Diary: Marr was all ears during his coup in the West Wing

If his coyly beatific grin belonged to a figure gazing upon Jesus in a Renaissance painting, let no one blame Andrew Marr for that. Getting quality time alone with Barack Obama, as Andy did for the interview broadcast yesterday, isn't easy. Nick Clegg would tell you that. The snub for Nick, whose pleas for an audience during the state visit were rebuffed, must be excruciating. It is almost as if the White House concluded, in the worst foreign policy miscalculation since 'Nam, that our deputy PM isn't fantastically important. Andy, on the other hand, is. He recovered from recent embarrassments to score an interview that West Wing insiders are styling "The 'Ears? You call those weeny things ears?' Summit".

And he did fine, subjugating the sycophancy almost as well as he would have wished. What ensued when the mics were turned off, it would be indelicate to reveal. But unnamed sources inform us that Obama leant over and whispered: "Hey, how come we never talked about the special relationship?" "Well, Mr President," Andy replied, "it's barely a month since I yielded my super-injunction, and the last thing I want to do is reopen that can of worms."

* If Nick Clegg made one error when begging for his photo op, perhaps it was in his choice of bargaining chip. With hindsight, offering to send Chris Huhne to the airport to collect the Obamas and drive back to London at the front of the cavalcade looks a tactical mistake.



* If Chris suffers memory problems, in his case about who was at the wheel in 2003, he is not alone. Kelvin MacKenzie has been amnesiac for years, what with that failure to recall whether he wants to apologise for his despicable Hillsborough coverage or bullishly defend it. And it only gets worse.

Having promised last week to write about being bugged by the News of the World in Thursday's Sun column, he failed to mention it at all. Obviously so bold a buccaneer couldn't be bullied into silence to spare Mr Murdoch's blushes. So again we reluctantly query early-onset Alzheimer's brought on by horrendous snoring (see the younger Milibandroid, below).



* In the preposterously conflated Kenneth Clarke rape row, one thing has been overlooked. If Ken chose his words clumsily, no wonder he was befuddled, because the night before his beloved Nottingham Forest suffered their annual defeat in the Championship play offs. How Kelvin's sleep apnoea colleague Ed Miliband failed to cut him some slack, who can say? But his demand for Ken's head was his most cretinous mistake so far. For god's sake, boy, grow up. Time is short.



* Relief, finally, for fans of Mike Read. Mike, ridiculously cited by many as an Alan Partridge inspiration, hadn't been seen for a while. Thankfully he has turned up safe, resident at the Travelodge in Rochester. A fine broadcaster and we wish him only well.



* Great to see Nadine Dorries, writing in the Mail on Sunday, stoutly defending her proposal to teach girls the joy of no sex. No harm there. Where the comedy MP for Mid Beds let herself down was in dwelling on a penchant for sliding condoms on to bananas. The banana is the giant panda of the fruit world. You can leave a bunch in the fruit bowl all night, and there's not a chance of finding a baby banana in the morning.

* Speaking of which, belated happy returns to Andrew Neil, who turned 62 on Saturday. On his BBC1 gurn-fest This Week, he dismissed Nadine as bananas, which was rude. She counter-struck on her blog by calling him "an overweight, orange toupée-wearing has-been", which was rude. The Adonis is no has-been. And if he has been reluctant to go ginger until now, what he chooses to do in the privacy of his own bathroom is his own affair.

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

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable