Diary: Take That! (But don't party)

Apocalyptic reports from Manchester, where more than 100 women have been admitted to A&E following a series of Take That concerts. Heart palpitations? Earache? Sadly, the cause is more prosaic: lager. The City of Manchester stadium ejected 65 booze-filled young ladies during the band's gigs there, with stewards suggesting they were "worse than football fans". Most were aged between 30 and 50, and the Manchester Royal Infirmary reports that its 100 such patients suffered from a selection of alcohol-related injuries, including ankle sprains, broken wrists and alcohol poisoning. That's one show they'll "Never Forget", etc.

* When Dave Cameron unveiled his beloved "Big Society" concept, was he aware of its dubious origins? Thanks to diligent investigative work by FT bloggers, we now know that the slogan was first used by another political party with a long record of electoral success: the Communist Party of China. In 1997, the CPC launched an initiative under the title "Big Society, Small Government", purporting to encourage the stripping back of the state in favour of civil institutions. "Civilian organisations," it claimed, with chilling familiarity, "have become bridges and belts linking the Party and government with the mass, an indispensable force to promote economic development and social progress." Dave's blue-sky specialist Steve Hilton, who supposedly concocted the notion, is said to have voted Green in 2001 – one small step from Communism. If he can get rid of his prison-shy Justice Secretary, I fear Dave may start locking up his critics. Which reminds me: I must renew my passport.

* Yet more sterling work from brand synergy specialist Elisa Roche, showbusiness editor of the Daily Express, who yesterday monopolised most of the paper's third page with news from Channel 5: that other outpost of the empire ruled by Richard Desmond, as-yet-unknighted philanthropist and former publisher of Asian Babes. "Muscular rugby star" Gavin Henson has, the lovely Elisa dutifully reports, "landed a plum role as TV's The Bachelor. He is the star of the new Channel 5 reality show where gorgeous women will compete for his attention in a sun-drenched location." The Bachelor joins a Channel 5 roster bursting with sugary treats for barely conscious punters, including OK! TV, series 12 of Big Brother, and the forthcoming Candy Bar Girls, a hard-hitting, fly-on-the-wall documentary about a Soho lesbian bar. Desmond this week hailed the Channel's return to profitability on his watch. But at what cost, Richard, at what cost?

* Elsewhere in porn, Nadine Dorries – MP for Mid-Beds, teenage chastity campaigner and and alleged box of frogs – has refused an opportunity to join the prestigious Playboy Club, which opened recently in Mayfair. An anonymous prankster, Ms Dorries reports, applied for membership on her behalf, and she received a letter asking if she would like to pay the club a visit, as "some of [her] colleagues" had already done. Ms Dorries replied that that she was "intrigued but hardly surprised" to learn that her fellow MPs were (Playboy) bunny-huggers. Both letters were published on her blog. Still, given that said blog is (its author admits) 70 per cent fiction, I'd wager at least one of the letters is a fake – and that Club regulars can expect to see Ms Dorries there soon, perhaps handing out sex education leaflets.

* Bad news as usual for Nick Clegg. Reports suggest Ed Balls was seen with his hand in the small of Colin Firth's back, gently ushering him from Portcullis House this week. The actor, honoured with a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours, was once sufficiently fond of the Lib Dems to be photographed with Clegg, pre-election, in a Putney café. He withdrew his support when the party failed to oppose tuition fees. Balls, I must presume, is enlisting all-important theatricals in preparation for his assault on the Labour leadership.


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

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

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

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

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power