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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Seven per cent of young men have recently stopped using deodorant  

‘Sweaty-gate’ leaves a bad smell for PRs and journalists

Danny Rogers
Alison Parker and Adam Ward: best remembered before tragedy  

The only way is ethics: Graphic portraits of TV killings would upset many, not just our readers in the US

Will Gore
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory