Diary: Unjustified fashion faux pas

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The Independent Online

He's recorded two wonderful solo albums, acted in an Oscar-winning movie, dated some of the world's most beautiful women and even founded his own clothing line, William Rast. Yes, Justin Timberlake is certainly one of my personal style icons. But even the best of us have fashion regrets, as he confessed ahead of the release of his new film, Friends with Benefits. "God, I feel I've gone to therapy just to erase some of them," Timberlake told Playboy.

"The cornrows I wore with 'N Sync. That was pretty bad. Britney and I wore matching denim outfits [to the 2001 American Music Awards]. Yeah, another bad choice. I'd probably pay good money to get some of those pictures off the internet." Er... did you mean these ones, JT?

* Few of its occupants leave the office of Home Secretary covered in glory, but one might reasonably expect to leave it without being covered in excrement. Sadly, that was the fate that threatened Theresa May this week, after a pipe from the Commons press gallery loo became blocked on Tuesday (the identity of the hack responsible for said blockage remains a mystery). An emergency plumbing team successfully dealt with the matter – fecal or otherwise – before the annual press gallery summer party that evening, but there were complaints later that the loos had started to empty into the private rooms of the Home Secretary below. "I'm sorry to say," read a note passed to lobby journalists from May's office, "that the investigation of the further leak from the press gallery loos has shown that the pipe is still partially blocked." Surely a senior cabinet minister shouldn't have to put up with this crap?

* Among the fawning parliamentarians eager to shake Barack Obama's hand following his recent speech in Westminster Hall was Glenda Jackson, former film star and longstanding MP for Hampstead. The pair had an unusually lengthy chat, given how many pinstriped fanboys were jostling the President for his autograph. Turns out they were discussing public speaking. Ms Jackson demonstrated a gift for oratory in her most famous role, as Elizabeth I in Elizabeth R. She told Obama that his use of long pauses was fantastic, and that he had a remarkable ability to hold an audience. (Oh, really? You don't say.) Obama, for his part, assured Glenda, "I admire your work." He didn't specify which were his favourite films from the Jackson oeuvre, though I like to imagine he's seen The Music Lovers, The Romantic Englishwoman and Women In Love. If not, the salient scenes are all easily searchable online (NSFW).

* More domestic details from the Gove household, courtesy of Times writer and flapjack-maker extraordinaire, Sarah Vine – aka Mrs Michael Gove. The Education Secretary, Vine explains in her diary-baiting weekly column, "loves nothing more than a pair of dead man's trousers, preferably set off by a nice pair of worn shoes and a slightly stained tie... He gets most of his stuff from a [second-hand] shop in Kensington called Hornets." (I know it well.) Mr Gove's prize purchase is, she claims, a pair of "terracotta orange corduroys", which he has sadly never worn beyond his front door owing to their "luminescent gingerish hue". Oh, go on Michael – you know they'd liven up Education Questions.

* During the melancholy days and weeks after he was cast prematurely into the political wilderness, former future Labour leader David Miliband declined to attend Prime Minister's Questions, so as to avoid the House of Commons cameras lingering on any involuntary facial spasms and thus overshadowing his brother's performances. His battle-weary allies later let it be known that Miliband (D) would start to attend again, as soon as he was "asked to" by Miliband (E). It's now nine months since that fateful Labour conference, and still no sign of the ex-Foreign Secretary at the weekly duel across the despatch box. With reports of his return from exile rife (as shadow cabinet member, or emergency leadership replacement), wouldn't this be the moment to show his face?