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

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Recruitment Genius: HR Advisor

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our Client has been the leader ...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project