Diary: Kirsty makes a boob on tape
Cheery property expert-cum-TV homemaker Kirsty Allsopp was at Thursday's Hodder dinner at Café de Paris to promote the new paperback edition of Kirstie's Homemade Home. Deciding, however, that the subject of craft would yield few gags, she chose to recount a racy anecdote from her youth.
During the early years of her career, when her salary was a mere £9,000, Allsopp rented a bulky video camera to record a friend's hen party for posterity. Several Bacardi Breezers (or similar) later, the young ladies were playing a game of "upside-down topless confessions". The next day, the impoverished Allsopp was so keen to return the camera to the rental store in time to get back her £150 deposit that she mistakenly left the video cassette, featuring the aforementioned game of "upside-down topless confessions", in the machine.
Somewhere out there, a middle-aged (possibly) former electronics shop assistant is compiling a list of tabloid news desk telephone numbers, and biding his time.
* Clearly keen to avoid his brother's mis-steps when posing for casual, at-home photographs, Miliband (E) tucked in his conspicuously ironed blue shirt (to jeans that had plainly never been worn previously) for his encounter with a Guardian snapper on Saturday.
He even gamely ate buttered toast, for all the world as if he were a normal, non-fratricidal nerd who hasn't a press team to buy him a complete new smart-casual outfit for interviews. Any nude paintings that might have adorned the walls of Miliband (E)'s abode were done away with, as was his partner Justine – though their children's toys were artfully strewn across the impeccably vacuumed carpet. Unfortunately, said media team missed one minor detail, failing to remove a book of selected articles from The Independent 1986-2006, which sat on the bookshelf in the front room. I'm almost embarrassed to mention it.
* Miliband (E)'s man Jonathan Ashworth has been given the go-ahead to contest a by-election in the not-entirely-safe seat of Leicester South. Ashworth is the Labour leader's head of party relations and was once Gordon Brown's deputy political secretary.
Even more damning than these qualifications, however, is his role in the party's catastrophic defeat at the 2008 Crewe and Nantwich by-election. Ashworth was responsible for the notorious "Tory toff" tactic, whereby young Labour chaps strutted around the constituency in top hats impersonating wealthy 19th-century Tories, thus losing Labour the seat for the first time since its creation in 1983. At last year's general election, his wife Emilie Oldknow lost in Sherwood, which had voted Labour since 1992. Can Ashworth break the habit of a lifetime? A Labour majority of 8,808 is his to lose.
* With my trusty selection of rust-coloured suits wearing a little thin, I'm extremely glad of the garments on offer from new menswear website Mr Porter, not to mention the sartorial advice of its official "Style Council". There are disagreements among the council members, however, as to a man's "Essential Wardrobe Item": Carl Barat opts for the belt but, in a confusing twist, George Lamb warns gents to "where you can, avoid belts completely".
Pharrell Williams, meanwhile, chooses "Spongebob toe socks. They are the most comfortable and a playful accessory. I first discovered toe socks in Japan and have never looked back". Sadly, Spongebob toe socks are not available via Mr Porter as yet. I trust those responsible will remedy the omission soon.
* Piers Wenger, head of drama at BBC Wales and exec producer of Doctor Who, perhaps encouraged by the relaxed new rules on product placement, is taking his role on the Style Council very seriously. Wenger recommends such varied brands as Balmain, Acne and Comme des Garcons. His preferred jeans? "Raf Simons drop-crotch indigo jeans." As for jackets, he says, "I've just bought a nice cape." Superman or Batman?
* BBC knuckles were rapped by Ofcom yesterday, following complaints about a televised interview with a student at November's tuition fees protests. Expressing regret, the Beeb admitted: "It was not noticed at the time of filming, nor in the subsequent edit, that this man had the word 'fuck' written on his face."
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