Life and Style Bercow's reliably indiscreet daily missives are notably absent from cyberspace

The costly libel judgment against the Speaker’s wife Sally Bercow has been widely seen as a timely warning for other would-be controversialists on social media.

Diary: More trouble for Sir Fred

Sir Fred Goodwin knows the perils of hedging only too well, but that hasn't stopped him getting into a spot of bother over his leylandii. Following vandalistic attacks on the ex-RBS boss's house in Edinburgh Grange last year, Goodwin has bought a new property in upmarket Colinton, with a state-of-the-art security system, tennis court and a fountain in the driveway. Sadly, the £3.5m mansion is ringed by 25ft trees, which neighbours complain blocks sunlight to their gardens. Sir Fred is yet to move into the house, first built for his fellow bullish Scot Graeme Souness. But Alan Haxton, chair of the neighbourhood association, told Scotland on Sunday that The Shred responded "satisfactorily" to requests for a meeting about the matter. This may not placate one particular local: the retired businessman Furhan Majid insists that endless extensions have brought the mansion's reaches within six feet of his back garden. "When the builders are in," he says, "I can hear them talking in the kitchen." More on this story as it develops.

Segway tycoon dies in cliff fall while riding scooter

The Segway was hailed before its launch as a green transport solution of the future. One such believer in the emission-free scooter-cum-skateboard was a former Yorkshire miner turned multimillionaire philanthropist called Jimi Heselden, who last year bought the American firm which invented the self-righting two-wheeler. But in what appears to have been a freak accident, Mr Heselden has been found dead after apparently plunging 30ft over the side of a cliff while riding one of the machines he hoped would revolutionise the way we travel.

Stephen Pound MP, Backstage Comedy Club, London

While luminaries such as Dustin Hoffman have graced the upstairs restaurant of Cafe Koha, the basement, where the Backstage Comedy Club is housed, is becoming synonymous with hosting political comedy freakshows.

Johann Hari: Will the Lib Dems follow the Tories over a cliff?

Cleggmania seems now like one of those Christmas No 1s that everybody bought and nobody can remember why - the political equivalent of Mr Blobby

Lib Dems had 'no alternative' to joining Coalition, says Nick Clegg

Squeeze on benefits will affect middle class as well as the poor, leader tells conference

Diary: Burley hits below the belt

Good to hear that the Sky News anchor Kay "Hurly" Burley wasn't overly traumatised by her on-air altercation with the Labour MP Chris Bryant. When you've had dust-ups with photographers, or listened to protesters yelling for you to be sacked on live television, being called "a bit dim" must seem a trifling matter. Ms Burley, 49, was out in support of her fellow Murdoch employees (naturally) on Wednesday evening, at the launch of The Sun's new television magazine, Buzz. "I was just at a party with Chris Bryant, actually," she told me. "I told him I didn't recognise him with his clothes on." She was referring, I must assume, to Bryant's Y-front moment in 2003, when the honourable member for Rhondda apologised after posting a picture of himself in his underpants on a dating website. Somewhat below the belt of Ms Burley to bring it up, you might think, but hardly uncharacteristic. Burley is, after all, the relentless interrogator who made Peter Andre cry.

Lembit Opik: 'Coulson should stand down'

The former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik increased the pressure on Andy Coulson yesterday by questioning his competence and calling for him to stand down.

Matthew Norman: Now, now, do try to keep it clean, Nadine

Troublesome as BP has found stopping that Gulf of Mexico gush, David Cameron may find it harder to staunch the flow from the honeyed mouth of Nadine Dorries. Among the more supple political thinkers of the age – you may recall her identifying the expenses revelations as a "McCarthyite witch-hunt" – the Tory member for Mid Bedfordshire is livid about her government's threat to the lifelong right to council houses like her childhood home in Liverpool.

Diary: Kings face pigeon revolt

Alarming news that stadium rockers Kings of Leon were forced to abandon a recent gig following a surprise airborne pigeon attack undoubtedly represents what music observers would politely describe as their "Spinal Tap moment".

Lembit Opik, Backstage Comedy Club, London

There was a kind of bittersweet irony that, on the day of the first Prime Minister's Question Time of the coalition government, the former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik was performing an open-spot stand-up gig in a tiny basement comedy club. Opik, arguably, has performed comedy in a niche environment on both sides of the election.

Why Lembit Opik's now happy to be laughed at

Politics, as the saying goes, is showbusiness for ugly people. Having had a go at one career, former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik is now trying his hand at the other, hoping to carve himself an unlikely niche as a stand-up comedian.

First Night: Lembit Opik, Backstage Comedy Club, London

There was a kind of bittersweet irony that, on the day of the first Prime Minister's Question Time of the coalition government, the former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik was performing an open-spot stand-up gig in a tiny basement comedy club. Opik, it could be argued, has performed comedy in a niche environment on both sides of the election.

Lembit Opik prepares for stand-up comedy gig

Ex-MP Lembit Opik said today he wanted to see whether stand-up comedy was "like being an MP but a bit funnier" as he prepared for his first gig.

Leading article: Laugh a minute

Did you hear the one about Lembit Opik? The news that the former Liberal Democrat MP is to try his hand as a stand-up comedian will no doubt prompt some to say they thought he always was one.

Pandora: Southern discomfort

it isn't easy being Gordon. Ramsay, that is.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
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Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

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Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

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Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution