Diary: Twilight to the rescue

Twilight hype update: following news that Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, are among the most powerful celebrities in the world (according to
Forbes magazine, at least) and that
Twilight: Eclipse is the biggest US cinema opening in history, screening yesterday on 4,416 screens across the States, we were also delighted to receive an email advertising some unofficial,
Twilight-related merchandise to add to the keyring, the lipstick, the duvet cover, and the special edition DVD. Yes, it's a rape alarm. What else? "This revolutionary personal alarm," reads the release, "works by emitting an ear-piercing female shriek when activated that will shock and disorientate even the nastiest of vampires giving precious seconds to escape and alert the Cullens and werewolves." We're still trying to decide whether the company responsible should be mocked for its rank opportunism, or praised for smartly tapping into a teen phenomenon in order to ensure the safety of vulnerable young
Twilight fans. Just as long as they don't really expect R-Patz to turn up when they use it; that could make for a seriously noisy summer.

* Unemployed Lembit Opik, 45 – former MP, ex-Cheeky fiancé and stand-up comic – is considering running for Mayor of London. And yet, he tells the Shropshire Star, he's still keen to stand again in Montgomeryshire. Which is it to be, City Hall or the Commons? "If you were offered a pair of trousers or a sandwich," Lembit answers when I call, "which would you prefer? There's no overlap." Well, being an MP didn't stop Boris, I suppose. "If London's interested and the Lib Dems are interested then so am I," Lembit goes on (and on). "But I'm not going to run for Mayor in some narcissistic way... I've got a very strong public service ethos; it's just the way I am. I spent longer than anyone else in British politics on the Northern Ireland brief. I've said we should have a fast timetable of withdrawal from Afghanistan. I've said we should seek a settlement with the Taliban. I've said we should offer hard drugs on prescription to addicts. That's the kind of thing I'd talk about as a mayoral candidate," he explains, increasingly breathless. "But that's not what I get reported for. I get reported for who I go out with. Report me as wacky Lembit if you want, but you could report me as left-wing libertarian Lembit." Gosh, this is all getting a bit serious, Lembit. Heard any good jokes lately?

* Diane Abbott was scheduled to appear on BBC2's The Daily Politics today with frenemy Andrew Neil (blogs Westminster's stirrer-in-chief Guido Fawkes), but mysteriously cancelled the encounter. Scared of being asked about those taxi receipts again? Apparently not, explains her office: Diane has "a long-standing commitment to speak to some American students, but's she's happy to do the show and is looking at other possible dates." Her fellow Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham will appear with Neil tonight, but we presume she'll return to her £36,000pa spot on the sofa should she fail to win the leadership. "I don't think she's thinking beyond the campaign, to be honest," says her spokesperson. A BBC spokesperson, on the other hand, tells us the corporation is expecting Abbott back after the summer recess. As are the rest of us.

* As we're on the phone to the BBC, and Andy Murray is swearing silently in high-definition slow-motion on the office telly, we must ask: does the Beeb have a policy on silent, high-definition, slow-motion use of the f-word, as employed repeatedly by England goalkeeper David James during the World Cup? "If there's any audible swearing, we apologise immediately on air," says Scott from BBC Sport. "It's more difficult with visual – with audio you know exactly what they're saying because you can hear it." Trust me, Scott, you know exactly what Murray is saying without hearing it. "Well, the whole point of the slo-mo is to convey the emotion the player is feeling at that moment." Job done, then.

* It's reassuring to learn that even Oxford Today, the official magazine of the University of Oxford, makes the odd mistake. And, moreover, that the university's celebrated alumni continue to take an interest in their alma mater. Rowan Atkinson wrote to the magazine this month to correct its spelling. "In your interview with Monty Python actor Terry Jones," he complains, "you referred repeatedly to his involvement with the 'Oxford Review'. When I was at Oxford, my involvement was with Oxford Revue. Call me picky, but I think that I was involved with the one better spelt." Picky.


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

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Officer

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - London - £40,000 + Bonus

£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own