Gillian McKeith

Reality Bitesize: The TV catch-up

From bushtucker-phobia to the rational fear of Simon Cowell, four series are hitting their peaks. Harriet Walker takes an aerial view

Gillian McKeith: Rumbled in the jungle

Does she really have a phobia of everything that crawls? Are the fainting episodes to be believed? And as for that PhD...Tim Walker gets to grips with the life story of reality TV's latest pantomime villain

Diary: Bagshawe's novel ideas

Tory totty Louise Bagshawe MP gave new meaning to the phrase "in-house publicity" by garnering a series of plugs for her book Passion in the Commons this summer. I can now exclusively reveal the plot of her as-yet-untitled next novel, which also follows Desire (2010), Glitz (2008), Glamour (2007) and Sparkles (2006).

Diary: West returns to the golden age

The Americans make such wonderful television drama; why can't we? This familiar lament must be partly responsible for the vain-drain of British actors to US screens. And it was reiterated last year by Dominic West, the British star at the heart of The Wire, who told the Today programme that the UK "does costume drama brilliantly", but that there's "a lack of high-end drama". Perhaps his prayers have been answered, for West, 41, has been named as the star of a new BBC2 drama that is being talked up as this country's answer to Mad Men. The Hour, a six-part series scheduled for broadcast next year, will feature the Old Etonian as Hector Madden, the posh anchor of a TV news show in the mid-1950s, when the medium was in its infancy. Ben Whishaw and Romola Garai will star as his fellow journalists in the show, by the award-winning screenwriter Abi Morgan. A drama about the golden age of hackery seems destined for knowing, glowing reviews – as long as the media tossers of today don't find it all just too depressing.

Diary: Not the new Marilyn Monroe

My reporter was eager to ask Angelina Jolie about her plans to play Marilyn Monroe when they spoke at Monday's premiere of Jolie's new thriller, Salt. According to reports, author Andrew O'Hagan told the Edinburgh Book Festival that the star would fill Marilyn's shoes in a film version of his novel, The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, opposite George Clooney as Frank Sinatra. But Jolie just looked bewildered. "Where did all these rumours come from?" she asked. "I haven't heard a thing about it! I don't even know if I'd be the best person to play her." As to her rumoured co-star, she added, "I haven't even talked to George about it." An embarrassed (or incensed?) O'Hagan – whose book contains the memories of Maf, a Maltese terrier given to Marilyn by Sinatra – went so far as to issue a statement about the confusion: "Despite what was said in the unchecked stories that appeared in the papers... I made no public statement about Ms Jolie or Mr Clooney... Everything about the film has still to be decided." Scarlett Johansson, anyone?

Does anyone eat normally any more?

Bizarre intolerances, extreme diets, drunkorexia, orthorexia, bigorexia... why is it that so many of us now have such an unhealthy relationship with our food?