Diary: Ross says he's no Yes man

What with hostilities having already gone up several notches this week in the AV debate, who better to drop behind enemy lines than television's favourite hard man Ross Kemp?

The former EastEnders and Ultimate Force star announces he's joined the ranks of the No campaign – news that's likely to get the other lot looking anxiously over their shoulders.

"I believe that equality is important, which is why I'm supporting one person, one vote," says Ross, with that distinctive hint of menace that's long ensured him a special place in viewers' hearts. "On May 5 I will be voting no. I hope you do, too."

Yesterday, unconfirmed rumours were rife that Kemp and his new commanding officer, one Colonel Gideon Osborne, were busy plotting military-style strategy behind closed doors.

While ominous talk of "taking out Ed Balls" was briefly said to have been on the agenda before cooler heads mercifully prevailed, unreliable sources claim Gideon's bragging to anyone who will listen that "I'm the brains – Ross is the muscle".

* The good Lords Reid and Prescott may have upset plenty of Labour colleagues by siding with David Cameron and the No to AV campaign, but relations between the two old brawlers have been anything but harmonious of late. Never one not to hold a grudge, Prezza recently attempted to plonk a hefty portion of blame at Reid's door when discussing Labour's failure to strike a post-election deal with the Lib Dems last year.

Keen to trumpet the fact that he'd personally urged Gordon Brown to seek a coalition, the former deputy prime minister named and shamed Reid and David Blunkett for publicly speaking out against the idea during negotiations last May.

"David Blunkett and John Reid decided to go on the airwaves together and launch this major tack against it," he told Five Live. "Well, I hope they're looking at the mess we've got at the moment and asking themselves whether that was the right judgement." Having departed the front bench long before the dramatic events of 2010, I suspect Reid will be as surprised as anyone to learn he was wielding such influence over the nation's political future.

* Having come a cropper at the hands of that wily old dog Hugh Grant, can it be surprising that former News of the Screws hack Paul McMullan suddenly has trust issues? What with alarmist types suggesting McMullan could soon be residing "somewhere under the M40" after Grant secretly recorded him making a series of allegations against his old employers and helpfully published the lot in the New Statesman, the man himself was understandably on edge when those renowned troublemakers at Amateur Photographer hunted him down this week. "Initially, McMullan seemed surprised by a call from AP's news desk and somewhat wary of our intentions," we're told. "'Is this a wind-up?' he asked." When finally reassured it wasn't the famously versatile Hugh cunningly employing one of his many film accents, McMullan mercifully started to breathe more easily. Indeed he was soon bragging to his new pals that he'd "paid cash" for his pub in Dover, cheekily adding: "I bought it thanks to Brad Pitt and Heather Mills." So who's the loser now?

* Newspaper diarists have long searched in vain for someone to fill the void left by John Major's amiable brother Terry since the latter's passing in 2007. One potential successor in the "colourful political sibling we can mischievously ring on a quiet day" stakes emerged this week in the form of Ken Clarke's younger brother Michael, following reports he faced prosecution for selling antiques from his tea room in Lincolnshire. Initial press pictures of Clarke Junior, also a Tory councillor, gave reason for hope – not least because the long-haired individual before us looked disturbingly reminiscent of a villain from The Sweeney (I respectfully direct younger readers to ITV4). Alas, it later emerged the said snaps were indeed roughly 30 years old, with the clean-cut 2011 version sadly looking far less shady.

* Regrettable to see that some of you took exception to my report on national treasure John Cleese yesterday. While I thought my intentions were clear when suggesting his best work "could still be ahead of him", suspicious types have interpreted this as cheap sarcasm on my part.


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

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London