Diary: The other Westminster coalition

Despite Coalition tensions, there's still no sign of discord between the Cleggerons. Sam Cameron and Miriam Clegg made a convincing show of sisterhood after No 10's International Women's Day reception on Tuesday. The pair were later spotted together in the stalls at Wyndham's Theatre for a performance of Clybourne Park, named Best New Play at this week's Olivier Awards. Both, I'm told, laughed heartily at the show's most risqué (and least sisterly) joke: "Why is a white woman like a tampon?" asks one character. I'll let you Google the punchline.

* This column has already noted the response of eternally youthful ITV political editor Tom Bradby to Andrew Marr's estimated £600,000 BBC salary; Bradby's lengthy Twitter monologue on the subject ended with an only mildly convincing: "No, I am not jealous." Now, however, news of another envy-green political broadcaster, somewhat closer to home. I'm reliably informed that the BBC's Nick Robinson – once the holder of Bradby's current office – was more than a little miffed to find his wage packet eclipsed by that of his predecessor as political editor. Meanwhile, the Corporation has cooked up a lucrative new contract to retain David Dimbleby's services as Question Time host, a job for which Robinson might reasonably consider himself qualified. "It would be fair to say," one of his BBC colleagues assures me, "that Nick has been feeling a little undervalued of late."

* The Foreign Office has been rather busy recently, what with Japan, Libya, Bahrain and the ongoing search for the Foreign Secretary's mojo. As a result, I hear, the folks at King Charles Street have taken the unprecedented step of calling in retired civil servants to take up the slack. With this information in hand, I naturally rang the FCO press office to find out exactly how many retirees have been dragged from their armchairs to help out, and what their upper age limit might be. Sadly, they hadn't got back to me at time of writing – but I quite understand: they are snowed under, bless 'em. (And apparently Doris, 83, is still learning how to use email.)

* All due respect to Doris: this is no time for a novice. That said, the FCO's newest big-shot was introduced to the Queen at Buckingham Palace this week. Diplomat Iain Lindsay, a first-time ambassador, declares on the Foreign Office website that he's "thrilled" to be taking up his post "at such an exciting time". And where's he off to, exactly? The Kingdom of Bahrain. Hold on to your hat, Iain.

* So not all publicity is good publicity, after all. Jim Davidson, the un-PC middle-aged comic whose close friends include billiards player John Virgo and a Jamaican chap named Chalky White, generated plenty of press for Stand Up And Be Counted, his debut play about an un-PC, middle-aged comic. Unfortunately, the media coverage did not translate into ticket sales, and Davidson has been forced to pull the show after touring to just four of a planned 12 cities. The poor response was, Davidson claimed, the fault of the "economic climate", not of the crappy reviews and the fact that everyone's a little bored, frankly, of hearing him whinge on about his antediluvian material being misunderstood. He remains in talks, the public will be indifferent to learn, with "several West End producers" about bringing the play to London.

* Reader Clive Needle rightly rebukes me for mocking the notion of a "thinker in residence" at the government of South Australia – a post now held by John McTernan, ex-adviser to Tony Blair. One occupant of the role, writes Clive, "helped initiate a groundbreaking approach of helping all government departments take health and wellbeing more seriously." I suppose it'd be childish of me to find amusement in said thinker's name: Professor Ilona Kickbusch?


ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

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

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments