Hollywood awaits a remake of 'The Quiet Man'

Thus far, glamour, celebrity and swanning around Los Angeles swimming pool parties in skimpy speedos have eluded the professional career of the former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

All that may be about to change, however, as the kingdom of Hollywood A-listers opens up before him like the lost world to which he has always truly belonged.

Duncan Smith will no doubt be thrilled to learn that he will soon be able to peer down the boardroom table at one of America's leading filmmakers.

IDS recently accepted a non-executive directorship at Global DataCenter Management (he has not yet informed Parliament). One of the founding shareholders is the JFK and World Trade Centre director Oliver Stone.

The two unlikely watercooler companions have been brought together by the almost unutterably boring task of flogging software to prevent super-computers from overheating. The chairman, John Moreton, is their mutual friend. He made his name running nursing homes. [Let's get the scriptwriters to liven up this bit - Ed.]

"As one of the shareholders, Oliver Stone will be expected to attend a couple of meetings each year," says a spokesman for the firm. "Perhaps Mr Duncan Smith can bag himself a walk-on part in one of his films."

Alas, a Duncan Smith aide knew nothing of plans for a feature-length epic of the real Quiet Man's life, and so it is impossible to confirm rumours that Vin Diesel has been auditioned for the part. More soon...

Roar of disapproval for Ewan's hot air

Last week the royal equestrian sleb Zara Phillips took flak from the Campaign Against the Arms Trade for promoting "unethical" Land Rover.

Now Ewan McGregor finds himself pursued down the street by protester types, this lot a (fragrant) enviro bunch.

The actor accepted Land Rover's dollar to narrate a recent sales film marketing the steel box as the means to achieve your dreams.

His endorsement is strange because he has worked with Greenpeace and is a "Goodwill Ambassador" for Unicef children's charity.

The Alliance Against Urban 4x4s wrote to McGregor two weeks ago, asking if he might donate his fee to charity. Says spokeslady Sian Berry: "Supporting 4x4s doesn't fit with child welfare. Aside from the accidents outside school gates, they hasten global warming, which will increase droughts, floods and child suffering." McGregor hasn't replied.

Tate not bovvered

The cast and crew behind the Christmas special of Doctor Who looked the worse for wear at yesterday morning's advance screening, since many had been at the pantomime-themed boozefest celebrating the civil partnership of Little Britain comic Matt Lucas. Someone pour David Tennant ("Button") a herbal tea.

His co-star for the episode, Catherine Tate, said she wasn't asked to stay on for next year's series. (She'd excel as a matronly new doctor's assistant.)

"It was one of the most fun things I've filmed but they didn't ask me to do it. So I don't tend to dwell on my failures."

Asked if she would be too embarrassed to watch the film on Christmas Day, she added: "Noooo. I looove watching myself. I might black everyone else's faces out so it's just me on screen."

Bum note

Morrissey's mercurial mouthpiece Merck Mercuriadis (a real name) has been in touch with Pandora, after the attack on the singer by Manchester's "godfather of music", Tony Wilson.

(To recap: Wilson told me Morrissey was "a nasty human being" who "treats people like shit".)

Says Mercuriadis: "I read that with some amusement, because in 2004 Tony Wilson spent the better part of six months begging for Morrissey to be the keynote speaker at his In The City [music] convention.

"We declined and it would appear that the taste of sour grapes continues to linger."

I am willing to accept that this is one of those unusual occasions where they may both be right.

Marg bans Jack's tanks from her lawn

The maligned Margaret Beckett holds her big party at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office tonight. Ambassadors are sure to be dancing on the tables after another successful year for British diplomatic relations.

Will it be the first and last time she hosts the mandarins' Crimbo bash? Beckett, 64 in January, intends to fight the next election and hopes (somehow) to keep her job when Gordon Brown takes over as PM and maces those Cabinet colleagues who are useless or too close to Tony.

Her predecessor Jack Straw, ousted by Blair, pines for his old job and would love to see Marg disappear over the horizon in her caravan. So will she let Blackburn's Cinderella come to the ball?

Says a friendly lass from the Foreign Office: "It's a no."

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