Diary: Tom keeps his hair on

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The Independent Online

It's now 30 years since Tom Selleck – star of the popular novelty blog Selleck Waterfall Sandwich – wasn't cast as Indiana Jones, as a result of his ongoing commitments to Magnum, PI. And he's still answering questions about his moustache. "I always get a moustache question," he told Radio Times, after the magazine invited him to offer his grooming advice. "My moustache gets so many questions he's got his own agent now. I have to refer serious questions to him. But my moustache just kind of grows, it's not grey and it is what it is. I guess I still have that testosterone flowing inside me." The happily married Selleck also admits that he once harboured a huge crush on his neighbour – who happened to be Sophia Loren. "My wife said that if I ever drove by her ranch, and she came out in her bathrobe and said, 'Tommaso, would you like a cappuccino?' I had permission to go in."

* Cheesemaker and Chipping Norton Settee Alex James is already a comfortable member of the establishment, as evidenced by a recent photo of the erstwhile Blur bassist hanging with his Cotswold-based chums Jeremy Clarkson and David Cameron. Now, the other half of the Blur rhythm section is joining the ruling classes. Drummer Dave Rowntree is halfway through his training contract at London law firm Kingsley Napley – who just happen to be the go-to guys for "rogue traders". Kingsley Napley partners Louise Hodges and Michael Caplan QC are assembling a team to represent Kweku Adoboli, the UBS trader charged with fraud and false accounting. Another partner, Stephen Pollard, represented Nick Leeson following the collapse of Barings bank in 1995.



* Future Lib Dem leadership hopeful Tim Farron has been covering all the bases this week. Deliver stirring Conference speech? Check. Dispel sordid rumours about the past? Check. (Farron has attacked "wicked" whispers that he'd been the subject of a blackmail plot over a "secret gay life".) However, the Lib Dem party president – a happily-married heterosexual – has another hurdle to clear before he can pose a serious challenge to the current party leader. As this column has disclosed, though you'd be forgiven for having forgotten, he was once Lembit Opik's lodger – and may thus be subject to The Curse of Lembit. Opik, ex-star of my notional, now-defunct sitcom Anyone But Lembit, came out in staunch support of Charles Kennedy, Mark Oaten, Simon Hughes and David Laws, soon before each of them was forced to resign either their jobs or their leadership candidacies. Until last year, Farron rented a room in Opik's south London shag-pad. Following his flatmate's electoral drubbing and subsequent spiral into stand-up comedy, the upwardly mobile Farron smartly re-located. For his sake, I do hope Lembit hasn't forgiven him just yet.



* Despite its huge popularity, Super Girl, the Chinese incarnation of Pop Idol, is being pulled from the airwaves after somebody in Beijing decided that letting its 400 million viewers decide the outcome of a talent contest by phone voting sounded a little too much like democracy, Western-style. Instead, said a spokesman for the Hunan Satellite Television Channel, they will broadcast "programmes that promote moral ethics and public safety, and provide practical information for housework". It seems there's still hope for the burgeoning superpower's fame-hungry youth, however. Yesterday a press release arrived in this column's inbox, announcing a round of UK auditions for China's Got Talent, which attracts an even more troubling 600 million viewers. Auditions will be held next month in the Chinese communities of London, Manchester and Liverpool, to find five contestants to go to Shanghai and compete in the live show. Last year's winner was the inspirational Liu Wei, an armless pianist who plays with his toes.



* Yesterday's Guardian carried a joint interview with unlikely flatmates and fellow New Statesman columnists, Laurie Penny and Nicholas Lezard. One is an angry and precocious feminist blogger with dyed hair, piercings and tattoos; the other a grizzled, middle-aged hack with a past, who likes to discuss radical politics deep into the night. Am I the only one thinking: "Salander and Blomkvist"?

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

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