Diary: Thompson extends seasonal goodwill to old pal Murdoch

At this time of year, it behoves us to forego the cynicism and embrace child-like romanticism. So hats off to Mark Thompson for lighting that path with the most touching show of faith since Clarice Starling led a census-taker into the sitting room with a cheery: "Now Hannibal, darling, you will play nice, won't you, while I pop down the offy for a nice bottle of Chianti. I've left the fava beans in the saucepan by the stove to soak."

The BBC director-general shows his support for Fox News-style channels over here, on the grounds that TV impartiality rules are passé in the internet age. "Why shouldn't the public be able to see and hear," he mused last week, "as well as read a range of opinionated journalism and then make up their own mind?" With uncanny timing, a University of Maryland study reveals that frequent Fox viewers were the most misinformed segment of US society on matters relating to the 2010 election cycle. Given that Thommo also claimed that Rupert Murdoch personally informed him of his desire to Foxify Sky News, something which his editors had "brushed off", Scrooges may wonder whether this is a brazen crack at ingratiation aimed at persuading Rupert to temper the campaign to destroy the BBC. This is just the kind of sneery cynicism with no place in our festive wonderland. Mark Thompson believes in Father Christmas, even when he departs Lapland disguised as Davros, and if that doesn't restore a little seasonal faith in the essential goodness of man, can anyone tell me what will?

On Wednesday, meanwhile, Thommo is schedule to release a statement about the loss of significant emails, during transportation to India, between News of the World executives and reporters regarding the bugging of phones. "In any large media organisation," the D-G is expected to say, "these accidents will happen. It's time to stop paranoid fixating on what was, at worst, a minor misunderstanding, and move on." So say all of us.

As for Mark's decision to let Huw Edwards anchor the Beeb's royal wedding coverage, this also receives the Paul McCartney thumbs-up. The opportunity to plap platitudinous drivel for hours is an honour to which no one is better suited than Huw. Rumours that Jim Naughtie will present an irreverent neo-punk wedding broadcast on BBC 3, styled after the C4's Alternative Queen's Speech, remain resolutely undenied.



* In his first outing since retiring as a blogger, Iain Dale takes Mail on Sunday space to attack Julian Assange. Ian makes some clever points, not least by directly equating WikiLeaks' revelations (such trivia as footage of US fighter pilots mowing down Afghan civilians) with papers hacking phones in pursuit of randy footballers. Equally hard to argue with is his closing call for Assange to turn himself in to the Swedes. "If he's as innocent as he says, what does he have to fear?" Searingly original, and absolutely right. It's hardly as if the Swedes would come under fearsome pressure to extradite him to the US. And even if they did, what could he possibly have to fear in Washington? The blogophere's grievous loss is the mainsteam media's bounteous gain.

* How splendid to find Ed Miliband carving time to Tweet about a new Blue Peter presenter. We wish Little Ed the most fraternal of Yuletides, and reassure him that even if his current trajectory is maintained in 2011, Labour MPs will not despair. All they will do is glance covetously along the back benches towards his loving brother, and console themselves with a cheery: "Now there's one we prepared earlier".

* Elizabeth Hurley: an apology. Last week, I warmly praised Ms Hurley for self-sacrificially pulling Shane Warne in London to prevent him flying home to rescue Australian cricket. After yesterday's Ashes denouement in Adelaide, we unreservedly withdraw that praise. Clearly the Aussies concluded that, if they raised their game to Warnian heights, they would be similarly rewarded. That affair has now ended after she caught Shane saucily texting another (this increasingly piscine tale might have been scripted by Max Clifford). If she wants to redeem herself, she'll take the first available flight to Melbourne to establish a physically draining ménage a trois with Mitch Johnson and Mike Hussey (Mr Cricket) forthwith. She owes us no less.

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
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment & HR Administrator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Business Partner

£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...

Recruitment Genius: Senior HR Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company's vision is to be t...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'