Diary: Never met – done a duet

Dizzee Rascal, named Ultimate Man of the Year at this week's Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards, has teamed up with Cheryl Cole (named Woman of the Year at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards, which were in June, in case there's any confusion) for her remarkably non-awful track "Everybody, Everyone" from new album Messy Little Teardrops. But the two, he tells me, never shared a studio. "It was like it never happened," Mr Rascal admitted at the Cosmo event. "I never saw her. They sent me three tracks and I basically picked the one I thought would be best. It saves money on planes: imagine going halfway across the world in first class then deciding that you don't like the person. If they just send you a track, you can get it done in your own studio, in your comfort zone.

"It should be good. It will be good. It's Cheryl Cole, innit."

Recalling his famous election night interview with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight, I then tried to draw Mr Rascal into a conversation about the US midterms, but he was led away briskly by his agent.

* The serene Lauren Booth, tenuous relative of a former prime minister and recent convert to Shia Islam (seven-and-a-half whole weeks ago now), has reached page 200 of the Koran, she tells The Guardian. If she's reading the Penguin Classics edition, that gives her another 264 pages to go. At this rate, she'll be finished by Christmas, not that the occasion will mean much to her these days.

"The hate, the real hate" directed at her since her conversion, Booth claims, "has come from The Independent." She surely can't mean this column, which simply relayed the exasperation of her estranged father, Tony, who told me he thought it might get her a job at Al-Jazeera. No, hate is far too strong a word for that. Amusement would be more accurate. Pity, perhaps. Derision? Certainly.



* That other shameless seeker of press attention, Lembit Opik, is leaving the stable he shares with Ms Booth: Press TV, the charming little "news" channel owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran, for which both are presenters. (I can barely believe I'm still giving the oxygen of publicity to the former MP for Montgomeryshire, but one has to fill one's column somehow.) Lembit joined Press TV this summer to host a show called A Simple Question; its discussion topics amusingly included the questionable objectivity of the UK media.

But Lembit and his Iranian employers are now parting ways because, I'm told, he's keen to sever any potentially "controversial links", so as to boost his chances of snatching the Lib Dem London mayoral nomination from the party leadership's inevitable "Anyone-But-Lembit" candidate. (My suggested alternative, for what it's worth, would be prominent Lib Dem supporter Roy Stride, lead singer of Scouting for Girls.) Lembit, now bereft of his broadcast platform, can at least take comfort in his print media work: he has a weekly politics column in the Daily Sport, which he doubtless deems entirely uncontroversial.



* Labour MP Tom Watson, former minister and famed Brownite plotter, seems to have taken quite a fancy to one of his new Commons colleagues, "potential future leader" Chuka Umunna, the British Obama and honourable member for Streatham. "He's perhaps the most beautiful man who has ever sat on the green benches," Watson (clubbable, but no oil painting) eulogises on the Labour Uncut blog. "Intelligent, dynamic, articulate... He's perfect. He'll have his own statue with a brass plaque one day... I am jealous of young Chuka for his six-pack, natural athleticism and exquisite taste in clothing and skin products... British politics is no longer showbiz for ugly people. We have genuinely attractive-in-every-way superstars in the PLP now."



* Speaking of genuinely attractive-in-every-way superstars, Kelly Brook has joined the line-up for this year's 24-Hour Plays Celebrity Gala at the Old Vic. "I was quite surprised that [Kevin Spacey] asked me," the delightful Miss Brook told me over cocktails in my dreams. "I thought he might have been trying to call Kelly Macdonald or something. Maybe that's who he's expecting. That'd be bad, wouldn't it?" Not in the slightest.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Recruitment Genius: HR Advisor

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our Client has been the leader ...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us