Diary: More musings from Beck
Wednesday 16 February 2011
Muse may have won the Grammy for Best Rock Album, but they'll be sad to hear they've alienated one of their most fervent fans. When the band's latest LP, The Resistance, was released, Fox News host Glenn Beck declared it: "Amazing... Lyrics on target, talent off the charts," he tweeted. "They 'get it'." After watching their performance at the Grammys, however, Beck was put off by the use of video footage, including the now infamous clip of some students shouting at the Prince of Wales and his wife. (Or, as he put it, "trying to beat them and kill them in the streets".) Muse's song "Uprising", said Beck, with some distaste, is "a call for revolution... There are those who are calling for revolution, and they are everywhere... Muslim extremists... Communist revolutionaries... anarchists [... and Muse]." Beck did, at least, cut the band a break on the basis of their nationality. "You have to remember these are Europeans," he went on, and on. "And they have been degraded since the beginning of time. They have had very few glimpses of real freedom."
* Alleged babydaddy Boris Johnson is having a spot of bother with his wardrobe, I can almost exclusively reveal. Speaking to Nick Ferrari of LBC radio, the mayor confessed he'd come back from a trip abroad with a week's worth of new suits, only to find the quality of the cut wanting. "There was a great deal of laughter in my office," he told Ferrari, "which I resented very much, and I assure your listeners that I intend to wear those suits ruthlessly." Sources have subsequently informed this column that Johnson, never noted for his sartorial nous, regularly snags his trouser leg on his bicycle chain, hence his persistent need for new suits. Alas, the consignment he had tailored during a family holiday in India were shipped with rather broader shoulders than required. A number of high-profile visitors to City Hall have since noted Johnson's resemblance to an extra from Dynasty. This, helpfully, has distracted them from anything else they might otherwise rib him about.
* A smorgasbord of synergies in the pages of yesterday's Express, as it and sister paper the Star applauded the arrival of OK! TV (a screen spin-off of the glossy mag) on Channel 5. Hosts Kate Walsh and Matt Johnson were pictured on the studio sofa with the boss of all four brands, philanthropist and erstwhile porn baron Richard Desmond. "OK! TV kicks off with a celebrity scoop," ran the headline, a claim this largely scoop-free column felt obliged to investigate further. After securing a coveted interview with Louis Walsh, the least famous X Factor judge, (Kate) Walsh coaxed him into revealing he'd "like David Bowie or Sir Paul McCartney to join The X Factor judges". Doubtless Desmond would like Bowie and/or McCartney to join OK! TV, just as I'd like them to perform a duet at my birthday party. Sadly, this doesn't make either scenario any more probable. (Kate) Walsh, it turns out, was drafted in at three days' notice, after Denise Van Outen quit following an allegedly disastrous meeting with Desmond. This went curiously unmentioned, however, in the Express's interview with Van Outen on Monday – originally planned, I must presume, as yet another deftly disguised tie-in.
* Lauren Booth, who by now has surely finished reading all 464 pages of the Koran, has downplayed her conversion to Islam, inspired by her visit to a shrine in Qom, Iran. At first, Ms Booth claimed she'd experienced "a shot of spiritual morphine". Last week, however, she gave the University of Essex's Islamic Conference a rather more modest description of the moment. It was, she now says, "equivalent to two spliffs and a bottle of wine".
* The PM's new spinner Craig Oliver was hired for his mastery of broadcast media. So was it him, I wonder, who chose the People's Supermarket in Camden for Dave's Big Society relaunch? The community-run retailer would, after all, have been familiar to ITV viewers as the subject of severe ridicule on Harry Hill's TV Burp, a mere two days previously.
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