Diary: Parsons' purple patch

You needn't be a veteran Prince-watcher to presume that a man who briefly changed his name to a symbol might be given to grand pronouncements. Such as, for example, the 52-year-old's transparently misguided assertion in this Tuesday's
Daily Mirror that the internet is "completely over".

This was, of course, Prince's way of explaining the decision to give away his new LP, 20TEN, exclusively with Saturday's edition of said tabloid newspaper, rather than sell it via iTunes. Diary was tempted to take this as proof that Prince's pop career, while far from "completely over", was no longer "completely under" either.

But it seems we were mistaken, because that hip old gunslinger Tony Parsons has listened to a sneak preview of the record, and called it – gadzooks– "his best album for 23 years!" It's as good, in fact, "as his all-time classics like Purple Rain and 1999."

And where did Parsons choose to make this Prince-worthy grand pronouncement? In the pages of the Daily Mirror, naturally.

* How many prime-time chatshows does one television channel need? Jonathan Ross has joined ITV to present a prime-time weekend chatshow on ITV1, earning somewhat less than his reported £6m BBC salary. The channel would like to retain (prime-time weekend chatshow) Piers Morgan's Life Stories despite its presenter's growing US success. And Paul O'Grady, who controversially left Channel 4 to sign with ITV last year, was also slated to host a, erm, prime-time weekend chatshow. "Paul's show starts this year," an ITV spokesman explained. "It's a one-year deal for this year. Jonathan's is for 2011 and 2012." So, Paul will be leaving after a year? "Well, it's a one-year contract at the moment, but there's nothing to say he won't also be around after that. A wide variety of shows can co-exist on ITV1. There are plenty of days in the week." Not so many in the weekend, though.

* Perhaps no constituency better condensed the tensions between Lib-Con coalition partners-to-be than West Worcestershire, previously held by Sir Michael Spicer, who cheerily used taxpayer's money to maintain his helipad. Nick Clegg visited West Worcs in the week before the election, and was settling down for a tipple at the Nag's Head pub in Malvern when Dr Ken Pollock, hot-tempered chairman of the local Conservative Association, allegedly "lunged" in his direction. Pollock was exercised about a leaflet published by the local Lib Dem candidate – who later lost comfortably to Spicer's Tory successor – but he was dragged away by police before he could discuss the matter with Clegg. Another local Tory activist emailed supporters to encourage them to pose as "aggravated residents" during the Lib Dem leader's visit. Happily, the Worcester News reports that the local Tory party has decided no action need be taken against Pollock or the anonymous emailer. Thus the pure-white new politics bleaches another inconvenient little stain.

* The Queen is now the proud owner of a Blackberry 9700: a gift from its manufacturers, RIM, whose Ontario facility she toured this week. The company claims Her Majesty is "a fan of the Canadian Smartphone". Buckingham Palace refused to corroborate the rumour. We asked Apple if they'd given the Queen an iPhone 4, but they didn't get back to us. But given Apple's rumoured stinginess with freebies, we expect the Queen will have to queue like everyone else.

* Diary understands that Toby Young (journalist, 46, Conservative with a large "C") has joined the race to succeed David Goodhart as editor of Prospect magazine. How will he pin down a full-time day job while trying to set up his cherished "free school" in Acton, and maintain his mammoth PR offensive on its behalf? "Well," Toby told us, "my hope is that the free school will be open in September of next year, so the workload associated with setting it up will begin to tail off." So you are applying for the Prospect gig, then? "I was asked by someone connected with the magazine if I would like to apply," Toby confirms. "I was very flattered. But then he quickly added that he'd called dozens of people and invited them all to apply."

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Officer

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - London - £40,000 + Bonus

£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own