Pandora: Gwyneth's makeover leaves her hubby cold
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.
Tuesday 25 November 2008
Gwyneth Paltrow recently underwent an attention-grabbing transformation, going from macrobiotic goody-goody to steeple-heeled glamour girl.
The change had the fashion industry enthralled, with retailers reporting an unprecedented boost to this year's stiletto sales.
But it seems not everyone was quite as impressed.
Her husband Chris Martin, the nerdish front man of rock band Coldplay, claims that when it comes to a woman's appearance, he isn't one to notice the details.
"When you spend 23 hours a day stuck in a room with eight men you're just happy to see someone with a skirt," he comments in this month's Q magazine.
"I approve of shoes in all shapes and sizes ... I think most girls like to pull out the high heels sometimes, right?"
Mm. No doubt Gwyneth will be charmed with your attentiveness, Chris.
Still, perhaps a quick trip to the florist would go down well.
Liam gets his own coffee – for once
Liam Byrne's list of demands on civil servants prompted many to ponder the diva-ish tendencies of Gordon Brown's enforcer.
Now I find myself wondering whether anyone ever listened to him anyway.
The Cabinet Office minister hit the headlines earlier this month when it was revealed that he had issued slack-jawed staff with an 11-page memo detailing his daily requirements, including exactly the type of coffee he prefers at what time of the day, and how his office papers should be arranged.
So Pandora couldn't help but wonder whether the tide had turned when a forlorn-looking Bryne was spied humbly queuing for a hot brew in the Portcullis House canteen.
Asked why his lackeys had not been employed for such a lowly task, Bryne replied dryly: "They never pay a blind bit of notice to what I say, anyway."
The politician has been the butt of jokes aplenty since news of his rigid regime broke.
Meanwhile Bryne himself clearly feels the memo could do with a second outing, particularly in the light of his current, more modest refreshment arrangements. "I'm going to re-issue it," he joked.
Nick's flick runs into a fight
When Nick Love is brought in, arms tend to get twisted.
Stuntmen's arms, anyway: the wide-boy director is famed for his gangster flicks, preferably starring Danny Dyer.
His affection for violence is, however, causing problems for his latest endeavour, a remake of the 1980s TV classic, The Firm.
I hear that filming has been interrupted following local protests about a particularly energetic fight scene.
Residents of Camden, North London, have petitioned the council to withdraw permission for the shoot, claiming they already have enough local violence.
Now I'm told that an alternative location will have to be found, possibly in London's East End.
Chris will be Russell's Rock
Fans of Russell Brand aren't easy to find these days, with the vampish comic still reeling after the fall-out from his controversial prank call to Andrew Sachs.
So it may come as some consolation to find that he has friends abroad if not at home.
American comedian Chris Rock claims to be entirely unaware of Brand's new-found pariah status.
"I love British comedy," he told me at the premiere of Madagascar 2.
"Especially anything by Russell Brand – I love him. I've always wanted to hang out with him but whenever I call he's too busy. Probably just with girls."
Depression leaves Bee feeling blue
One person who shouldn't be worried about rising unemployment is Bee Schaffer, the daughter of US Vogue editor Anna "most-powerful-woman-in-fashion" Wintour. But the elegant 21-year-old claims she is far from sanguine despite familial connections. Currently studying journalism, Schaffer is pessimistic about post-graduation employment. "Nobody's hiring right now," she moans. "I think I'll take the summer off and then go from there."
No desire to sink because of a leak
The leaked list of BNP members has left some Tory staffers sweating. I'm told that some "junior officials" have joined the BNP ranks over the years simply in order to monitor their activities. "It was an obvious way of keeping an eye on them," explains a former employee. "Some are now worried how this might look, though."
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