John Humphrys

Matthew Norman: Ed Miliband's big problem

Other, cleverer people incessantly tell me how supernaturally useless Little Ed is in every way, and why. They dismiss the defence, by way of praising his agenda-dominating boldness (knifing Murdoch) and prescience (good capitalism vs horrid capitalism), with a withering curl of the lips. Yet despite the brutal consensus that the guy is a fatally risible hyper-nerd, the only serious flaw I can find in Ed Miliband – and even this feels too trivial to mention – is that he happens to be Ed Miliband.

Diary: Why Plod will monitor the pews at tabloid star's funeral

It will be interesting to study the crowd when Sue Carroll, the chain-smoking, hard-living tabloid journalist who died from cancer on Christmas Day, is buried today in Richmond. A shop assistant's daughter from Newcastle Upon Tyne, she worked at the Sun, the News of the World, and latterly at the Daily Mirror, so her funeral will inevitably draw a galaxy of famous names from the tabloid press, past and present.

Miliband vows to move beyond New Labour

Ed Miliband will try to silence his critics today by spelling out his strategy for Labour to reconnect with the voters with whom it lost touch during 13 years in power.

More headlines

Text messages are a direct – yet conveniently distant –

Sarah Goldman's 16-year-old son texted her from upstairs. "He had told me to go downstairs 10 minutes before and keep my phone on. I thought he was going to tell me a joke or something, and was slightly irritated. He then texted me and told me he was gay, and he hoped I could be happy for him.

The Diary: Ian McEwan; Home from War; The Harder They Come; John

The Booker Prize-winning novelist and sometime screenwriter, Ian McEwan, tells me he spent six months meticulously researching and writing a sequel to David Cronenberg film, 'The Fly', in 1995, which he considered his "best screenplay". 'Flies', (not to be mistaken with 1989's 'The Fly II') was to star Geena Davis, who featured opposite Jeff Goldblum in 'The Fly', and who owned the "fly concept" along with 20th Century Fox. McEwan says: "Our movie was going to begin with Geena Davis giving birth to twin boys, and it was written in a realistic mode. She fears her children will be deformed but she gives birth to two perfectly healthy babies. As they become teenagers, they become stranger and stranger, as teenagers do, and quite hyperactive. She has always worried that they inherited the (fly) gene. They become more manic, and one first becomes more fly like, then the other follows....It was my best screenplay... I really wanted this to have no foundation in anything other than genetics." There was a disagreement, leading the project to halt, he added. "I would like to see it made," he said.