The Feral Beast: Game, set and match

Playful, but with sharp claws

It was the wedding of the year, for the Chipping Norton set at least. I can disclose that yesterday saw the marriage of the Hon Henry Allsopp to Naomi Gummer at her family home in Oxfordshire. She is the eldest daughter of Lord Chadlington, the PR guru chairman of Huntsworth and brother of ex-Tory minister John Gummer. A lobbyist and close friend of David Cameron, Lord C sold the PM a parcel of land next door to his home in Dean, which Dave forgot to declare last year. The groom is the 38-year-old brother of TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp, and the son of Christie's chairman, Lord Hindlip. His godmother is the Duchess of Cornwall. And, just to complete the circle, Naomi Gummer works at Google under Rachel Whetstone, the wife of Cameron's ex-chief adviser, Steve Hilton. Before Google, she was Jeremy Hunt's parliamentary assistant. Piccolo mondo! Lord Chadlington was rather busy yesterday when I called, and the vicar declined to discuss the guest list. Still, we trust the best man remembered to include the story of Henry's scrape with customs in Bermuda – he was found to be, er, wearing a condom filled with weed.

The Hive's all a buzz

If your brother is Nick Hornby, and you're married to Robert Harris, you might think there were enough novelists in the family. Not Gill Hornby, who has written one of her own. It's called The Hive, and will be published by Little, Brown next summer. "It was nervous-making, knowing that they were in the same game," she tells me. "But obviously it didn't put me off that much, as I've written it." Nick Hornby's hits include About a Boy, High Fidelity and Fever Pitch, a football memoir, while Harris has made millions with thrillers such as Fatherland and Pompeii. Gill tells me The Hive draws on her experiences as a mother of four children, and is about a group of mothers who meet at the primary school gates every day. "I'm clearly marking out my own territory," she laughs. "There isn't a swastika or toga in sight."

Allegro has a prang

Allegra Stratton has been political editor of Newsnight for just three months, but already she is courting controversy. A single mother interviewed by Stratton on Wednesday's show says she is "fuming" at how "the piece was edited to make me seem like a jobless ponce", and is considering making a formal complaint. Shanene Thorpe says she was made to seem as if she is unemployed, when in fact she works. She also says Stratton asked her "Do you think you should have had your daughter?", though this was edited out of the final cut. A BBC spokesman says: "We are sorry to hear Shanene Thorpe is unhappy. The interview was set up by Tower Hamlets council. Newsnight is yet to receive a complaint but if or when we do we will respond directly to Miss Thorpe regarding her concerns." Stratton will take it all in her stride: in the lobby, she was used to being called "Allegedly" Stratton, and with a sister called Portia, is quite used to silly diary jokes about being the Austin Allegro of the family.

I-musical

Her first novel was such a hit that it became a Hollywood movie, starring Sarah Jessica Parker. Now, Allison Pearson has turned her second into a musical. Following the success of I Don't Know How She Does It, her chick-lit work of 2002, Pearson has adapted I Think I Love You for the stage. It tells the story of a teenage girl's crush on David Cassidy in the 1970s. "It lends itself to musical theatre, with all those David Cassidy numbers," she tells me. The question remains whether they will get permission to use them. Pearson co-wrote the script with her partner, Anthony Lane, film critic for The New Yorker. How did she find working with her husband? "Not too bad, actually."

Magnum opus

John Suchet has carved out an impressive second career in classical music since giving up news-reading in 2004. This, despite his wife Bonnie's diagnosis in 2006 with Alzheimer's. Last year, he toppled Simon Bates as Classic FM's weekday breakfast host, and now, he is writing a book on Beethoven, his favourite composer - and not for the first time: he has already written five books about The Master, including a biography that took him 10 years. Other works include a three-part novel based on Beethoven's life. Can one have too much of a good thing?

Ministry of hot air

If you can't stand the heat, it's no good getting out of the kitchen. The Department of Energy and Climate Change is piping the hot air from its kitchen through the ventilation system to keep its canteen cosy, Energy minister Greg Barker has revealed. It means he won't have to heat the whole building simply to raise the temperature in the staff eatery. Presumably this also means the aroma of pie and chips will also be wafted through. Though after Barker was found to be using the office microwave to heat his dachshund's beanbag, staff must be used to the smell of hot dogs.

Jolly boats

Much excitement about the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant on the Thames next Sunday, with some papers nearly going into meltdown. But has anyone seen the forecast? On the Weather Channel, the 10-day prognosis says scorchio every day until Saturday, but big black clouds on Sunday. Oh dear.

Bully book

David Cameron was taunted in last week's PMQs with shouts of "Flashman", the bully in Tom Brown's Schooldays. So what did his Schools minister, Nick Gibb, mean by saying he'd like to send a copy of the book to every child in Britain? His odd choice, apparently endorsing Labour's view that his leader is a public school bully, came at the end of Any Questions on Radio 4. Panellists were asked which book should be sent to every schoolchild, and all tried to make a link to the fact they were in Rugby. Host Jonathan Dimbleby even tried to suggest that Shakespeare was born there (er, try Stratford-upon-Avon). Gibb's choice of Tom Brown's Schooldays was met with hearty applause, but what must they think in Downing Street?

Counting the days

Sad news for student watchers of Countdown – Rachel Riley is getting married. The 26-year-old brainbox, who replaced Carol Vorderman in 2009, broke up with businessman boyfriend Jamie Gilbert in 2010. But soon after they got back together, he proposed, and wedding preparations are now in full swing. I understand Rachel has even signed an exclusive arrangement with a certain publication, so there's no going back. On Thursday, she told viewers about her hen party 'this weekend'. But Countdown is recorded weeks in advance, and her people admit the party was long ago. Would Carol have made such a boo-boo?

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: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

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...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
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