Alice Jones: A circulation boost from beyond the grave

IMHO

Share
Related Topics

So now we know. Had Princess Diana lived to celebrate her 50th birthday yesterday she would be Botoxed, wearing J Crew and have 10 million followers on Twitter.

She would be raising millions for Sudan and suing The News of the World over phone hacking. She would have remarried at least twice, be BFFs with Carole Middleton, though a smidgeon jealous of Kate and spend her free time poking Sarkozy on Facebook. As for how she'd look, well, obviously, she'd look like Diana – slim, blonde and chic but with crows' feet and a slightly saggy neck. How do we know this? Because Newsweek told us so.

This week, on the eve of Prince William's 11-day tour of North America, his first official overseas engagement with his new wife, the US magazine adorned their cover with a ghoulish vision of Kate walking alongside a computer-resurrected, artificially aged Diana.

Inside, in a creepy piece of carrion journalism, Tina Brown, Newsweek editor and author of The Diana Chronicles, riffs at length on the Noughties Princess. There's an imagined encounter with Gorbachev at a charity ball ("she would have caused his birthmark to flush deeper as she leaned in..."), prurient speculation on her love life (and "her yen for dashing Muslim men") and the bizarre assertion that Diana would have been "first on the scene, in a hard hat" after 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and both tsunamis.

I don't think it's supposed to be funny and it's certainly not a tribute. Some of it is pretty offensive. So what's the point? According to Brown, it's an "intriguing package to show what she'd be like today". Not a terrible idea (the picture is another matter) but the resulting profile is a Frankenstein's monster of celebrity deities stitched together with cliches of modern womanhood rather than any recognisable human being.

Here's another "intriguing" scenario – where would Newsweek's sales and Tina Brown's profile be without their royal boost from beyond the grave?

***

The leap from front page to silver screen now happens at warp speed and so it is that not one but five Wikileaks movies are in the pipeline. Rights to the various books on the subject have been snapped up by Universal, Dreamworks and HBO while credible names like Paul Greengrass, the writer of The Hurt Locker, Mark Boal and Enron director Alex Gibney are lining up. The appeal of the real-life global conspiracy thriller is clear - it's All The President's Men meets The Social Network. And Julian Assange will make for a memorably flawed hero.

Who best, though, to capture the white-haired whistleblower on screen? Julian the younger is easy – Tom Felton, aka slimy schoolboy bully Draco Malfoy, has time now that Harry Potter is ending. As for the adult Assange, Neil Patrick Harris looks rather like him while among British actors, Michael Sheen could go to town on that Australian bass, John Simm has the right shrewish charm and Paul Bettany has demonstrated zealous albino acting chops in The Da Vinci Code. My choice, though, would be Kevin Spacey, currently wowing theatres with his campy, megalomaniac Richard III. Failing him? Tilda Swinton. Stranger things have happened in Hollywood.

***

Only 24 hours to go until Wimbledon's climax. No, not the men's final – the BBC highlights montage. Watching the closing minutes of coverage on the final Sunday – Cash clambering through the crowds, Novotna's tears, Krajicek's streaker and Llodra felling a ball girl, to an emotive soundtrack of "That's Life" or "Bring Me Sunshine" – is something of a sacred ritual. When Tsonga beat Federer in the quarter finals and celebrated with a skippy little cross-court dance, my first thought was not of giant-slaying victory but "that'll be great for the montage".

Wimbledon is full of these eccentric golden moments: that's why players and viewers alike love it. This year, I expect much slow-mo roof vs rain action, plenty of Bethanie "Gaga" Mattek-Sands in her eyepatches and knee-highs and a symphony of Sharapova squeaks. I suppose Murray might feature, too. Can't wait.

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Don’t pity me for eating alone, just give me a better table

Rosie Millard
Aerial view of planned third runway at Heathrow  

Heathrow expansion: This final 'conclusion' has simply fanned the airport flames

Chris Blackhurst
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most