Diary: Jilted Flo's literary love

The delightful Florence Welch, of Florence and the Machine, is a huge Bret Easton Ellis fan – so huge, in fact, she interrupted preparations for her London gig in Somerset House last Thursday to attend the GQ launch party for his new novel,
Imperial Bedrooms. But is Bret a fan of hers?

Like all his books, his latest work is rife with music references. We've read only the first 50 pages so we asked her, does she get a namecheck? "No," said Flo, wistfully, "but Bat for Lashes does, which is impressive." Maybe you'll be in his next book. "Maybe. I guess I'd better go and introduce myself!"

After steeling the nerves with half a glass of Louis Roederer and a wild mushroom and leek tartlet, Diary spoke to Ellis, too. Robert Downey Jr starred in the film of Less Than Zero, to which the new book is a sequel. But Ellis disowns the original movie in the opening pages of Imperial Bedrooms (we have read that bit). Will Downey be doing the new one? "If Robert said he wanted to do it," said Ellis, "it'd go into production next Wednesday." We'll take that as a no.

* Confused by the Big Society? Fear not, for the Tories prepared a host of useful metaphors in anticipation of the PM's big Big Society launch. Mr Big Society, Lord Wei of Shoreditch, compared the project (on his Big Society blog) to a coral reef: government is the sea-bed; social enterprise, private and public services are coral. The rest of us are fish. About as clear as the Gulf of Mexico, no?

Elsewhere on the Big Society site, it is suggested Wei and chums will "create a platform to enable and empower citizens ... an 'iPhone for their apps'." An iPhone. Simple. And if you numbskulls still don't understand the Big Society, then Lord Wei can at least enlighten you as to its effects, which he likens to Gutenberg's printing of the Bible. The Big Society, he predicts, will "power the reformation of politics" (among other things). Still no clearer? Well, Lord Wei reassures his readers: "There will always be a part of Big Society which will remain mysterious and yet also enticing – like life itself."



* The Culture and Sport Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has picked two paintings by Mark Wallinger to adorn the walls of his office. The works, part of the Government art collection, are contemporary with a classic feel: Brown's (Mr PJ Brown) and Brown's (Mrs EW Brown), from Wallinger's 1993 series of 42 Brown's paintings, depicting the livery colours of jockeys who rode horses owned by people named Brown. (More appropriate, perhaps, than the artist's most famous work: a recreation of Brian Haw's peace protest in Parliament Square.)

"I'm glad to hear he's enthusiastic about the arts," said Wallinger when we told him the news. "I hope he saves them from too many cuts. They're the one boom industry in this country that provides value for money, or as much as football and tennis anyway."



* Alexei Sayle couldn't resist a pop at his old pal Ben Elton during an appearance on London's South Bank last week. After reading from his new memoir Stalin Ate My Homework, Sayle admitted regret for his past criticisms of Elton. "I saw Ben at a party and apologised for all the things I'd said about him in the papers," the comedian recalled. "So he invited me to the opening night of his Rod Stewart musical Tonight's the Night. And in those three hours, I paid for every bad thing I'd ever said about him."



* Ulsterman Sir Roy McNulty is busy as ever. Now in his 70s, the deputy chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority is also chair of regional development agency Advantage West Midlands (AWM), and chair of Ilex, the urban regeneration company for the Derry City Council area. So how did he split his loyalties when Birmingham was competing with Derry for the title of the first UK City of Culture (which Derry won last week)?

Sir Roy "was never involved in any discussions," an AWM spokesperson assures us, and "announced at the Board meeting in March 2010 that he had a potential conflict of interest". But where, we asked an Ilex spokesperson, does Sir Roy's heart really lie? "He's an Irishman," they chuckled. "Do you honestly think he'd be backing Birmingham? Now don't go telling him I said that ..."

Suggested Topics
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

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering