Pandora: No 2 Ladies' Detective Agency comes to TV

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The Independent Online

When Anthony Minghella adapted Alexander McCall Smith's best-seller, The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, for television, the results were less than successful ("saccharine gloop" was one critic's assessment; "twee, quaint, shallow, possibly patronising" another).

Still, the experience doesn't appear to have put off McCall Smith. Indeed, Pandora hears that the Zimbabwean-born author is currently making plans for another of his literary works to appear on the small screen.

"I've just sold an option on the Isabel Dalhousie books to a television company," he revealed at the Edinburgh Book Festival. "There are people coming to see me in the next week who are very keen to make a series of it."

If all goes to plan, Dalhousie – the sleuth heroine of The Sunday Philosophy Club series – may well prove a rival to that other Scottish TV detective, Ian Rankin's Rebus.

"I can see Isabel and her world," says McCall Smith. "It will be great fun. I would love to see that on film. I like the feeling of those books – we will have to wait and see."

Exotic ingredients in Oliver's lineage

Far-fetched claims from Jamie Oliver. "It turns out I'm sixth-generation Sudanese," the excitable chef reveals in this week's Radio Times. "As it happens, there are quite a few Olivers who are a bit swarthy and have got curly hair, so I suppose that may explain it.

"Have a look at the picture of me on the cover of The Naked Chef, and you can see what I'm talking about. I don't have many details, but I would really like to go on Who Do You Think You Are? to find out."

Producers of WDYTYA, take note.

Cameron suffers a Hague moment

"When I was 14, 15, 16, I was doing things that teenagers do in terms of drinking too much, being caught having the odd fag, things like that," confesses David Cameron in a suitably soft-focus interview with Grazia this week. "I was, in some ways, heading in the wrong direction and I pulled myself up and headed in the right one."

Sound familiar? William Hague's unlikely boast that in his youth he would drink 14 pints a day put paid to his prime ministerial aspirations. Surely the same fate doesn't await Dave?

500 miles from headlining

Indignity for Scottish dad rockers The Proclaimers.

The pair, who were relegated to a rather low-key daytime slot at last weekend's V Festival, attempted to boost their credentials by offering to fill in for the sickly headliners, Oasis.

"We tendered our services straightaway. We would've juggled and everything," say the band's fraternal frontmen, Charlie and Craig Reid.

Alas, festival organisers weren't convinced. They promptly handed the slot to Snow Patrol and Keane, leaving the Reids to perform an impromptu "alternative" set in the Virgin Media Louder Lounge.

Hamilton gets down with Twitter kids

*Is Twitter's nadir nigh? Word reaches us that the perennial self-publicist Christine Hamilton (wife of the disgraced former MP Neil Hamilton) has signed up to the micro-blogging site under the alias "Brit Battleaxe".

Apparently, it is all the fault of the Conservative blogger Iain Dale. "He says I've got to get with it and join the 'twitterati'," explains Hamilton, left, in her inaugural entry. "Does this make me a twit or a twat?"

Perhaps best not to answer that.