Genius moments: July 2008

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The Independent Online

My, what a Dame!

At the beginning of the summer, no one would have thought that this year's most memorable bikini body would belong to a 63-year-old. But so it did, after a paparazzi photograph of the actor Helen Mirren peering out from the Italian shoreline in a red two-piece had men and women of all ages staring in frank admiration and not a little envy.

Holy family feuds!

Superheroes shouldn't have family bust-ups, surely – but the morning after the British première of the latest Batman movie, a sensational story hit the wires: Christian Bale, the Dark Knight himself (pictured below with his mother and wife), had been taken into custody over claims he hit his mum and sister (the family had reportedly argued over money in his suite at the Dorchester hotel the night before). The two lodged a complaint, but in the end the charges were dropped, and Bale consistently denied laying a finger on anyone. Christmas in the Bale household should be interesting this year.

Trevor's champagne moment

When the sainted Sir Trevor McDonald returned to front the ITN News at Ten this year, some dismissed the move as a mere publicity stunt. If that was the case, its best moment surely came when the apparently conservative veteran newsreader confessed to a pretty racy taste in booze. Sir Trevor admitted to a magazine that he has a weakness for champagne breakfasts, adding, brilliantly, that it was fine to start getting sozzled on Sunday morning at 11am because "it's already midday in Paris".

Here's one that one prepared earlier

As the credit crunch bit, an unlikely "recessionista" emerged: Princess Anne. Rather than fork out for a new outfit to wear to the wedding of Lady Rose, the daughter of the Duke of Gloucester, the ever-practical heir to the throne recycled the Maureen Baker floral-print wrap dress she wore to the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. She even sported the same floral hat. At least she had the good sense not to give the dress an outing when her brother Charles wed Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005.

Off yer bike, Dave

Poor old David Cameron popped into Tesco for some groceries and stepped out to find a bare lamppost where his bicycle had been. Time for another crime lament, perhaps. But his speechwriters reckoned without the good connections of one Ernest Theophile, a "local community elder" who asked a few questions, twisted a few (metaphorical) arms, and emerged triumphant with the bicycle intact. Cameron offered his thanks and pedalled off, the eulogy for Broken Britain was deferred another day. "You never want to see anyone have their bike nicked," Mr Theophile explained. "Not even a Tory."