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
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: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower