Matthew Bell: The IoS Diary (06/06/10)

Would give up gossip if it meant that England won

Share
Related Topics

Much confusion over Hannah Rothschild's documentary about Peter Mandelson, after her talk at Hay, showing preview clips, was cancelled.

Apparently Mandy withdrew permission for the film to be shown, but when I spoke to her literary agent last week he said Rothschild had not finished filming, and planned to continue shadowing him over the summer. Indeed I understand Rothschild had already decided against giving the talk before last week. Rothschild refused to speak to journalists at Hay, but Mandelson's office confirms that he is still collaborating with Rothschild in the making of the film. No falling out, then – and besides, Mandy is, famously, a family friend of the Rothschilds. This weekend he is in Sitges, Spain, at the secretive Bilderberg conference where filming is, of course, out of the question.

***

Spin-doctor Helen Scott Lidgett, who was drafted into Gordon Brown's bunker at great expense in January, has limped back to her old job at Brunswick PR. An old friend of Sarah Brown's, the 60-year-old was once her art teacher at Camden School for Girls. She temporarily gave up her job in an emergency bid to improve the former PM's dour image, and was likened to Carole Caplin, Cherie Blair's infamous advisor, for her striking looks. But even the best PR couldn't help Gordon. As to who will be appointed to restore Labour's tattered image – that will be one of the first tasks for the winner of the leadership slog.

***

In his book Meat, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall championed the eating of less popular cuts such as pig's cheek, but is his new venture a step too far? In March 2011 he has a book out, provisionally titled The River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook.

***

Does Gisela Stuart know what she has let herself in for? The German-born Labour MP has lost a wager against William "14 pints" Hague, after she bet that the Tories would not leave the European People's Party. They did. She reminded him of this during a debate in the Commons last week, to Hague's delight. "I am looking forward to drinking with her the proceeds that she owes me," he said. Watch out!

***

Simon Mann, the Old Etonian whose failed "wonga coup" landed him a 34-year sentence in Equatorial Guinea's notorious Black Beach prison, has disclosed how he avoided the prison's worst deprivations during his time inside. "I had a whole network of people helping me," he explained when I ran into him at a party last week. It was recently revealed in an interview with Tatler that, far from suffering, Mann enjoyed gourmet meals and the president's own private health clinic. He certainly looked well on Thursday as he helped celebrate the launch of Katie Nicholl's biography of the royal princes. It was his first public outing since his return to Britain in November, and he admitted he was finding it hard to adjust. He continues to work on a book of his experiences, although was vague about plans for its publication.

***

Not everyone has been in Hay – Sebastian Faulks, Esther Freud and Tim Lott have been sunning themselves in Mauritius for the Prince Maurice book prize. The winner was announced last night as former cowgirl Julia Gregson, considered the outsider, whose second novel, East of the Sun, beat William Sutcliffe and Sadie Jones. "I've been judging this prize for eight years and there has never been any tension to decide the winner," Lott told me on emerging from the final judging session. "This time it was total deadlock. I'm exhausted." We don't feel too sorry for him – pool loungers and palm trees seem rather more attractive than the sodden Wye valley.

***

Mandelson, Blair, Alastair and possibly both Browns .... With so many Labour memoirs on the way, which to choose? Mandy's may be the best, but Richard Heller, an ex-advisor to Denis Healey, has launched an unusual campaign in the Yorkshire Post. "All great enterprises have to start somewhere, and where better than Yorkshire to launch a global boycott of Tony Blair?" he writes, before going on to pledge not to buy Blair's memoirs, or any newspaper which serialises them, or watch or listen to any broadcast which makes use of them, or to buy any related merchandise or services. Sounds like a full-time occupation.

m.bell@independent.co.uk

React Now

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

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Take a moment to imagine you're Ed Miliband...

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
 

Letters: No vote poses difficult questions – so why rush?

Independent Voices
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits