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
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee