Pandora: Clegg's date at Heart FM falls on deaf ears
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Friday 12 March 2010
Following David Cameron's smoother-than-thou interview on Heart FM last week, Nick Clegg sought to make a similarly impressive appearance on the station's breakfast show yesterday.
Alas, it wasn't to be. Indeed, Clegg could not have been further from the mark, pitching up at Heart's London studio half an hour after the interview was due to have started, and only three minutes before the end of the programme, thereby missing his interview slot entirely.
"He was stuck in traffic the whole time," explains a Heart employee. "We think that maybe he hadn't realised the Albert Bridge was closed, because he seemed to get stuck in Battersea." Heart's breakfast show host, Jamie Theakston, was left to fill the spare time with a crack about the Liberal Democrats' "sorting out the traffic" come the election.
"We played an extra Lady Gaga song and some Take That, and we did a few additional traffic reports to try and help him on his way," we're told.
Happily for the party's spin-doctors, the chance for a bit of PR was not entirely lost: the station agreed to make an exception to their live-interviews-only policy and recorded a post-show chat with Clegg to be aired shortly.
Out of the frying pan and into...
*Eve Burt, wife of the Tory MP Alistair Burt, is wasting no time in preparing for his party's (probable) election victory. She is offering incumbent parliamentary staff the opportunity to be re-housed, as it were, along new party lines should they suddenly find themselves out of a job on results day. Mrs Burt's new company, Westminster Start, can be found advertising on the Commons' in-house website, W4MP, offering personalised training, appraisals and recruitment for those experienced with the Commons. Just don't mention party loyalties.
Turning on the style – and the language
Image-conscious women of Middle England beware: the original pioneers of the prime-time makeover programme are plotting their next move. After being neatly dropped by ITV following the dismal ratings of their last effort, Trinny And Susannah Meet Their Match, Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine, pictured, are back together working on a new British project. Just don't ask if it will resemble their earlier work. "It's so f***ing different," snaps Woodall at the suggestion.
No bias-cut mid-lengths, then?
Don't forget your hair straighteners
*Be afraid. The Children's Secretary, Ed Balls, and his Tory and Liberal Democrat counterparts, Michael Gove and David Laws, face a grilling by 100 10- to 15-year-olds for the pre-election coverage in the children's newspaper First News. Interviews by young people have a habit of catching ministers off guard. John Prescott recently agreed to address secondary school pupils about the perils of global warming, only to find himself flummoxed by the puzzling issue of carbon rationing's consequences for hair straighteners. Watch out!
Geldof sees the light in Battersea
The Contemporary Art Society celebrated its centenary at Battersea Power Station on Wednesday, not that anyone told Bob Geldof. Pandora encountered the scruffpot philanthropist sporting string vest and cream suit at the reception. Asked why he supported the society, a bemused Geldof remarked: “Is that what this is for? I don’t support it. I only came because a mate invited me.” Still, it wasn’t all bad. “I do like art,” he reflected. “And I really like the power station.”
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