Diary: I'm a celebrity, get me out of here!

History shows that our celebrities and politicians traditionally make ill-suited bedfellows. Indeed, as Tony Blair would be quick to point out, those pesky thespians – more than happy to knock back your Downing Street bubbly when it flamin' well suits them – can be a fickle lot when the going gets tough!

So I don't doubt Nick Clegg lit that trusty Marlboro with a weighty sigh last night, following news his old mate Colin Firth has jumped ship from the Lib Dems, apparently muttering about "U-turns" and such like. While Nick will no doubt inform our very own Mr Darcy it's time to "get real", as we went to press the state of the Lib Dems' once ample showbiz ranks was unclear. Among those up until recently listed alongside Firth as "supporters" were Brian Eno, Chris Martin, Andrew Motion and High Street Ken's admirable excuse for a Wednesday picture story, Kate Winslet. Ominous rumblings that all of the above are suddenly "unavailable" for this year's Christmas karaoke at Lib Dem HQ remain unconfirmed.

* As Damian Green's Coalition colleagues in the Liberal Democrats would be quick to point out, bold political pledges can prove troublesome old things if you're not careful.

Back in 2009, the then Tory shadow Immigration minister vowed to dress up as Father Christmas if children remained in the Yarl's Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire come the end of this year. By July 2010, Green was beginning to show signs of concern, admitting that such a promise had been "possibly rash".

The prospects of an unwelcome festive photo call in the coming days is looking increasingly on the cards, following reports the spring is now a more likely timescale, due to ongoing delays.

A courteous call to the Home Office hoping to clarify just when High Street Ken could pop down to see Santa was met with a defensive response yesterday.

"We are due to make an announcement before Christmas," a spokeswoman patiently explained. "Obviously we can't pre-empt things by saying whether or not he'll be doing that."

* When Ringo Starr announced in his angriest LA-Scouse accent from across the Atlantic that he would no longer be signing autographs for fans, some feared the man once regarded as the most lovable Beatle had left his famed sense of humour in a Californian therapist's office. So I'm relieved to note that the old boy now appears full of some welcome Christmas spirit – I hasten to add I mean this in the moral sense, Mr Starr hasn't touched a drop in years.

Apparently having mellowed since that unfortunate outburst, Ringo has just announced the winner of his very own photography contest, after inviting fans to submit their best efforts showing him on his US tour.

Starr has now gone back on his previous pledge and even sent the lucky victor a pair of personally signed and dated drumsticks; eBay watch out.

* Having seen his own recent Lembit Opik sitcom proposal hastily shot down by some frankly unimaginative commissioning executives – (like I said on the phone, your loss!) – perhaps High Street Ken isn't quite as qualified as he previously imagined when it comes to handing out advice to the comedy industry's more celebrated figures.

Still, following news that Steve Coogan is suing the News of the World over phone-hacking claims, I can't help seeing exciting possibilities. After all, what with Mr Coogan having only recently played an "exaggerated" troubled version of himself in BBC2's The Trip, surely his pursuit of justice at the hands of his alleged tabloid aggressors would make a cracking second series? Stay with me.

Might I suggest his amiable co-star Rob Brydon be brought back to offer "the necessary light alongside Steve's dark", while cameos from troublesome old squeeze Courtney Love and a few ironic lap-dancers would surely lead to the comic having another critical hit on his hands? If it's a no, Steve, Lembit already assures me he's interested.

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral