Diary: No hero's welcome for Ricky

Connoiusseurs of comedy will recall the excruciating sight of Ricky Gervais, sent to California to interview his comic idols for Channel 4, and squirming under the hostile glare of Garry Shandling (aka Larry Sanders of The Larry Sanders Show).

Shandling seemed to think little of his juvenile interrogator, and Gervais has since admitted that the encounter could have gone better.

Yet Shandling, it turns out, does recall Gervais's snivelling hero-worship, and has returned the favour with a friendly-ish quote in an interview with Empire magazine. He is, he says, "still interested in Ricky Gervais".

Shandling, 61, added: "I told him that I thought what he did on the Golden Globes was a notable risk". "Interested"? "A notable risk"? I think that's what is known in the business as "damning with faint praise".

* When former tennis prodigy John Bercow was appointed Speaker, Nadine Dorries, honourable-ish member for Mid-Beds, was one of his staunchest opponents. "Oily", she called him. (Also: opportunistic, disloyal and lacking any political courage). She was no better disposed to Señor Bercow's wife, Sally, describing her frequent tweets as "unseemly and in bad taste". Yet the pair patched things up in January, after dotty Ms Dorries announced she was having an affair with a married man, and Mrs Bercow unexpectedly tweeted her support. So complete is their reconciliation that Señor Bercow has now invited Dorries to sit on the Chairman's Panel, a job generally reserved for elder statesmen. Dorries' now ex-colleagues on the Health Select Committee will be relieved to hear less of her views on abortion (she's not a fan). Her new role, however, involves chairing public bill committees and Westminster Hall debates. "It will give me the hugest pleasure to shout 'order order' and to be obeyed," she blogged upon her appointment. I'm sure her fellow MPs look forward to it almost as much.

* It was alleged babydaddy Boris Johnson who first revealed Oliver Letwin's comments about "people from Sheffield" and how he didn't want too many of them "flying away on cheap holidays". Perhaps Johnson hoped to inflict upon a member of the government the same humiliation he faced in 2004, when he was made to prostrate himself before the people of Liverpool by then-Tory leader Michael Howard. But the PM has declined to subject his other fellow Old Etonian to the same fate, despite the entreaties of Sheffield Council. The limelight-evading Letwin will thus be free to enjoy the Easter hols in his picturesque Dorset constituency. You'd think, as a Big Society-booster and former Shadow Chancellor, that he might have had cause to visit Sheffield before, but staff at The Sheffield Star say they've no record of such a trip. Letwin's spokesman, meanwhile, seems uncertain. "I'm sure he probably has been there," he suggests. That memorable, was it?

* As his former News of the World colleagues contemplate the possibility of a few days in court, the FT reports erstwhile Number 10 spinner Andy Coulson has incorporated his new PR consultancy under the snappy name "Elbrus Consultants". Elbrus is, FYI, the tallest mountain in Europe – a bit like Everest, but rubbish. Of course, if Coulson had christened his company "Everest", potential punters might think he'd become a double-glazing salesman. This way, they can only confuse his firm with the existing Elbrus IT Solutions, Elbrus Capital Partners, Elbrus Ltd, and/or Elbrus Consulting.

* More skilful brand synergies from the exquisite pen of Elisa Roche, showbusiness editor of the Daily Express and loyal servant to Richard Desmond, philanthropist and former publisher of Asian Babes. Desmond's Channel Five has finally announced its acquisition of Big Brother, and the lovely Elisa dutifully reports the show's pending return, with a "sexed-up, 'rock'n'roll' house where stars will be encouraged to party like never before." Among the stars supposedly "in the frame" is Cheryl Cole, whose people say she hasn't even been approached yet (not that she'd be keen if she was, I'd wager). "We aim," Channel 5's director of programmes tells Elisa, "to bring Channel 5's energy, optimism and vibrancy to the series." Optimism is the word.


ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments