Diary: Tina Fey laughs off troll slur

Tina Fey is expecting. First, a baby – her second, with husband, the composer and producer Jeff Richmond – but also further series of 30 Rock, contrary to reports, and despite the imminent departure of Alec Baldwin. If that weren't enough, there's also the publication of Bossypants, her book of autobiographical essays, for which the first US reviews are already in ("extremely funny", New York Times). Fey is most famous here for her uncanny impression of Sarah Palin during the 2008 US election. Palin may give her some well-earned time off by avoiding the 2012 race, but Fey would also be well suited to satirising Tea Party-approved potential candidate Michele Bachmann. Adored by one half of America, Fey's "Palin" earned her the ire of the other half. "Tina Fey is an ugly, pear-shaped, bitchy, over-rated troll," wrote one (probably Republican) web commenter, recalls Fey in her book. "To say I'm an overrated troll," she retorts, "when you have never even seen me guard a bridge, is patently unfair."

* It was a simpler age when, in 2001, two fresh-faced new MPs took a modest office in Westminster. Like a sugar-free Blair and Brown, James Purnell and Andy Burnham were thrusting young backbenchers, eager to rise through the Labour ranks. "Whenever a big issue broke... our phones would go almost simultaneously with media calls," the Working-Class™ Burnham once fondly recalled. "On James's desk, Radio 4; for me, Radio 5. If you want to sum up the difference between us, it's probably that." Sadly, I hear, like Blair and Brown, there are deeper differences these days. Burnham, now shadow Education Secretary, didn't take kindly to Purnell (now a civilian) telling him his job on the pages of Prospect. Purnell suggested Labour should support many of the Government's education and health reforms. Burnham, incandescent, lovingly crafted a rebuttal for the latest issue's letters page, beginning with the sarcasm-laden line: "As ever, it pays to listen carefully to what James Purnell has to say – still one of the clearest and most insightful political thinkers." Burnham isn't the only shadow cabinet member to have been heard grumbling about Jim's Coalition-friendly pronouncements from beyond the political grave. He's still aping Blair, they say, even now.

* Spotted! Nick "29 Shags" Clegg and Danny Alexander, striding into a private dining room at the Ritz for tea (or, at least, at teatime). Readers keen to be outraged that senior cabinet ministers are patronising such an upmarket establishment in this age of austerity should not jump to conclusions. There's every chance the pair were merely inspecting the damage inflicted on the hotel by the recent anti-cuts demo, for which they were – indirectly, granted – responsible. Moreover, Clegg and Alexander were (so says my source) joined by Tony Gallagher and Benedict Brogan, respectively the editor and deputy editor of The Daily Telegraph. The Telegraph and the Ritz are both owned by those noted tax exiles the Barclay brothers, so tea was probably on the house.

* Tough times at No 10 for Cameron's iPad-toting spin chief, Hapless™ Craig Oliver, as he negotiates the thin ice of NHS reform with cracks appearing – or so reports PRWeek – in the Coalition's media strategy. The Lib Dems are, allegedly, distancing themselves from the Conservatives ahead of a perilous round of local elections; some Tories even suspect their junior partners of briefing against the health plans. Meanwhile, says a Downing Street insider, "There has been much annoyance recently about Clegg's off-grid activities." Among such off-grid activities, one suspects, was Clegg's "cry me a river" interview with the New Statesman. "I have feelings," the Deputy PM claimed. A likely story.

* Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, was an accomplished actor in his youth, starring as Catholic saint Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons at Oxford, before he got into all that God malarkey. It seems his son, Pip, takes after him: reports have reached this column that Williams Jr gave a fine performance as Max Detweiler in the recent Emanuel School, Battersea production of The Sound of Music. The young fellow demonstrated not only natural comic timing, but also an impressive singing voice. Stick with theatre, Pip – better job prospects than the cloth.


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

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

HR Manager - HR Generalist / Sole in HR

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - People Change - Lond...

HR Manager - Milton Keynes - £50,000 + package

£48000 - £50000 per annum + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Shared...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home