Diary: Long dark M Night of the soul

M Night Shyamalan must have thought he'd endured the worst reviews of his career for his 2006 movie,
Lady in the Water ("This cloying piece of claptrap sets a high-water mark for pomposity, condescension, false profundity and true turgidity" –
Wall Street Journal). But it looks like his latest, the unfortunately-named fantasy
The Last Airbender, may yet outdo its predecessor. Early reviews include those by the estimable Roger Ebert of the
Chicago Sun-Times ("
The Last Airbender is an agonising experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented") and AO Scott of
New York Times ("
The Last Airbender? Let's hope so").

If that wasn't bad enough, the director also finds himself at the centre of a race row. The film is based on an animated children's TV series, in which three central characters are Asian; in Shyamalan's version they're played by white actors, a casting decision that has enraged the blogosphere. On the other hand, Shyamalan has abstained from appearing on screen this time: in Lady in the Water, he cast himself as a writer whose work would save humanity, which enraged pretty much everybody.

* The editorial team assembled to rebrand GMTV around its new presenters, Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley, has been busy dreaming up possible names for the programme. One early favourite, we learn from an insider, was Daybreak (the name of a 1980s TV-AM news programme). That idea was ditched, however, when they learned that Morning Glory, a forthcoming film comedy starring Harrison Ford and Rachel McAdams, is about a notoriously dreadful morning TV news show called, yes, Daybreak. The movie is released in August; the new-look GMTV is launched in September – not exactly ideal timing. Apparently, the current favourite is simply Day. Best keep up the brainstorming, chaps.

* Louise Bagshawe, the Conservative MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire, gives new meaning to the phrase "in-house publicity". Bagshawe, 39, was best-known before the last election as a successful chick-lit novelist. She may have trouble finding the time to write fiction nowadays, but parliamentary life hasn't prevented her from plugging her previous works. During a Commons debate about energy efficiency on Wednesday, she mentioned a solar cell being developed by Toyota to power its cars. "Indeed," she went on, " Passion, the excellent book that I wrote in 2010 and was nominated as romantic novel of the year – I highly recommend it to the House – was a thriller based around just that theme." This is the second time (by our count) that the book has been mentioned in the Commons; last month Labour MP Kerry McCarthy thanked Bagshawe for sending her a copy of Passion after the pair befriended each other on Twitter. Responding to Bagshawe's comments, Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans admitted he was new to the job, "so I shall have to have another look at Erskine May to see what it says about product placement".

* Sad news for the wagging tongues of Westminster: The Atrium Restaurant at Four Millbank is to close its doors and its kitchen for good next Wednesday lunch-time. The Atrium, housed in the same building as the BBC and Sky News Westminster offices, has long been the beating heart of Westminster gossip. Now it's going the same way as Granita. Fittingly, Diary was informed of its impending demise by 2010's new gossip centre: Twitter (the feed of ComRes Chairman Andrew Hawkins, no less, also based in the building). And we didn't even have time to lunch anybody there.

* The name's Cable. Vince Cable. Speaking to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders this week, the Business Secretary expressed a long-harboured, hitherto-unpublicised ambition, says our source – to drive very fast in an Aston Martin.

* On Wednesday, Diary drew attention to the curse of Condé Nast, whose glossy World Cup photoshoots for GQ and Vanity Fair seemed to have condemned most of the featured players to injury and poor form. Others have blamed Nike, whose World Cup television commercial – a six-minute ode to the godlike genius of Ronaldo, Rooney, Ribery, Ronaldhino et al – proved equally ill-starr'd. BT seems to have taken the hint, because its latest print ad, plastered across every newspaper yesterday (this one included) features Michael Owen, Shay Given, Gareth Bale and Wes Brown: four Premier League players who were never in danger of going to South Africa in the first place, and thus never had the chance to let their nations, or their wealthy sponsors, down.


Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

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 ...

HR Manager - HR Generalist / Sole in HR

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis