Diary: To find out the truth about Kate and William...
That old red republican Andrew Marr has caught the bug, and even The Guardian has run 444 stories on the young couple in five years. As it was before 1992, so it is now, those who want the juiciest royal gossip need a second language and a chance to travel.
The Paris edition of Closer magazine has a cover story alleging that the Will-Kate marriage is "long past the honeymoon period", and they are caught up in "their first marital crisis". It quotes a "source close to the couple": "She couldn't get over the fact that her husband would leave her alone and go off hunting and spending boozy nights with Harry and his mates. They exchanged very harsh words..."
No, I don't know whether this is true, but it is curious that the article is not available here, on line or in print.
A spokeswoman for the English version of Closer tells me: "We have no involvement with the French edition of the magazine."
GP to MP and now a pain for PM
David Cameron's focus on binge drinking owes a lot to the persistence of backbench MP Sarah Wollaston, a former GP. She raised the issue at Prime Minister's Questions on 14 September, when Cameron promised to meet her. He seemed reluctant to intervene, but changed his mind. Having the Prime Minister on the case raises the possibility that something might actually happen.
Dr Wollaston arrived in the Commons by an unusual route. One of the best ideas the Conservative Party had under Cameron's leadership was to hold local primaries, so that the public could choose the candidates in selected safe Tory seats. Dr Wollaston won the primary in Totnes.
Sadly, primaries are expensive and they tend to produce independent-minded MPs. Consequently the idea is not catching on.
Model role for Agyness Deyn
After her first successful film appearance playing a stripper in the Danish film Pusher, the supermodel Agyness Deyn is now about to make her theatrical debut in a stage adaption of The Leisure Society, by François Archambault, about a couple who do not realise they are happy, and so are on an obsessive quest for more money and more of everything that they think will bring happiness. They sound like bankers.
So Alastair can pull his punches
James Whitaker, the Daily Mirror's former royal correspondent, whose death from cancer was reported yesterday, is commemorated above all as the man who broke the story that Princess Diana was suffering from bulimia. She called him the "red tomato".
He was also a rare example of a Tory working for the Labour-supporting Mirror. He also had a loud voice and a thick skin. On the morning after the Conservatives' unexpected triumph in the 1992 general election, he turned up in the Mirror office proclaiming that it was a "bloody good result", rang his stockbroker, then announced to the room in general how much his shares had gone up in value overnight.
Alastair Campbell, the Mirror's political editor, was standing close enough to have landed a punch, but had been reprimanded only months earlier for thumping Michael White of The Guardian. This time he kept his fists at his side.
Red top thumps tub on Whitney
"The bath where Whitney died" was yesterday's Daily Mirror caption under a photograph of, well, a bath – an improvement in several ways on the caption that previously appeared on the paper's website, which said: "The Bath in Which Whitney Houston Could of Died in."
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