Inside Lines: Lee-way at No 10 as Spurs sinner catches the PM's eye

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The Independent Online

Mike Lee, the high-rolling PR guru behind Tottenham Hotspur's bid to gazump West Ham and acquire the Olympic Stadium, may expect a call from Downing Street this weekend to solicit his interest in replacing Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor who quit his job as David Cameron's communications chief.

Lee's latest wheeze was to get pal Pele (they became friends during his engineering of Rio's successful 2016 Olympic bid) to pitch in for Spurs by writing to the Olympic Park Legacy Company, now pondering their decision, in intriguingly lucid support of the club's plan to rebuild the stadium and jettison the athletics track.

Whether the man who spun for London 2012 and helped pen the promise to retain an athletics facility now fancies himself in a No 10 shirt is an intriguing question.

The PM is said to be impressed by his track record, but Lee is unlikely to be impressed with the £140,000 salary, now his burgeoning new company, Vero Communications, is becoming one of the PR industry's most influential players.

Lee is a former head of communications for Uefa, "political strategist" for the Premier League and persuasive mouthpiece for London's and Rio's winning Olympic bids – and Qatar's controversial acquisition of the 2022 World Cup. But he is not just a sports political animal, gaining his spin doctorate as a Labour Party adviser and PR minder for former Home Secretary David Blunkett.

His one-time left-leaning should not bother Cameron, for no one seems more adept at switching allegiances. Before he was spurred into spinning for Spurs, Lee, 54, was a West Ham director and the fact he can shrug off breaking pledges surely makes him an ideal candidate for the Coalition.

Rocky gets real

Significantly, one award winner Ricky Gervais did not slag off at the Golden Globes was Christian Bale. Good judge.

Bale co-stars in a terrific new biopic, The Fighter, as real-life boxer Dick Eklund, half-brother of Micky Ward (superbly played by Mark Wahlberg) – the journeyman Irish-American who battled his family as well as opponents to become world champion. Bale prepared for the role by training intensively with the real Eklund, an ex-jailbird and drug addict who boasted he once floored Sugar Ray Leonard.

Gervais could have been floored for real had he given Bale any lip. Boxing traditionally has all the ingredients for great movies and The Fighter, released here on 4 February, is up there in my all-time top 10 fight films. Raging Bull it isn't, but it is certainly Rocky – with realism.

Khan eyes a classic

Forget Mayweather vs Pacquaio and Haye vs Klitschko as neither looks like happening. Instead the tastiest fight of the year is likely to be between two unbeaten world light-welterweight champions, Timothy Bradley (WBO) and Devon Alexander (WBC) on Saturday.

A classy collision which WBA holder Amir Khan, who hosts a Bollywood-themed dinner in Bolton tonight in aid of Pakistani flood victims, will be eyeing keenly as whoever wins should meet him in a mouth-watering unification bout this summer.

insidelines@independent.co.uk

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