Lacks punch without Bruno

We all know that the boxing supremo Frank Warren's eye for talent is legendary (after all, the transformation of Frank Bruno into new world champion is little short of miraculous), but his new protege is not at all what one might expect. He is a French-Transylvanian, Hampstead-based, insomniac painter.

Sandor Szenassy has, under Warren's patronage, produced 24 "intimate, psychological" portraits of boxing greats such as Holyfield, (above), Holmes and Ali.

"People assumed," he complains, "that if a boxing promoter is involved, it must be some kind of ghastly, sports-art, picture perfect, titillating images of Sugar Ray Robinson, but this is simply not the case."

Szenassy first approached Warren when he learnt that the boxing guru had a secret passion for art - his study in Hertfordshire is filled with 18th and 19th-century prints, apparently. Warren, in turn, fell for Szenassy's paintings immediately. "They show the pride, the victory and the pain of boxing," he enthuses. (Judge for yourself.)

Strangely, Szenassy's first major exhibition, scheduled to open in Las Vegas this weekend in celebration of the Mike Tyson-Frank Bruno fight has been postponed. It is not clear why. Personally, I can only think that somebody pointed out to Warren that, while the collection includes a stunning portrait of Tyson, one of Bruno is conspicuously absent.

Sock it to 'em, Joanie

As Random House's executives no doubt expected, the next chapter to this year's greatest publicity stint has just been written - apparently in Joan Collins's own words.

In the first weekly edition of OK magazine, Ms Collins exacts revenge on those who dared describe the prose style of her contentious manuscript Hell Hath No Fury as "rubbish", "trash" and "unpublishable".

Meet character number one, editor Joni Evans with, as Ms Collins puts it, her "bottle yellow hair and a leathery tan". Next is Kate Parkin, the "plump, plain editor-in-chief of Random UK". Another editor, Julie Grau, gets off lightly, but then she is only "a very ordinary-looking young girl". Collins reserves her real venom for Robert Callagy, the prosecuting lawyer, who is not only a "George Bush-lookalike" but also, "flinty eyed, thin-lipped and skinny ... with a stooped hump and a vinegary self-righteous expression" with the appearance of a "Midwestern hick town preacher" to boot.

Not a pretty cast list, is it? Still, I'm sure they won't take the criticism personally. Some may even privately thank Ms Collins for all the publicity she has given them and then publicly dismiss her descriptions of them as "rubbish", "trash" and "unpublishable"....

Many a truth...

Sheffield Crown Court may not have concurred with Simon Sunderland, jailed for five years on Tuesday, that his graffiti is an art form. But scrawled observation has definitely begun to attain a Post-Modern vision. At least I could not help being impressed yesterday when I passed a filthy white van on the road, and instead of reading the inevitable finger-drawn "also available in white", I read: "washed in Yorkshire water".

Racing quip

Could it be that Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber has finally wiped the perma- grin from his face and is publicly venting his frustration at bad reviews of his musicals over the years? It would certainly appear so from recent correspondence in the Sporting Life.

Sir Andrew writes in response to a published letter by Tony Roestenburg, head of the racecourse caterers Letheby & Christopher, who declares he was "saddened" to read Sir Andrew's severe criticisms of L&C food in his new foodie column in the Daily Telegraph: "I have regrettably declined Mr Roestenburg's generous invitation to join him at Ascot and Cheltenham. Wearing my theatre producer's hat, I believe it unethical to contact critics about individual productions. Besides, if I asked every critic who has written a bad review of one of my shows to meet me, I'd never have the time to go racing!"

Ooooooh, touchy!

Eagle Eye

Crackling yarn with an Oriental flavour

Just when you thought the world had escaped a bacon crisis in the wake of Babe, the Disney film about a talking pig, there is grave news from Japan. Pork production in Australia, from where Japan imports most of its supplies, has plummeted so severely that the Japanese - who enjoy a rasher or two - are in a complete panic.

A few days ago, Tokyo's Shinjuku publishers decided it was time to act. They called David Burnett, publisher of Ham and Pigs - A Celebration of the Whole Hog, a guide to keeping your own pig by the Suffolk pig farmer Paul Heiney. They would pay almost anything, they said, to purchase the rights to publish a Japanese edition - fast.

Burnett nearly fell off his chair in amazement. Heiney, too, is utterly dumbfounded. "It's just a wistful little book," he says. "I never thought it would sell. I can't imagine how British pig culture can possibly be of interest to the Japanese. Not even Delia Smith's cook books have managed to crack that market."

None the less, production of a Japanese version of the book is already under way. "Apparently, it really is the case that the shortage of pork has made the Japanese so desperate they are prepared to grow their own," says Heiney, who only has one serious fear about the Japanese's new fad. He thinks he may have inadvertently put obscure pig farms (featured in the book) on the Japanese tourist map. "Who knows," he says, "Paul Zissler, pork butcher of Darlington, may become a shrine to an endless trail of Japanese would-be house-pig owners...." What an appalling thought.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform