Matthew Bell: The IoS Diary (30/05/10)

More than meets the iPad

Share
Related Topics

Princes William and Harry were kept from prying eyes during their time at Eton thanks to an agreement with the press, but their place in the school's history is now to be commemorated with an official portrait. I'm told the college has asked fashionable portrait painter Nicky Phillips to paint a copy of the picture she did for the National Portrait Gallery, which was unveiled with much fanfare earlier this year. Phillips politely refuses to discuss her work when I call but my fag in the Fives Court says the double portrait will join the school's hall of fame. Perhaps the Prime Minister will be next?

One of the weirder extravagances of recent political history comes to an end as Tim Hames is leaving his £100,000 post as Speaker Bercow's spokesman. A former Times hack, Hames was known to some wags as "Hurler" after an incident in the gutters of Washington DC. His appointment last November was thought to be the first time a House of Commons Speaker has had a special advisor; part of his job was to handle the media, and he was awarded Grade 1 status, entitling him to a salary of between £87,000 and £107,000. Writing in The Times, Hames memorably claimed that it was absurd to think Obama would become President, and promised to eat a load of Tabasco sauce if he was wrong. He leaves to join the British Venture Capital Association in July.

Intriguing peerages must include Madonna's ex-mother-in-law Shireen Ritchie, John Gummer – whose brother is Lord Chadlington of Dean, David Cameron's country neighbour – and senior Telegraph executive Guy Black, (the paper was responsible for dripping the expenses stories). Perhaps most surprising is Matthew Taylor, the former Lib Dem MP for Truro – could it be the same man who stood down at the general election saying, "I have never loved parliament... I don't like this institution. I think it's a 19th-century institution that struggles to be effective in any way in the 21st century.... I won't miss it at all"?

How should the UK resolve its debt crisis? By taking a leaf out of Sarah Ferguson's book, of course. Respected LSE director Howard Davies, speaking at Hay yesterday, said that what Britain needs is good foreign investment. "The Duchess of York was clearly doing her bit to get Prince Andrew to meet overseas investors. We should applaud her for that."

There's even some good news for Fergie: her friend Lisa Marie Presley is said to be moving to Britain. The two became pals last summer in London and Elvis's daughter now plans to leave Los Angeles and buy a home here. She has reportedly looked at houses in Hampstead, and claims to be a fan of the British climate. "I feel any place that is perpetually sunny is suspect and wrong," she has said of Hollywood, adding, "I can honestly say that I am the only person who came to England for the weather. I love the cold and the rain." If Fergie now moves out of Andrew's Windsor home, perhaps they could move in together and found a new Graceland?

Brat pack novelist Bret Easton Ellis says he will never write another novel again. The author of American Psycho has decided TV and film work is now more his thing, and he is thrilled at a commission to make a high school movie. "I think TV is the future of the novel," he tells the new issue of GQ, "I don't know how patient I am with the novel. Maybe everything that I wanted to do with the novel I've kind of done. I don't know where else to take it or what else to do with it. I'm at a point in my life where that form of expressing myself is no longer that interesting, whereas a high-school curse movie is right up my alley."

Man-about-town Ben Elliott is marking 10 years of success running his concierge service Quintessentially with an awards ceremony, (do we really need another?), but he has more daunting matters on the horizon. The Duchess of Cornwall's nephew tells me he plans to cycle to Land's End next month for charity, having failed a similar jaunt last year. A cycle from London to Paris ended near Dieppe when a collision left him with a dislocated shoulder.

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

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Middleweight

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...

Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron has reiterated his pre-election promise to radically improve the NHS  

How can we save the NHS? Rediscover the stiff upper lip

Jeremy Laurance
 

Thanks to Harriet Harman, Labour is holding its own against the Tory legislative assault

Isabel Hardman
Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor