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
  • Get to the point
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: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor