Diary: Kim's big-screen dynasty

Jeremy Thomas, celebrated British producer of the Oscar-winning The Last Emperor, has another Far Eastern-themed biopic in the works: of ailing North Korean loon, Kim Jong-Il. The project is still in the "early planning stages", Thomas told me at an Academy event to celebrate his film career thus far – but he believes it'll be an "enlightening" tale for audiences. I should warn him that he has competition: as this column revealed in July, Oliver Stone is keen to film a documentary with the Dear Leader, in the vein of his previous Chavez and Castro portraits. (Perhaps Stone and Thomas could team up for a drama instead.) Meanwhile, the famously film-obsessed Kim dynasty doubtless has a hagiographic screen tribute planned to follow the dictator's allegedly imminent death. In the 1970s, Kim Jong-Il kidnapped the legendary South Korean director Shin Sang-ok, forcing him to make a Communist version of Godzilla. Kim and his sons are also reportedly fond of snuggling up in front of the films of Jean-Claude Van Damme.

* A curious convergence of thinking from London's top theatre critics this weekend, many of whom, dispatched to review The Invisible Man at Southwark's Menier Chocolate Factory, were moved to lyricism by its leading lady's "ample bosom" (Paul Taylor, The Independent). Musical theatre star Maria Friedman's formidable jugs caused Michael Coveney and Charles Spencer to unveil a pair of lusty similes: "The jumbo-sized bosom of Maria Friedman... heaves up and down like an undulating escarpment in the village landscape," writes Coveney for WhatsOnStage.com. "It's like watching a couple of muslin-covered blancmanges in an earthquake," says Spencer, in The Telegraph, of that "splendid bust". Moreover, asks Libby Purves of The Times, "When you're being offered ... a pub landlady having her stout breasts jiggled by the empty air, why complain?" Why indeed?



* My impeccable sources inform me that the leading contender for controller of BBC3 – the job vacated by Danny Cohen, now at BBC1 – is Karl Warner, the corporation's 31-year-old "executive editor, entertainment commissioning", who once had a hand in devising The Charlotte Church Show. Should he take the role, I hope Warner will consider my pitch for a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style sitcom called Anyone But Lembit, starring stand-up comic Lembit Opik as himself. The plot follows Opik's increasingly desperate, "smell-my-cheese"-esque attempts to persuade the Lib Dems to make him their candidate for the London mayoralty – while he's relentlessly pursued, Benny Hill-like, by a bevy of cheeky and/or weather girls. Each episode sees the party try vainly to convince another, more preferable celebrity to take the job. Week one: Wagner from The X Factor.

* Sadly, Rory Stewart MP – this column's favourite Old Etonian, former soldier, adventurer, diplomat, academic, prince among men and man among princes – still refuses to speak to The Independent, meaning I'm forced to follow his progress via 14-page profiles in The New Yorker and occasional YouTube videos, including one that appeared yesterday ( ind.pn/frueN4), featuring the humble-as-humble-pie polymath dancing to banging techno in Penrith's town square, alongside 100 men dressed as Santa Claus, before he switched on the town's Christmas lights. I can confirm that Stewart (who recently compared himself to the fictional demigod Achilles) is no Peter Mandelson, dance-wise.



* Mandy's fellow ballroom-gracer Vince Cable tells me he's "reasonably optimistic" about his chances on the Strictly Christmas special, for which he's been rehearsing with the "absolutely brilliant" Erin Boag at weekends. It is, he says, "demanding... [but] good for the soul". Unlike, one imagines, being a Lib Dem Coalition cabinet minister, which is just demanding.



* Finally, thanks to John Cook, prospective Labour MP for Norwich North, for the week's best tweet to date: "Phoned Lib Dem Head Office and asked for copy of manifesto. They said they'd sold out. I said 'I know, but can I have a manifesto?'"

Suggested Topics
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

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Recruitment Genius: HR Consultant

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An HR Consultant is required to join thi...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable