Diary: What Katie didn't do

Having recently jumped ship from the ITV newsroom to the BBC, among Katie Derham's many tasks over the coming months will be winning over the traditionally conservative listenership of Radio 3, where she's been handed the main afternoon slot. Derham has long been hailed the perfect girl next door many a hopeful suitor would have been happy to take home to their maternal parent – although considering the now 40-year-old mother of two has been married for over a decade, perhaps High Street Ken is beginning to show his age.

While her arrival on Radio 3 may be frowned upon as "populist" in some quarters, it seems listeners need not worry themselves about any potential skeletons in the cupboard. Despite being raised near Manchester where she occasionally frequented the Hacienda – home of the city's famous "acid scene" – Katie assures the Radio Times: "My experience was different from others. As a naive 17-year-old I stood around asking 'Why are these people dancing and smiling so much?'"

* Equalities minister Lynne Featherstone was quick to make her displeasure known after the politcian's supportive comments concerning actress Christina Hendricks' admirable curves were hastily ambushed by over-eager newspaper editors.

Featherstone complained her well-meaning attempt to promote Hendricks as a healthy role model for today's women was well and truly overshadowed by the resulting sultry images of the Mad Men star hastily plastered across the nation's news pages. "For goodness sake!" as Lynne herself calmly put it at the time.

Well, would you Adam'n'Eve it, Featherstone now finds herself facing a feminist backlash of her own, with critics unhelpfully suggesting she hasn't always been so steadfast in her efforts to combat such saucy old nonsense.

This is the very same Lynne Featherstone, they say, who was only too happy to trumpet the news she'd been voted Westminster's "most fanciable MP" in a Sky poll earlier this year. "Thank you Sky," she purred at the time, with what I'm categorically assured was a definite twinkle in her eye.

* David Cameron is a fat oaf who should frankly be ashamed of himself. Admittedly not the exact words of the Daily Telegraph's Andrew M Brown, but suffice to say our Prime Minister's stomach is apparently the cause of concern. Under the catchy headline "David Cameron really needs to do something about his waistline", the said correspondent disapproves of the PM's "thickening around the midriff". Recent evidence suggests Brown is the Telegraph's foremost fattist, which at least ensures Dave is in esteemed company. Along with our leader, Brown's recent hall of shame includes Eamonn Holmes and the biggest girl in Essex.

With a Tory sex scandal surely overdue, there was understandable excitement in cyberspace yesterday when the following Twitter headline reared its head: "Chris Grayling: 'I found adverts for pole-dancers, for lap-dancers, for web-cam operators'." The post, sent by Labour MP Tom Watson, proved less exciting than perhaps hoped. Further examination revealed Grayling was actually announcing a clampdown on such professions being advertised in job centres.



* BBC sports presenter Clare Balding's decision to report that old dandy AA Gill to the Press Complaints Commission isn't without its high-profile backers.

You may have already heard that Balding curiously took exception to the Sunday Times' television critic referring to her as a "dyke on a bike" in a recent review. Should she require moral support in her quest for justice, Balding should look no further than one John Prescott, who, in a personal message states: "Just heard you're taking AA Gill and Sunday Times to PCC. Good luck. Disgraceful what they wrote. Gill's a real sh**." Quite what has triggered this latest bout of hostility from the angry old sausage perhaps isn't all that difficult to locate. Following Prezza's appearance in his own BBC 2 show Prescott – The Class System And Me, Gill suggested in trademark measured fashion that he was "desperately crap at television".

Comments