Miles Kington: They might be gone, but they haven't forgotten

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The Independent Online

Where are they now? That's the question we often ask in these days of easy fame.

One moment a person is in all the headlines, the next – gone. One moment they are on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! – the next moment they are not even a celebrity, only a person who used to be a celebrity. One moment... but I expect you get the idea by now.

And so it comes to pass that, every now and then, we come across a name which was big then and forgotten now, and we say to ourselves, wonderingly: "Where are they now?"

Take Silvio Berlusconi, for example. One moment he was the media king of Italy. Now? Well, he is still the media king of Italy, actually, so that wasn't a very good example.

But let us cast our net a bit wider and see what we find...

Jacques Chirac: There were so many rumours of corruption and economic malfeasance hanging over Jacques Chirac during his reign as French President, when of course he was constitutionally proof against any attempt to prosecute him, that it was widely expected that when he retired from power he would immediately be put under arrest and all those skeletons would come dancing out of the cupboard to confront him.

Nothing of the sort has happened. At the moment he is writing his memoirs: Knowing What I Know About The People In Power, I Do Not Expect Any Of Them To Be Rash Enough To Prosecute Me.

Sir Ian Blair: After the recent dust-up over the mistakenly assassinated Brazilian citizen, it was widely assumed that Sir Ian Blair, London's police supremo, would resign from his post, or at the very least be fired by the powers that be.

Nothing of the sort has happened. At the moment he is believed to be sorting out the details of a very lucrative lecture tour of China, in which Sir Ian will jet round China giving a series of talks entitled: "THIS is the Blair you have been waiting for!" Meanwhile, he is working on his memoirs, which are provisionally entitled: With My Knowledge of What Has Been Going On In Government, I Do Not Expect to Resign Or To Be Fired In The Near Future.

Tony Blair: He is at present working on his multi-million-pound memoirs, which have presently got the working title: With My Knowledge of All That Has Been Going On in Government These Last Dozen Years, You Don't Think I Am Actually Going To Reveal Any Of It, Do You? Just Buy The Book, Sucker!"

Peter Mandelson: Working on a political work to be entitled The Corridors of Power, And How To Brighten Them Up With Some Well-Chosen Wallpaper! Plus Some Tips on Lighting, And How To Keep Cut Flowers Fresh...

Sebastian Faulks: The famous author is, at this very moment in time, tied to the base of an electricity pylon. The slightly deranged but very intelligent arch-villain known as Cyclops who has attached him there has explained to him that the whole pylon is wired up for electricity, and that, as soon as the large tea-time demand for power comes surging through, he will be a charred remain.

"Unless, of course, Mr Faulks," he purrs, "you tell us the whereabouts of the typescript of your next James Bond pastiche, and deliver it to us. Then I think we can release you!"

"I haven't started it yet!" says Faulks. "It's not written yet! Not a word of it!"

"That is not what you told the publisher," replies Cyclops, softly. "You told the publisher it was almost finished."

"That is what you always tell the publisher!" says Faulks. "Don't you know anything about writers? Besides, I know too much about my publishers for them to make too much of a fuss."

"Ten minutes to go...", replies Cyclops, softly.

Coming soon: where are Jose Mourinho, Anne Widdecombe, Edwina Currie, Charlotte Church, Faria Alam, etc etc ?

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