Diary: Man on the run...

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The Independent Online

National treasure Sir Paul McCartney has been enjoying plenty of gushing media coverage after managing to pull off that old trick of marrying someone who potentially appears both sane and likeable – (you might recall his last missus was a trifle difficult).

History suggests the former Beatle has never been one to shy away from a timely plug when the opportunity presents itself, and this week has proved no exception. Just hours after he and Nancy Shevell had hogged the headlines by tying the knot at Old Marylebone Town Hall, young Macca's publicity machine sprung into action once more, eagerly announcing their man will also be embarking on a European tour from next month.

While Sir Paul's late wife Linda used to endure relentless flak for daring to perform on stage with her other half, my hunch is it's unlikely the savvy-looking Nancy will be on keyboards for any live renditions of Band On The Run in the near future.

* Those tiresome types who dared to suggest that England's top broadcaster Piers Morgan might have something to worry about when the phone-hacking scandal first broke were promptly told to button it by the great man himself. Now all that nonsense has been mercifully cleared up – by Piers at least! – he's chosen movingly to shed light on the some of the long-lasting psychological damage endured while working under Rupert Murdoch's protective wing as a chubby-faced youth. "Murdoch put tremendous pressure on his editors and the rookie found himself having the same nightmares over and over," explains New York magazine. "In one he and Murdoch are walking along the beach in Miami and an enormous wave engulfs them. Just then, Morgan would wake up in a cold sweat. In the other, right as he's about to go into a meeting with Murdoch, his teeth fall out." Morgan himself goes on to explain: "I never understood what they meant at all." (Piers, I'm assured at least some of this stuff with Great Uncle Rupert is likely to have highly sexual undertones, but that's probably for another column). Meanwhile, just in case you were worried all that transatlantic success had caused our man to lose his bite, Morgan insists he will never regret referring to Heather Mills as "talentless and legless". He helpfully points out: "She is demonstrably talentless and has one leg." Only Piers's harshest critics would claim the pair still have at least 50 per cent in common.



* How helpful of Tory MP Greg Hands to do the media rounds in defence of his embattled colleague Liam Fox. Hands has been at pains to assure us that Dr Fox is the victim of "insinuation, innuendo and smear". Ironically, Hands currently works as parliamentary private secretary for one George (né Gideon) Osborne, a man the good doctor has little affection for. After all, during the Tory leadership contest of 2005, Fox was obliged publicly to hit out at what he described as "gay smears" against him. Our Chancellor was running David Cameron's campaign team at the time, prompting Liam's allies to point accusing fingers in the direction of young Gideon's mischievous lackeys.

* Ed Miliband's botched attempt at explaining he wasn't Tony Blair or Gordon Brown during the recent Labour conference ended up causing more grief than it was worth. Still, that hasn't stopped the party's general secretary Iain McNicol from apparently ordering the removal of pictures of the former leaders from the party's Victoria Street HQ, with the newly available wall space now being occupied by a framed photograph of a beaming Red Ed. As the House of Commons got back into full swing yesterday post-conference season, it seemed Ed's bid to distance himself from his predecessors was still the cause of regrettable cynicism in sections of his parliamentary ranks. "What Ed should have said at the conference was, 'I'm not Tony Blair; I'm not Gordon Brown; and unfortunately I'm not David Miliband," cackled one party veteran.



* Award-winning comic Miranda Hart has suffered a public backlash, courtesy of thelisteners of Radio 2, who were reportedly unhappy when she filled in on Chris Evans's breakfast show. In a touching display of support yesterday, Evans was anxious to publicly stress he had "zero say" in who covered for him. How thoughtful!

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

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