I believed in the event." Still, it's Midge Ure I really feel sorry for. Written out of history again eh, Midge?

* Gordon Brown has been out in public this week to promote his Blair-less book Beyond the Crash. At Bloomberg headquarters on Wednesday evening, the ex-PM addressed an event organised by the Global Campaign For Education, and was joined by video link-up from Harvard by the renowned Indian economist Amartya Sen. Sen, Brown gushed, was his "very good friend and mentor". And what, he was asked, did the Nobel Prize-winner think of his mentee's dense and detailed assessment of the world financial crisis? "Not enough gossip," the eminent Sen replied. Couldn't agree more.

* George – né Gideon – Osborne's timbre has matured no end since 2008, when, WikiLeaked cables reveal, he was removed from the party conference bill in favour of Dave because his voice was excessively shrill. There are dog whistle speeches, and then there are dog whistle speeches. Lacking the necessary gravitas to deliver an emergency address on the world economic crisis, Gideon was packed off to Harley Street for vocal coaching instead. This voice work has lent him a gravelly authority in public; as even his less sympathetic colleagues admit, he now sounds pleasingly like a "Home Counties Hague". But, one less-than-friendly fellow Conservative assures me, Gideon remains less than pitch perfect in private: "When he gets irritable or excited," I'm told, "he still squeaks just like the old days."

* Shoe designer and occasional footballer Rio Ferdinand assured his 257,989 Twitter followers yesterday that "U won't see a Man Utd player wearing a SNOOD [sic]". No indeed. Of course, snood-loving Carlos Tevez preferred an Alice band while at Old Trafford. David Beckham was known to sport a sarong and nail polish in his United days. And the less said about a vacationing Ferdinand's floral crop-top and denim hotpants combo, the better. Glass houses, Rio.

* More seamless synergies at Dick Desmond's Northern & Shell, whose Daily Express yesterday devoted a double-page to an appreciation of the zombie genre, complete with compelling pics from "America's hottest new [zombie-based] series, The Walking Dead". Nowhere, strangely, did the paper note that Desmond's Channel Five just landed terrestrial rights to a transatlantic TV hit – called, er, The Walking Dead.

* A dispatch from Crispin Mount, amateur scourge of South-western Conservatives and this column's erstwhile Cotswold correspondent. "Hunting season is here, and I'm busy chasing vermin," Crispin reports. "I refer, of course, to the local Tories. The leader of this skulk is Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, an Old Etonian, who, despite 'flipping his house' in the previous Parliament, was rewarded with more votes at the general election. He's still a bit of a sly fox: his latest expense claims include £2,480 for the management of his own website. I know a bit about websites [Crispin alleges]; you can build and run them for about £350 a year, so it looks a pretty hefty bill for four months – especially as his own expenses claims are nowhere to be found on it... As James Naughtie might be heard to mutter, 'What a fine Cotswold Hunt!'"


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