Diary: The cost of curves

Never one to shy away from highlighting hypocrisy, readers may recall I was quick to note criticism of certain "quality" newspaper editors who seemed intent on publishing giant photographs of Mad Men's Christina Hendricks whenever given the slightest excuse. Indeed, I was careful to ensure my own written assault was accompanied by a sizeable picture of the said actress, just to drive home the point. (Disappointingly, certain readers later saw fit to question my motives, but that's another story).

Among Ms Hendricks' most ardent admirers this side of the Atlantic to date has been the Daily Mail – yet yesterday it seemed the tide might finally be turning. Not content with stalking Nigella Lawson across the world's beaches, less flattering pictures of Hendricks in a bathing costume prompted the following measured page three headline: "Keep it under you hat, but Christina is curvier than ever". It's only fair to suggest that the Mail's relationship with "curvy" female celebrities doesn't always end well. Indeed, as I stare into my crystal ball, I can reveal it's only a matter of time before the said publication will be eagerly informing us that Christina is "suddenly looking dangerously gaunt".

* While that old toad Sepp Blatter continues to dodge the bullets over at Fifa HQ in Zurich, news reaches me of fresh footballing controversy in the House of Commons. Having proved an influential addition to the parliamentary 11 since being elected Tory MP for Chatham and Aylesford last year, Tracey Crouch has now been banned courtesy of FA regulations regarding mixed teams.

"It's ridiculous," says Tracey – known as "Crouchy" on the field. "I have played for and against many of the members of the parliamentary team and they know I am perfectly capable of looking after myself." While not wishing to cast aspersions on her fellow players (although trust me Ed Balls is no midfield dynamo) it would be fair to suggest that Tracey is better qualified than most, having also qualified as an FA coach.

* Conspiracy theorists suggest certain political opponents are more than happy to see the back of her – take the shadow Defence Secretary and occasional goalkeeper Jim Murphy, who recently endured the considerable indignity of having the triumphant Crouch slot the ball goalwards through his legs.

News that Vince Cable once tried to flog Fidel Castro an armoured car has been met with understandable surprise in the Lib Dem ranks. Yet following revelations that Vince's stint as a young diplomat included being an arms broker, fellow MPs put matters into perspective. "It still doesn't compare to finding out Simon Hughes was paid as a dancer on Top of the Pops," I'm assured.

* National treasure John Lydon admits that relying on American coverage of the royal wedding proved a difficult and sometimes surreal experience. "It's hilarious how shockingly 'Walt Disney' the coverage is," he says. "When they want a classier point of view they go to Piers Morgan." Our deepest sympathy goes out to them.

* Less than two years into the job, Doctor Who boss Steven Moffat is getting increasingly disillusioned with the Time Lord's deadliest enemies. When asked about his plans for the Daleks, he gleefully announces in the Radio Times: "Actually, they aren't going to make an appearance for a while. We thought it was time to give them a rest." Clearly keen to get something off his chest, he adds: "There's a problem with the Daleks. They are the most famous of the Doctor's adversaries and the most frequent. Which means they are the most defeatable enemies in the universe. They have been defeated by the Doctor about 400 times. Surely they should just see the Tardis approaching, say, 'Oh. It's him again,' and trudge away?" Well if he's not going to take this seriously ...

* Reports that Roger Daltrey has been spied entertaining passengers on a cruise liner has prompted sarcasm in some quarters. Observers suggest it marks something of a come-down for a man whose band have sold over 100 million records and famously wowed the crowds at Woodstock. Still, for those of you who think there's some kind of stigma attached to a popular entertainer heading for the high seas to entertain his public, think again. Take my old mate Lembit Opik, these days a regular performer on the cruise ship circuit – you don't hear anyone suggesting that's a career in crisis!


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