Diary: Much ado about saying 'I do'
Wednesday 09 June 2010
Gemma Arterton got married this weekend, or at least we're pretty sure she did. There are photos in the
Mail of Arterton wearing what seems to be a wedding gown, stroking the cheek of a chap in a morning suit, in a romantic Spanish mountain village. Looks a lot like a wedding to me. But her publicist won't confirm whether it is a wedding, or just a rehearsal for
St Trinians 3. I contact said publicist to confirm that she won't confirm it. "I am not able to comment on Gemma's private life, or confirm anything," she confirms. "She is very guarded and private about it." Fair enough. But if she's so guarded, why tell the
Mail about her fears of spinsterdom, and hurt at hints she'd put on weight? Well, at least one of those quotes is "completely untrue". Shocking stuff, but plausible: in May, according to the paper, Arterton's fiance was stunt driver Stefano Mioni. The bloke in the "wedding" snaps, on the other hand, is Stefano Catelli, sales manager for a fashion company. Probably.
* Alan Johnson is warming up for the after-dinner speaking circuit after signing with talent agency JLA. During the Queen's Speech debate on Monday evening, the Shadow Home Secretary raised Nick Clegg's reported aversion to his fellow Liberal Democrat, pensions minister Steve Webb. Johnson quoted Clegg's remarks, overheard in 2008, that: "Webb must go... He's a problem. I can't stand the man. We need a new spokesman. We have to move him. But... as a backbencher, he'd be a pain in the..." Johnson then risked the wrath of Speaker John Bercow when he added: "A word beginning with 'a' follows, but if I said it, Mr Speaker, you would be off yours to call me to order." Gales of laughter resounded from all sides of the House. This, surely, is wit worth £10,000 a night.
* We return to the design brilliance of Andy Burnham's 1980s electro-Soviet style campaign website, andy4leader.com, which, much like the old-school URLs it resembles, crashed for much of yesterday – just as Burnham reached the brink of a place on the ballot. I call Stuart Bruce, the man behind the site, to inform him of the malfunction. "It was definitely working this morning," says Stuart, as I hear his fingers clatter frantically across his computer keyboard. "But you're right, it's not at the moment. Er... I'll have to figure that out." Burnham is trailing the Milibands, whose Obama-style campaign sites are smothered in Twitter feeds and supportive blogs. But he'll be launching a bigger, better version of his Lenin-plays-the-greatest-hits-of-Kraftwerk-esque site later in the week. Ed Balls, meanwhile, has yet to produce a campaign site at all, and Diane Abbott will only bother if she makes it on to the ballot today. Come on guys, isn't this the first internet (leadership) election?
* Hello magazine has become notorious for jinxing the marriages of the celebrity couples featured in its glossy photo-spreads. We're beginning to wonder whether Q might be cursed, too. Last July the music monthly went to press with Michael Jackson on its cover, and a report from "inside his mad, bad world". Jackson died just before the magazine hit the shelves. Now this July's cover features U2 as one of the "50 acts you must see at Glastonbury". By the time it reached newsagents, U2 had pulled out of the festival due to Bono's bad back. In true Hello style, Madonna and Cheryl Cole saw their marriages crumble soon after appearing on Q's cover, too. Muse, Killers, Coldplay, be careful, chaps.
* Ex- Telegraph editor Will Lewis left the Telegraph Group last month after disagreements with his higher-ups about the Euston Project, the team with the tough task of "monetising" the Group's web "content". Now the man he left in charge has jumped ship, too. Paul Cheesbrough, Telegraph Group chief information officer, announced yesterday he's leaving to be CIO at Rupert Murdoch's News International, taking his monetising nous and thick contacts book with him. A source familiar with the Telegraph's brave new world said of the project: "It's the final nail in that particular debacle."
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