Pandora: Burglary blights Zidane book
Tuesday 03 June 2008
Over to Paris, where there is drama surrounding an unauthorised biography of the footballing legend Zinedine Zidane.
A manuscript of the book, which is due out in September, was recently stolen from the home of its publisher Christophe Deloire. Several days later, another copy was taken from the home of an unnamed journalist who had been working on the book.
Although the culprit remains unknown, Deloire reckons the burglaries took place because there are details included in the book's portrayal of "Zizou" which certain parties may not wish to see made public. Among the chapters which will no doubt contribute further to Zidane's curious Friar Tuck bald spot, one addresses the doping scandal which surrounded his former club Juventus during the late 1990s.
Ken talks his way into another nice little earner
Ken Livingstone's eviction from City Hall was barely a month ago, but he's wasted little time in filling his boots.
A fortnight ago it was reported that Ken had been snapped up for a string of lucrative speeches for the firm Speakers for Business.
Since then, I hear he's also signed up with another traditionally generous employer, the prestigious London-based after-dinner speaking agency JLA.
The company already boasts the likes of William Hague and Alastair Campbell on its books, and as a "B grade" speaker I'm assured Livingstone can expect to earn a "high four-figure sum" for a single appearance.
"There's been an unalloyed enthusiasm for him," says JLA boss Jeremy Lee. "Now that he's done a big job he can address the serious business community as well as a more domestic audience.
"He always gives the impression of speaking in an unrestrained manner, of not holding anything back, which audiences love. It's one of the many things he has in common with Boris."
Livingstone is certainly proving true to his word. Just days after losing the mayoral election he joked that he was ready to succeed Boris on the speaking circuit.
Not that there was any great danger of him joining the breadline. As well as plans to release his memoirs next year, it's emerged that he also qualifies for a "resettlement grant" since losing office, of £69,000 – half of his previous annual salary.
Satisfaction for Jagger over rival biopic
Sir Mick Jagger's famously hard-nosed approach to business has been causing headaches for creators of the upcoming Dylan Thomas biopic, Edge of Love.
The movie, starring Keira Knightley, was due to feature parts of Thomas's 1939 poetry and prose collection Map of Love. Unfortunately for them, large chunks of the Welsh poet's works now belong to Jagger. Since the Rolling Stones' production company, Jagged Films, is also planning a film on Thomas, his lawyers demanded the scenes be edited.
"We had access to a few of his poems. Unfortunately Mick Jagger owns quite a lot and he has his own Dylan Thomas film project," the movie's director John Maybury told an audience at Hay. "There were parts of the set where we used elements of Map of Love but we had to CGI them out because Mick threatened to sue if we kept them in there."
High Court on the menu
Keith Floyd is about to discover just how much his "quickie" divorce from his fourth wife is going to cost him.
The television chef, who was taken to hospital at the beginning of the year when he collapsed in a pal's Staffordshire pub, will be at the High Court tomorrow when a financial settlement is expected to be agreed with his ex-wife, Tess. It's a remarkable turnaround, since just weeks ago the veteran claret-guzzler claimed he was going to be too frail to attend.
Perhaps Pandora sprung him into action. Two weeks ago, this column revealed Floyd's manager was preparing for his own day in court after discovering the chef had made himself available for cookery classes over the internet, despite the fact he'd been officially convalescing and unavailable for work.
Day in the, er?
Paul McCartney returned to his hometown of Liverpool over the weekend for the city's Capital of Culture celebrations. His performance at Anfield stadium, was, by all accounts, an unmitigated triumph.
All, that was, except his rendition of "A Day in the Life". Most of the compositions credited to "Lennon and McCartney" were largely the exclusive work of one or the other, but this classic track off the Sgt Pepper album was a genuine half and half split.
Although McCartney sung the parts penned by Lennon faultlessly, when he reached the middle eight – his own work – he appeared to forget the words. Having spent so much time trying to get some of the Lennon-McCartney songwriting credits reversed, would Macca now concede that his former partner's lyrics are the more memorable?
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