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
The
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.

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

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...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

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...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?