Diary: You must be joking, Stewart

Comedian Stewart Lee is not amused by an online vote to find a "comedy god" among the past winners of (and nominees for) the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award and its predecessor, the Perrier. The poll to celebrate the award's 30th year is, Lee suggests in an email to its publicist Anna Arthur (seen by comedy website
Chortle.co.uk), "the most shameful, inane thing I have seen in all the years I have been doing the [Edinburgh] Fringe." The awards have, he goes on, been criticised previously for the developing world policies of Perrier's parent company Nestlé, among other things. Moreover, "It is not possible for the outcome of this poll to have any credibility. How dare you proceed with this farcical, selfish idea?... Corporate whores. Morons. Illiterates... Your cynicism is breathtaking." And so on. This aversion to polls didn't stop Lee appearing as a talking head on the Channel 4 show,
The 100 Greatest Stand-Ups (decided by public vote), then naming his 2008 stand-up tour accordingly: 41st Best Stand Up Ever.

* The Times chose to run the news of Lord Black's release on its front page yesterday, while The Guardian printed it on the first page of its Financial section. The Mail, meanwhile, went big on page 11 (using the now-famous "fancy dress" photo of Black and his wife, Barbara Amiel) and The Independent found a modest slot on page seven. Yet for some reason The Telegraph, of which Black was once owner, relegated the tale to a tiny news-in-brief slot on its world news pages. Even more curiously, a blog for the paper's website by Toby Young, entitled "Congratulations to Conrad Black on being granted bail", was removed early yesterday morning. Any idea why, Toby? "I honestly don't know." Can you tell me what it said? "Erm... It's actually kind of a bad time." I asked the Telegraph's press office, too, but they haven't got back to me yet.

* Happily, Diary has a web-savvy chum who soon salvaged said blog entry from something called a "cache". Young, it seems, is a fan of Lord Black ("Good luck, Conrad. I hope you knock your persecutors into a cocked hat.") because the disgraced magnate once backed him in a battle with former Sunday Times editor Harold Evans. In 1998, Young wrote a critical piece for The Spectator – then under Black's ownership – about Evans's departure as president of Random House. Evans threatened legal action, though he eventually backed down. Young has discussed the imbroglio previously (I Googled it), so I can't imagine why the Telegraph chose to delete the blog. But perhaps it's down to the new revelation that, asked whether he would support young Young in the event of a potentially costly libel suit, Black allegedly replied: "Damn right I will ... Harold Evans is a fucking Communist."

* News arrives of a football match earlier this week between the Conservative Party and a combined Football League/Sport England team at Barnet FC's surprisingly plush training ground. The Tories, however, only managed to muster eight party workers and backbenchers for their team, meaning their rivals had to lend them players to make up the numbers. Luckily they're used to that sort of arrangement, and the Tory coalition team went on to win on penalties. I can only assume Jeremy Hunt, the minister responsible for sport, was too busy picking out paintings for his office walls (as I reported yesterday) to attend.

* The BBC has been given the go-ahead from MI5 and Westminster Council to build a US embassy-style concrete and steel barrier around Broadcasting House, to protect the building from vehicular terrorist attacks. Perhaps the Beeb ought to be more worried about attacks on the licence fee from Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt (he also does sport) – especially as the scheme is going to cost the Corporation a reported £5m.

* Another eye-catching Daily Express front page splash yesterday: "CANCER ALERT IN HOUSE CLEANERS: Using polish can double risk of breast tumours." Surely they meant "Polish"?

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment & HR Administrator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Business Partner

£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...

Recruitment Genius: Senior HR Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company's vision is to be t...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate