Diary: The sheen's coming off fast

While my once troublesome drinking companion Charlie Sheen has been at pains to assure us all he's "winning" in recent days, it seems Old Father Time is suddenly having a good laugh at his expense. Much like my good self, Sheen's youthful looks have long been at odds with a life of high-profile decadence. Yet, ever since it emerged he was swapping a lucrative career on a top US sitcom for a new vocation as the world's best village idiot, it's been hard not to notice that this once seemingly ageless handsome rogue (45) is looking increasingly frayed at the edges by the day. While one theory doing the rounds suggests his terminated contract with CBS included an all-important "eternal youth" guarantee, the now "sober" Sheen's recent brag that he out-drugged Keith Richards could come back to haunt him – if Charlie keeps ageing at this rate, there's every chance he too could be up for playing Johnny Depp's dishevelled on-screen Dad before the year's out. It's certainly not for me to suggest a hasty return to the vodka and Colombian marching powder.

* It would be fair to conclude that we've come some way since that dashing young leader of the Lib Dems was being hailed as "more popular than Winston Churchill" during last year's election campaign. Indeed, in those far-off barmy days when the all-important phrase "I agree with Nick" proved an ideal chat-up line for those of us cynical enough to use it, I'm sure forward-thinking party bosses felt they were playing a blinder by cunningly scheduling the Lib Dems' spring conference this year to be in Cleggover's backyard of Sheffield.

What better way to celebrate all those months on than seeing a beaming Saint Nick riding back into the welcoming bosom of his South Yorkshire homeland?

And now, of course, comes the snag: "This weekend is going to be a bloody nightmare!" shrieks one panicked local party stalwart. "In between the planned protests from unions, students and general trouble-makers, we're told the entire public transport infrastructure could come under unbearable pressure. Even Winston Churchill got abuse when he came here." Still, he wasn't as popular as this bloke.

* Yesterday saw the Daily Mail website go all nostalgic with a picture-led spread on Adolf Hitler's wife, Eva Braun. Rare photos included Frau Hitler "blacking up" as Al Jolson – along with some wholesome swimwear shots which, I'm sure, were warmly met in certain corners of Middle England. Loyal readers were quick to make their feelings known in the comments section as a healthy debate gathered momentum. While more alarmist types were "chilled to the bone" and "feeling quite sick", Eva was hailed elsewhere as the "ultimate groupie". One correspondent calmly added: "Ah ha! Hitler's girlfriend blacked up! That should have the old PC Brigade foaming at the mouth!"

* My betting career hasn't been without its setbacks, but I still know unflattering odds when I see them. So when the charming girls behind the Foxy Bingo Celebrity Mum of the Year shortlist informed me that Her Majesty is languishing at 16-1, I knew it was time to walk away. My hunch is a certain "trade envoy" is to blame!

* Labour MP – and, I'm reliably assured, future world leader – Chuka Ummuna, is known to be blessed with his own sense of destiny. Yesterday's article by Dan Hodges in Labour Uncut proved suitably measured when assessing the great man's talents. After daring to mention the "unthinkable"(?) day when Little Ted ceases to be Labour leader, Hodges was quick to place Chuka among the contenders. "Chuka is not an MP," he stated, before helpfully adding: "He is a concept. A lifestyle choice." And with that, finally, I understood.

* I've been around long enough to know you insult a national treasure at your peril, so perhaps I shouldn't be surprised that my description of excitable Sky political hack Jon Craig as a "mad old parrot" yesterday has been met with steely defiance by the great man himself. "I see High Street Ken's Diary in The Independent calls me a 'mad old parrot' who's 'regularly squawking' at embattled government ministers," he writes, before sensitively adding "Old?". Of course, what I meant to say is that the esteemed Mr Craig is, in fact, a middle-aged mad old parrot. My apologies.

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