Diary: The Professor’s backing Bayern Munich to beat Borussia Dortmund (‘They’ll win 3-1,’ he says)

 

Bayern or Borussia? It’s time to take sides. Surely Gisela Stuart, the Bavaria-born Labour MP, can offer expert guidance on which team the neutrals should support in the all-German Champions League Final clash at Wembley.

Sadly the match brings back only bitter memories. “I haven’t watched a game since 1966,” says the Birmingham Edgbaston MP, who was a schoolgirl in West Germany when England briefly asserted footballing dominance. “I organised a friendly between Bayern Munich ladies and Aston Villa ladies. Bayern won 16-1. I gave up completely after that. I am the worst person to ask about football. It’s a blind spot in my psyche.”

Fortunately, Professor Martin Roth, the German director of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, has his eye on the ball. “I’m a Bayern fan. They way they took apart Barcelona in the semi-final was unbelievable,” he enthuses. However, the Prof warns that “German football can be too strategic, like watching chess compared with English games”. So what will the score be? “3-1 to Bayern”. You read it here first.

The breaking of an ‘unspoken agreement’

The eye is irresistibly drawn to the chapter headed “Squalid Sex Under a Table” in Richard Bacon’s entertaining memoir, A Series of Unrelated Events. The broadcaster was an unwilling voyeur of disgraceful scenes which occurred at his own wedding. “All I can summon in my mind’s eye is an image of an old colleague drunkenly rutting under a table with a woman he’d said a maximum of 30 words to in his life.” The incident broke the “unspoken agreement regarding weddings: none of the guests will engage in sexual intercourse before the bride and groom have been afforded a chance”.

Time for the BBC to give credit where its due

Will the BBC give credit where it’s due? In a Standpoint magazine article entitled “The shabby deceit of BBC journalism”, Nick Cohen blasts the corporation for airing a Times scoop without attribution. Today used the formulation “it has emerged” when it reported that the former Archbishop of York covered up allegations that a senior clergyman had abused choirboys.

“Emerged? Does the BBC think that stories appear like rocks at low tide?” asks Cohen. “Does it imagine that passers-by can point their fingers and say, ‘Oh look, evidence of corrupt political donations has emerged’? 

“If the BBC were to report honestly, its viewers and listeners would realise how few stories the corporation breaks.” James Harding, the BBC’s new director of news and current affairs and former editor of The Times, will no doubt ensure that his alma mater is given recognition in future.

Take a leaf from  Brown’s book

The US writer Stephen King has said that his latest novel, Joyland, must not be sold digitally to encourage readers to “stir their sticks and go to an actual bookstore”. Dan Brown sympathises. “It used to be I could walk down the beach and know what everyone’s reading.

“Now they’re all reading the same black ebook,” he told me during his London visit. He believes “publishers are going to be more important than ever, to curate... the vast quantity of electronic material. The public is gonna need somebody to say ‘this is good’”. When I suggest that critics, who savaged his latest bestseller Inferno, already play this role, he was less inclined to concur.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
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

Recruitment Genius: Client Relationship Assistant / Business Support

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you willing to give fantastic Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Assistant Document Controller

£11000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Greenwich based firm of Archite...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum