diary Eagle Eye

Peter York, management consultant, Eighties' style guru and co-inventor of the Sloane Ranger, has at last found a way of recycling all his insights from the past decade. In a forthcoming BBC series he claims that we are all nostalgic for the Eighties, despite its more recent reputation as a period that glorified selfishness and excess, and pandered to right-wing market dogma.

But York also has plenty to say about the defining features of the Nineties. Tony Blair, he tells me, is "pure Nineties man", because he has learnt from the Eighties and is prepared to say so. Then there is the way information technology has penetrated the sensibilities of the chattering classes - "18 months ago you would never have heard them talking about the Internet". And lastly, we have Sixties revivalism. "Seriously young, seriously cute girls wear short skirts and long boots. The men are beginning to wear sharp suits. It's a positive, smart, youthful look."

None of this washes with Waldemar Januszczak, who was moved to write a vitriolic piece in the Sunday Times about the series: "Peter York appears to have spent the past five years in formaldehyde.... His business was selling nothing as something.... His suits might cost him pounds 2,000, but they still cannot disguise the sad gait of a door-to-door salesman...." and on and on.

York is baffled. "What I thought was particularly unfair was that the Sunday Times did not state Januszczak's day job, given the obvious conflict of interest with the BBC."

Januszczak is commissioning arts editor at Channel 4. And, curiously, York recalls being asked in the summer to front a programme for Channel 4. "Since I was already signed up with the BBC I did not bother to reply," he says. The subject? The Eighties.

Karl Watkin, the Newcastle businessman who yesterday bought the Tyne Theatre and Opera House in his home city for an undisclosed multi-million pound sum, looks likely to persuade the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company to move to Newcastle from Birmingham. "It is our intention," says Mr Watkin, "to develop the European centre for bourgeois- populist opera in Newcastle."

What, pray, is bourgeois-populist opera? Apparently, the phrase is the invention of D'Oyly Carte's chairman, Sir Michael Bishop, who also chairs the bourgeois-populist British Midland Airways. "The phrase is a new one and not a known operatic genre," said a D'Oyly Carte spokesperson, a little uncomfortably. "I know bourgeois could be taken as an insult, but it's a way of saying we cross bridges."

The bourgeois-populist bridge-builders. WS Gilbert could, no doubt, have got a lyric out of that. I will print the offerings of Independent readers who fancy themselves the very model of a modern bourgeois-populist bridge- builder, and can supply Eagle Eye with a suitably cutting Gilbertian lyric.

The London Evening Standard's front page this week showed this picture (right) in connection with the murdered headmaster Philip Lawrence. It was headlined: "A mourner kneels in silence by the floral tributes outside the gate of St George's School." Not quite. If you look closely, you can see a notebook - a tool which identifies the "mourner" as the Mail on Sunday reporter Tanya Reed, who works two floors up from the Standard's offices.

Maureen Hicks, the rejected Conservative candidate for Stratford-upon- Avon, claims bitterly that she fell victim to a "blue-rinse mafia" of women. The blue-rinse epithet is always flung at ladies of a certain age and of a certain political disposition, but research by Eagle Eye shows that it could not be more inappropriate.

In fact, none of the women on the 23-strong selection committee has a blue rinse. But more damning than this to Ms Hick's testimony is the fact that the blue rinse is fast becoming extremely trendy. Daniel Galvin, hairdresser to the Princess of Wales, among others, tells me that he is giving that notably fashionable pop star and non-Conservative voter Cher a blue rinse. "She wanted a dark-blue rinse to get a navy-blue sheen to her dark hair," he says proudly. Whisper it not in Stratford-upon-Avon.

I am perturbed by the results of a new survey sponsored by Durex. It reveals that while 20 per cent of males believe office Christmas parties have a good chance of leading to casual sex, only 1 per cent of women share their opinion. Disturbingly, last year's figures were 13 per cent for males and 3 per cent for females.

I asked a professor of statistics for his conclusions. Combining a regression analysis of this year's figures with extrapolation of last year's, he came up with some alarming implications. If the figures are correct, he says, we are forced, within a 2 per cent margin of error, to one of the following conclusions:

1) 17 per cent of males are incapable of learning from experience;

2) 12 per cent of women suffer from chronic alcohol amnesia;

3) women outnumber men at office parties by a factor in excess of four to one;

4) homosexual males outnumber heterosexual by almost 10 to one;

5) 1 per cent of females are phenomenally promiscuous.

The party Eagle Eye wants to attend is the one patronised by all the above categories, where hordes of chronic alcoholic amnesiac women dance the night away with ever diminishing numbers of willing chaps.

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam