Where are they now? A special survey

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The Independent Online

Here today and out the other, as someone once said. Fame is a one-way street to somewhere else. Today's headlines are tomorrow's archives. The man on the box today will soon be the man in the box...

What on earth is this all about? I am simply reminding you that yesterday's famous figure is today's nonentity, and that I am here to ask, yet again, the big question: Where Are They Now?

Greg Dyke

At this very moment, Greg Dyke is in a publisher's office, going through the manuscript of the book of which he has just completed the first draft. The publisher is shaking his head and saying: "I'm sorry, Greg, but you'll have to get some sex in it somewhere. I can't see it selling otherwise."

John Birt

John Birt is still in denial about the BBC.


The once-famed eco-warrior Swampy, the only ecologist ever to go by a single name, apart from Sting, is working on a Channel 4 series called Great Planning Errors Of History. He is making an impassioned programme protesting against the construction of Stonehenge. If built, he says it will pollute the Wiltshire skyline for ever.

Iain Duncan Smith

IDS is viewing his Michael Howard video collection, and chuckling quietly to himself.

Maxine Carr

Maxine Carr, to get away from the ravenous British press, has moved to a small English village where, very cleverly, she has been given a new identity as a conceptual artist. She is thus being shunned and avoided by all the villagers, not to mention the British press.

Edwina Currie

Edwina Currie is cruising London in a taxi, waiting to hear of any radio chat show which is short of a guest.

Joe Bugner

Joe Bugner is toying with the idea of a comeback against Mike Tyson.

Paul Foot

Paul Foot has arrived safely in Heaven, where he has been scandalised by the employment conditions of the angels and archangels, and is organising mass protests against God's management style. He is also bringing pressure to bear for the reopening of the case against Judas Iscariot, who, he says, was set up for the role of fall guy before his suspicious death in custody, and who may very well have been innocent all along.

Lords Butler and Hutton

Lords Butler and Hutton are having a well deserved holiday together on an island in the sun, reading their congratulatory telegrams from Blair, Scarlett, etc. One is saying to the other: "Well, at least nobody can say we did it to get a peerage!"

Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin is bouncing back from the discovery that some of her works were destroyed in the Great Britart Fire of 2004 by experimenting with burning works of art as soon as they are created, and seeing how they work out. She has just created a new work called: "My Beach Hut on the Kentish Coast, After An Arson Attack". It is a smouldering pile of ash and charred wood. She keeps it going each day with a bit more wood.

Janet Street-Porter

Janet Street-Porter is subject to a noise abatement order, and may only be broadcast during daylight hours.

John Major

John Major is in a Channel 4 studio, being filmed in a white short-sleeved shirt, for footage which can be fed in to its test match coverage later, to make it look as if he is at the game. You know those shots, when the camera cuts to a celebrity in the crowd? You think they are actually there? Oh, come on! Those guys were filmed days or weeks in advance! Also being filmed: Sven Goran Eriksson, Alastair Campbell, Jeffrey Archer, John Birt, Steve Norris and many others with slipping careers. Or, in John Major's case, no career.