Diary: Seconds out – Brian vs Elvis

The last time Brian Wilson threw a punch, he tells GQ.com, was in 1976. "At Elvis! He knew karate, right, so as soon as I raised my hand he [chopped] it out of my way. It was in a recording studio in Los Angeles," explains the former Beach Boy, in London this week to appear on Later With Jools Holland. "He had a really long burgundy cape on and kept calling everyone 'Duke'." The memory is sweeter for the knowledge that both men were in questionable shape in 1976, thanks to hamburgers and a combined drug intake to rival any East European weightlifting team.

* Much exaggerated talk of Women's Hour presenter Jenni Murray being the worse for wear at the Sony Radio Awards. The old gal was certainly standing without assistance when I asked her if she had any professional regrets. The one person she'd wanted desperately to interview, Murray told me enthusiastically – with nary a word slurred – was "a country and western singer best known for recording 'Stand By Your Man'. She was about to come over [to the UK], but then she died two weeks before her trip, so I missed her. It was the heartbreak of my career. Now, why can't I remember her name?" ( It was Tammy Wynette. We got there in the end.)



* A sad day for the English language: Simon Heffer – conservative columnist (small/large "c"), scourge of sloppy grammar and associate editor of the Daily Telegraph – is leaving the paper after a quarter century of loyal service. Heffer, distraught staff were informed yesterday, is departing "to pursue a role in journalism and broadcasting that will allow him to complete a major literary project while developing his academic interests". The venerable carrot-top joined the Telegraph in 1986 and, 10 short years at the Mail aside, has been there ever since. Hefferites were shocked when he was overlooked for the deputy editor's role in 2009. Despite taking a sabbatical to write his middlingly-received guide to English grammar and usage – Strictly English: the Correct Way to Write... and Why it Matters (I haven't read it. Can you tell?), Heffer has spent the past year managing the estimable organ's graduate scheme and defending the integrity of its style book. A new edition of said style book will be published this autumn, and made available to the Telegraph-reading public for the first time. Fitting tribute to its fiercest advocate.



* Jeremy Hunt's promised crackdown on social networks, in the wake of the super-injunction furore, will do little to halt the spread of a compelling new viral advertisement for Sunderland's Duvet and Pillow Warehouse (They sell duvets and pillows from a warehouse, or so it is alleged). The ad's star is a cheerful man with substantial eyebrows named Charles "Charlie" Hunt. Hunt (C), the company's chief executive and clearly a born performer, is also Hunt (J)'s brother.



* Yesterday, this column carried a report on deposed Sheffield Council leader (and future Liberal Democrat peer, probably) Paul Scriven – once the star of his own viral ad, for the city's Mercure hotel.

Continuing our series on council leaders and their favourite hotels, we come to Cllr Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham's Tory group, which last week bucked the national trend by losing six seats and being overtaken by Labour. Birmingham voters were perhaps wary of his insistence that, in these austere times, the council had to "do more for less".

Whitby, local reports suggest, has been in hiding since election day. Might he be holed up at Birmingham's Regency Hyatt Hotel, where he last year rented two king-size rooms to "create a suite" for himself for the duration of the Conservative Party Conference (despite living four miles away, and employing the services of a chauffeur)?

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

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

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

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

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone