Cruise missiles, a prince's prayer, polls and poetry and matches and hatches

 

Share

War of words

As the backlash to Tom Cruise's statement – sorry, "joke" – that making his movies feels like going war in Afghanistan continues, the actor Mark Wahlberg pitched in with a rant last week that pointed out: "For somebody to sit there and say my job was as difficult as being in the military? How dare you, while you sit in a make-up chair for two hours." Wahlberg continued: "I don't give a shit if you get your ass busted. You get to go home at the end of the day. You get to go to your hotel room." But while many would applaud Wahlberg's assertion, our man in Hollywood reports on a recent conversation with the actor Harry Dean Stanton in which the true danger of making movies was revealed. For his new film Carlos Spills the Beans, in which Dean Stanton – a veteran of the Second World War – plays a barfly called Rhino, one scene involved a challenge as to who can eat the most red chillis without taking a drink. Dean Stanton says: "We used real chillis on the set and everyone's faces went beetroot red. I started thinking: 'Oh well, whatever will be, will be. I couldn't care less now. I'm 87 years old.'"

A real royal anthem

Prince William "rocking out" with Jon Bon Jovi was a viral highlight of the week. But what was he singing? Our sources picked up this through a hidden microphone: "Daddy used to talk to the plants/ Waiting for the crown/ He's waited so long … It's tough, so tough/ Kate she plays with Georgie all day/ Waving to the folk/ Who give us the pay/ We love, we love/ She says, "We've got to hold on/ For what we want/ While Granny's on the throne/ We may make it or not/ We've got each other/ And that's our lot/ For now / We'll just rock the cot!/ Whoah, we're halfway there/ Whoah, living as an heir/ Take one's hand/ We can make it I swear/ Whoah, living as an heir!" (fade out for a generation).

Diamonds are 'Viva Forever'?

The Fine Jewellery Sale at Bonhams on 5 December includes a number of items with pop-culture provenance. If the tiara worn by Victoria Beckham at her wedding doesn't grab you at £18,000-£25,000, consider bidding for "selected jewels from the collection of bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford" (from £13,000 to £460,000). Could Mrs B's decision to part with her "fairy-tale gold and diamond crown" be an attempt to tell us something?

Polls positions

Five things we learnt from recent surveys:

1 People are having sex less (National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles)

2 Households are less optimistic about their finances (Market Household Finance Index)

3 Consumers are feeling optimistic about the economy (Tesco)

4 "Happiness is love" (the ultimate finding of the 75-years-in-the-making $20m Harvard University US Grant Study)

5 Kate Windsor and Simon Cowell are the people we would most and least like to see on a Christmas card this year (PaperShaker)

Birth of a trend, ew

We keep their first teeth, and now the "sustainable artist" Amanda Cotton has come up with a novel way to immortalise your baby's earliest moment: the placenta picture frame. It's incredible no one's thought of it before. According to reports, you keep the placenta in a cool box and then Miss Cotton cooks it and arranges the fragments in a resin mould. "It is my belief that human by-products have a valid aesthetic value," the artist says. The art collector Charles Saatchi was unavailable for comment.

The skinny on George

He played Batman in the 1997 film Batman & Robin, but last week George Clooney admitted that he might have been more suited to the role of the Joker. The notorious prankster told the New York Post: "I do enjoy whenever an actor's trying to lose weight having the wardrobe people take in their clothes. It makes me laugh watching them eat, like, a grape the next day. It's good fun." Could that be the reason his Gravity co-star Sandra Bullock looked so, ahem, weightless in that space capsule?

For no rhyme or reason

The first in an occasional series of limericks based on recent events:

Last week Boris Johnson did tell us

That we were all jolly good fellas

Wave wads at the needy

It's great to be greedy

And all who don't think so are jealous

What, no 'We are Family'?

You get a column in a Sunday paper and form dictates that you need to do something to put in it to make you look dedicated and urbane. So you catch wind of something called Wedding Disco and the "Your favourite songs from the best night of your life" subhead draws you in. So off you (by which I mean I) go expecting confetti, the works. What greets you is a bunch of people in a bar with two DJs playing in the corner. But then, at around 11pm, a strange thing happens. The cool Camden crowd loosens up. "Pretty Woman" appears to be the catalyst, but "Oops Upside Your Head" does nothing to diminish the lack of inhibition. "Brilliant idea!" I shout to the DJ. "It's a stupid idea but that's why we love it," the young man, known here as Billy Best Man, shouts back. "Just wait till you see what we've got planned for New Year's Eve."

Hero of the week

Fans of Towie will be familiar with Joey Essex, the 23-year-old club promoter who entered that show in series two and is now in the jungle on I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!. He made quite an entrance. In his first week he had to admit that he could not tell the time, and then did unspeakable things to the English language as he said he did not like to "confrontate". We've been here before with Jade Goody, of course. And our first reaction is always: "How the hell did this person make it through the education system?" But then, as with Goody, you scratch the surface and discover the mitigating circumstances; in this case, Essex's mother committed suicide when Joey was 10. But this is no plea for sympathy. Rather, it's an appeal on two fronts: first, that if it's not too late the publishers of next year's Totes Ridictionary (a dictionary of new terms) give Essex a job as a lexicographer. And second, that the lad is given a My Fair Lady-meets-reality-TV makeover in a show called, what else?, Educating Joey Essex.

twitter.com/@simmyrichman

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The economy expanded by 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2014  

British economy: Government hails the latest GDP figures, but there is still room for scepticism over this 'glorious recovery'

Ben Chu
Comedy queen: Miranda Hart has said that she is excited about working on the new film  

There is no such thing as a middle-class laugh

David Lister
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little