Diary: Regrets, he has a few...

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The Independent Online

Forget The A-Team (it's hard, I know, but try). Masculinity is alive and well and appearing in Sylvester Stallone's new film, The Expendables, along with Willis, Schwarzenegger, Lundgren, Statham, Li, Rourke, Roberts, Couture and Austin. So says its writer-director and star, who yesterday described the movie as "real men doing real action" (Jean-Claude Van Damme declined to take part). The Expendables, Stallone explained, harks back to an age when men were men and women were women "like Sophia Loren". Keen to head off any accusations of gratuitous gore, however, he insisted that the film's frequent violence was "very justifiable ... I only kill the people that need to be killed". Those people include 41 anonymous security personnel in a single scene – which is not, admittedly, a patch on Rambo 4's 261 kills. The Expendables even has themes, its creator continued, like "redemption and regret. That theme of regret haunts me; it's inextinguishable." That regret has a name, Sly, and it's Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.

* As he announced a new "suite" of nuclear power stations yesterday, the Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, insisted to John Humphrys that his pre-election views on the subject had been "much misunderstood". So, presumably, a wilful media got the wrong end of the stick when, for example, he wrote for politics.co.uk (in 2006) that "New nuclear would be economically foolhardy, environmentally irresponsible, and pose long-term security questions that are impossible to address." Huhne's personal blog contained similar ambiguities, calling nuclear "a dead end" and suggesting (in 2007) that "Ministers must stop the side-show of new nuclear power stations now. Nuclear is a tried, tested and failed technology and the Government must stop putting time, effort and subsidies into reviving this outdated industry." I'm so glad Mr Huhne has finally stopped sitting on the fence. Government is about the hard decisions, after all.

* Terry Gilliam's first attempts to film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote were famously foiled by the Spanish weather, the Spanish air force, and the health problems of his star, Jean Rochefort. The director was due to get the ill-fated production off the ground again this year, with Robert Duvall and Ewan McGregor replacing Rochefort and Johnny Depp in the leading roles. Sadly, it has been delayed by a "financial hiccup". An insider tells me Quixote – a version of Cervantes' novel – is "Terry's dream project and he was all pumped up about finally getting back to work on it. But once again the necessary funds aren't there at the moment. He's understandably frustrated." A depressed Gilliam consoled himself by directing Arcade Fire's live YouTube Concert Webcast at Madison Square Garden last week.

* In other Spain-related news, Peter Crouch may or may not have enjoyed the company of a teenage courtesan while carousing in Madrid, much to the alleged chagrin of his fiancée, Abbey Clancy. Crouch happens to be the cover star in this month's edition of Football Punk magazine, whose interviewer asked what irritates the six-foot-seven striker. "Dishonesty, probably," the classy Crouch replied. "That irritates me most. And selfishness. Those are the two worst traits." He also revealed that Ms Clancy does most of the cooking in their household, although he "can do a bit of chicken and pasta". Spag Bol for dinner tonight, Pete?

* Dominic Raab, the Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, has caused a stir by having his email address removed from both his personal website and the House of Commons site. He was tired, you see, of being bombarded by automated emails from lobby groups such as the campaigning website 38 Degrees, which condemned his decision in a blog. Both Raab and 38 Degrees have referred the matter to the Information Commissioner. As an MP, however, his email address is public domain. So if you do need to get in touch for any reason, try raabd@parliament.uk. Just Esher and Walton constituents, mind – and only if it's very, very important. Dom's currently on crutches following hip surgery: why not send him a get well e-card?

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

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