Diary: Marco gets on the gravy train

Easily angered chef Marco Pierre White is a compelling televisual presence, so anyone who saw him fire John McCririck from Hell's Kitchen (for criticising his food) will be disappointed to learn that he's just turned down the chance to make a prime-time cooking programme for the BBC – as well as an equally lucrative project for a Canadian broadcaster.

However, fans of the fiery knife-wielder will still, praise be, get to see him on screen. "I have signed a deal to advertise Knorr globally," I'm told by White, 49, who is paid handsomely to promote Germany's most celebrated stock cubes (and gravy). "Advertising on television is far better for business than doing Hell's Kitchen or any other programmes."

It's lucky White's so keen on Knorr's many culinary aids, since he could really do with the cash: he and his similarly volatile wife, Mati, recently reconciled, just as they were about to finalise an acrimonious (and now abandoned) three-year divorce, which cost them an estimated £3m in legal fees.

* More rich material for my joint biopic of George (né Gideon) Osborne and his shadow, Ed Balls, provisionally entitled A Cock and Balls. Balls seemed a tad stroppy on The Daily Politics yesterday, after he and Miliband (E)'s monthly press conference failed to attract the attention of a single news channel. (Which, given events elsewhere in the world, seemed fair enough to me.) But then Balls had particular reason to hope for coverage: unlike his predecessor, Alan Johnson, who was relegated to a chair beside the party leader's podium, Balls had a podium all to himself – almost as if he were, say, the co-leader. And just in case anyone doubted he was getting above himself, Balls was also quoted dispensing wisdom on the things "you learn about being Chancellor..." That Balls ever occupied the role will surely come as news to Alistair Darling.

* CUT TO: The Treasury. Gideon watches as Danny flicks through the rolling news channels, finding nothing but coverage of the earthquake in Japan. GIDEON: "So, no one's covering the Miliband/Balls press conference? No one at all?" DANNY: "Not even the BBC!" They share a look, then cackle to one another maniacally.

* Not long ago, Tom Bradby, Prince William's preferred journalist and the political editor of ITV News, was complaining on Twitter about the estimated pay of BBC rivals such as Andrew Marr and Huw Edwards. "No, I am not jealous," he insisted at the time – but boy, did he go on about it, anyway. One benefit of not being employed by the Beeb, however, is that he can enjoy the fruits of the after-dinner speaking circuit with impunity – unlike Marr, Maitlis, Paxman et al, who were banned from the books of speaking agency JLA in 2009 because it breached corporation guidelines. Bradby, I'm informed, signed up with JLA some months before Marr's £600,000 salary was leaked, but even all those cracking Wills & Kate anecdotes can't seem to get him into the big leagues: he's classified as a lowly C-grade speaker, putting him on a par with Steve Davis and Stanley Johnson, with a nightly fee of no more than £5,000. Sadly, he's yet to even take a booking. "He hasn't done anything for us yet," confirms Jeremy Lee of JLA, "but he appears to be keen as mustard."

* A helpful (Labour-voting) reader in Sheffield reminds me of a claim made by Nick "29 Shags" Clegg prior to his party's conference in the city over the weekend. The occasion, he confidently predicted, would bring in £2.5m to his adopted home. In the event, not only did police spend £2m to protect the party faithful from protesters, but the local shopkeepers who might have benefited are moaning that their stores were deserted, due to a widespread fear of angry students breaking stuff.



* Ken Loach, still studenty after all these years, told Michael Heseltine on Newsnight last year that he was "responsible for a generation of misery, failure and hopelessness". But, Loach tells The Word magazine, he'd have given old Tarzan a far easier ride if only he'd been more polite. "I'd waited a long time to tell him what I thought of him and what his crew had done. So I did," says the filmmaker. "But what made it so much easier was that he was so rude to me before we began – so arrogant. He ignored me as if I was his gardener who happened to have wandered on set."

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

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment & HR Administrator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Business Partner

£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...

Recruitment Genius: Senior HR Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company's vision is to be t...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test