Diary: Liam returns to the Oasis
Friday 02 September 2011
A bittersweet moment of nostalgia for Liam Gallagher and fans of his former band: the ex-Oasis frontman is due to perform, for the first time, at the venue after which he named the act two decades ago.
When Noel was a roadie for fellow Mancunians Inspiral Carpets in 1991, his younger brother Liam spotted the name of a tour venue on a poster in their bedroom: the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon. Liking the word, he changed his band's name to Oasis; Noel later joined the group as songwriter and bandleader. However, their meteoric rise from pub band to stadium headliners meant they never got to play at Swindon's glass-domed swimming pool and sports hall. (Noel, moreover, was not present when Inspiral Carpets played the venue.) On November 15, however, Liam's new band Beady Eye is due to play a show at the Oasis. Just 100 miles from Knebworth, though it might just as well be 100,000.
* David "Double-D" Dimbleby, long-serving host of Question Time, has yet to sign a new contract with the BBC, reports The Guardian. DD, 72, is supposedly still in high dudgeon about the programme's move to Glasgow and, my sources suggest, may not remain in the mediator's Herman Miller Aeron chair for much longer. So who will win the throne, if and when he abdicates? As this column noted in March, political editor Nick Robinson was narked to learn of his predecessor Andrew Marr's estimated £600,000 salary, and the two men are both said to be "champing at the bit" to replace DD. But should the BBC shake up Newsnight as threatened, Jeremy Paxman may become available. "It is part of the constitution of this country that all major events have to be presented by a Dimbleby," Paxman once said, calling himself "the fool to Dimbleby's Lear". Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides. Or something.
* A remarkable tale from the twisted mind of Chuck Palahniuk. Apocryphal, perhaps, but well worth reprinting: "I remember doing a signing at a book shop in London," the author tells Shortlist, "and a young man told me he loved what I'd written [in Fight Club] about waiters doing things to celebrities' food. He said he worked in a four-star restaurant in the City. He refused to tell me which one, so I said that I wouldn't sign his book. He went very quiet and suddenly said: 'Margaret Thatcher has eaten my sperm.' I started laughing, so he became bolder and added: 'At least five times.' It was such a glorious, hideous little moment."
* As the Telegraph reported earlier this week, Señor John Bercow MP, husband to the more famous Sally (and the Speaker of the House of Commons), is the subject of a plot by Tory MPs to fiddle with his constituency boundaries before the next election. Tradition dictates that the Speaker is safe from challenges from other parties at a general election, but when the number of MPs is reduced and boundaries subsequently redrawn before the next election, changes to his Buckingham seat may necessitate a contest – for which his enemies intend to put up a rival candidate. This could be doubly uncomfortable because, as Señor John's biographer points out, the Speaker is also the ex officio head of the Boundary Commission for England. "He doesn't usually play an active role," explains Bobby Friedman, the author of Bercow, Mr Speaker: Rowdy Living in the Tory Party, "but is still nominally in charge of the commission producing the report, which could be the tool for ousting him as an MP and Speaker." Almost as humiliating as watching his wife on Celebrity Big Brother: The Richard Desmond Years.
* When this column reported last month that James Murdoch's bid to become a member of the prestigious gentlemen's club Brooks's (late members include Pitt the Younger and Lionel de Rothschild) seemed to be taking rather a long time to process, I was naturally reluctant to speculate that this had anything to do with the phone-hacking scandal. Especially after the lawyers told me not to. And it would seem they were correct, for now club secretary Graham Snell has told City AM that Mr Murdoch is "still a candidate", but that Brooks's simply takes a little longer to accept its members than, say, Club Penguin. Brooks's accepts only gentlemen "of the highest social order" and Snell adds: "I think it would be a prerequisite that [James] can play bridge. If he doesn't, he wouldn't be very welcome."
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