Pandora: No standing ovation from author McEwan

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The Independent Online

Have we seen the last cinematic adaptation of Ian McEwan's works?

It seems that the author, pictured, whose novel Atonement was turned into a multi-award-winning film starring Keira Knightley in 2007, was left severely underwhelmed by his experience with the silver screen.

"Since The Cement Garden he hasn't liked any of the adaptations of his books," confides Christopher Hampton, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Atonement.

It is a surprising revelation. Of all the films to be based on from McEwan's novels, The Cement Garden , directed by Andrew Birkin, was perhaps the least celebrated. Still, Hampton does not appear to disagree, claiming he would have preferred to see Atonement done rather differently. "What I ended up doing with that film was very different from what I wanted," he tells Pandora.

"I would have done it drier and more literary but he had different ideas. It was quite alarming in those terms but I wanted him to like it. Most scriptwriters would not have as much respect for authors, but it was important to me that Ian was happy."

A tough task from the sound of things.

Channel 4 man takes flak on the chin

*Krishnan Guru-Murthy had the dubious honour of being name-checked in the journalistic comedy Taking The Flak on Wednesday night – by a fictional hotelier, no less ("We do not have any rooms. Mr Krishnan Guru-Murthy left today and it will take at least a day to tidy the place up.") Happily, the Channel 4 newsman is nothing but amused at the jibe. "It was the first time I've seen it and there it was," he tells us. "I wasn't quite sure what they meant: that I am very rock'n'roll or just messy. I quite like the idea that I'm rock 'n' roll."

Parky gets the last laugh over the Beeb

*Good to see there's no bad blood between Michael Parkinson and the BBC. The veteran presenter recently complained he had been dropped from the line-up of the BBC1 genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? because his family history was "too boring". "I've got the best souvenir out of it!" Parky tells me. "They sent me a little letter apologising that they could not find enough scandal. So I framed it and put in on the door of my downstairs loo, though I've been warned by some tabloid editors that I am now on their target list.

"They don't believe there isn't one scandalous thing about me and have told their journalists to dig something up."

Better watch out!

Wogan shows his charitable side

*Sir Terry Wogan appears to have learned from his faux pas several years ago, when he was revealed to be accepting a fee of £1,300 an hour for hosting Children In Need. The avuncular presenter's return to this year's charity fund-raiser was confirmed yesterday, though Sir Tez was quick to make his expenses clear. "This fee thing, you can forget about that –it's nonsense," he insisted. "I raise on my own thousands of pounds every year, and spend an awful lot of my own money travelling, so you can forget about the fee."

A portrait only a mother could love

*Ben Westwood's bondage-themed portraits of celebrity offspring are far from the most flattering of tributes (they usually consist of the lucky subject's head being superimposed on to somebody else's erotically-clad body). Still, that doesn't appear to have put off Sharon Osbourne, seen here with son Jack. We're told the Gothic matriarch has decided to buy herself one as a memento. "It's a close-up of Kelly wrapped up in red rope, with the names of her parents on," explained our source. Just your average family snap, then.