The Feral Beast: Aled Jones is walking off the air

Playful, but with sharp claws

Sad news for fans of Aled Jones, the baby-faced chorister turned housewives' favourite. His glittering media career is losing some its lustre, for he has lost not one but three BBC jobs in quick succession. In October, he was toppled from Songs of Praise, and replaced with Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull. Then, just before Christmas, Radio 2 announced they were replacing him on Good Morning Sunday after six years with Clare Balding, now officially the nation's favourite personality. Now, Radio 3 has also ditched Aled as presenter of The Choir, the Sunday night show he launched in 2007. Intriguingly, the show will continue, but no replacement host has been announced. Today's edition has a guest presenter, Suzy Digby. It would be tempting to suppose Jones is being punished for signing up with rivals ITV: last summer, he became the new face of troubled breakfast show Daybreak. But the BBC insists it is keen to work with him again. Aled's people decline to comment.

Chopin list...

You have to marvel at Alan Rusbridger for learning to play the Chopin Ballade while editing a national newspaper. But in the recent deluge of interviews to promote his new book, Play It Again, did the Guardian editor occasionally strike a bum note? In the third of five half-hour Radio 3 interviews with Sarah Walker, on Wednesday, in the third of five half-hour interviews, he said "If anyone out there would like to give me £100,000 to conduct the Verdi Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall, they know where to find me." But even he must know Britain could be entering a triple-dip recession. After all, he did volunteer to cut his salary from £438,900 to £395,010.

Cool winnings

Much excitement in the world of jazz ahead of last week's inaugural Jazz FM Awards. Some might wonder if what the world needs is yet another red carpet bean-feast. Still, for up-and-coming musicians, a prize can make all the difference. So, which rising stars got the gongs? Er, Ronnie Scott's, the Soho jazz club that's been around since 1959, won Best UK Jazz Venue. As it happens, Ronnie Scott's managing director Simon Cooke was one of the judges. Next up? Best Jazz Media went to the magazine Jazzwise, even though the mag's editor and publisher Jon Newey was also, um, on the judging panel. And what about the coveted Album of the Year award? That went to John Surman, and no doubt was richly deserved. But what to make of the fact it was released by the Serious record label, whose director is one John Cumming. Yup, he was a judge too. Well, the whole point of jazz is there aren't any rules. Just as long as everyone was having a good time!

Railroad blues

Miranda Seymour's 2007 memoir about her eccentric father and his beloved country house was a success d'estime here and in the US. Now, the future of Thrumpton Hall has been blighted by the arrival of HS2. The proposed line for the second phase of the high-speed railway, revealed on Monday, will pass just 150 yards from the writer's Nottinghamshire home. "It's incredibly sad," she tells me from the Grade I-listed house, where she lives with her mother. "We're all devastated, as we've worked so hard to keep the house going. I haven't dared tell my mother, as it would finish her off." Simon Jenkins listed Thrumpton in his book of England's Thousand Best Houses, naming its giant Jacobean staircase as the best in Britain. "Norman Foster's line will pass yards away from the staircase on the west side, where the window has all its original glass. I'm very disconcerted to think what will happen to the building's stability." In My Father's House revealed how George Fitzroy Seymour was obsessed with Thrumpton until, late in life, he discovered a passion for motorbikes and young men. Seymour is just finishing a new book, Stories from England and Germany, out in September. Previous subjects for books include Ottoline Morrell, Henry James, and Helle Nice, who raced Bugattis.

Party antics

David Yelland once admitted to keeping a bottle of vodka in his drawer when editor of The Sun. Those days are long behind him, so it was mineral water only for him on Thursday at a party to celebrate 25 years of PR firm Brunswick, where he now works. But it was champagne a gogo for everyone else at the lavish bash held at London's Century Club, where a whole floor had been booked. The talk of the night was the forthcoming wedding of senior partner Nick Claydon, 45, who is engaged to ex-model Charlotte Wheeler, 27. The lofty daughter of spread-betting tycoon Stuart Wheeler used to work at Brunswick, but left last year to join Lynton Crosby's lobbying firm, CTF Partners. Wheeler pere famously donated £5m to the Tories' election campaign in 2001, but has dramatically abandoned them in favour of Ukip. Crosby's firm has been hired to help the Tories win the next election. Christmas chez Wheelers must have been fun!

Vieux savant

Will the next champion of Mastermind be a Frenchman? The possibility arises after Didier Bruyere made it through to the semi-finals in the latest series. There has never been a foreign winner of the BBC 2 show, since it started in 1972, but there's nothing to stop it happening. Bruyere's specialist subject in last week's show was Marie Curie, winning him a respectable onze points. But he really cleaned up in the general knowledge round, scoring 16. Perhaps it's not surprising Bruyere did so well: he is a professional quizzer, and frequently represents France. And his GK questions last week were hardly difficile: they included, what cocktail is made of vodka and tomato juice, and which flower inspired Wordsworth's poem "I wandered lonely as a cloud"? And we so wanted to see his shrug.

Tate Maze

Tate Britain will reopen fully with much fanfare in May, after a £45m refurb. But one change they are keeping quiet about is the scrapping of room numbers. According to my source, Tate grandees consider numbers in galleries "unfriendly". Director Penelope Curtis has been gushing about the excitement of re-hanging the pictures in chronological order, and "making the building easier to navigate". So from May, if you ask to see, say, The Lady of Shallot, you'll be sent to the 1880s room. That's all very well, but some say that scrapping numbers could make life more difficult in an emergency. Bizarrely, I'm told Tate staff will still have their own "secret" numbers for the galleries, but they won't be marked in the actual rooms or in the plans. Isn't that a bit unfriendly? Or is Tate hoping to attract wealthy donors, to whom it can dedicate rooms?

Less than perfick manners

For some, David Jason will forever be remembered as the saucepot wheeler-dealer in The Darling Buds of May. Jason played philandering Pa Larkin in the ITV adaptation of H E Bates's novels. But the actor, who turned 73 yesterday, briefly slipped back into character last week, as he stepped into a lift inside the Gherkin in London. Four young women took the same lift, leaving Searcy's restaurant on the top floor, after lunch. Turning to the party, he said with a twinkle: "I hope we get stuck in this together!" Never mind that his wife, Gill Hinchcliffe, was standing behind. Mmm....

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
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat