Matthew Bell: The IoS diary

Share

He is on an £18m contract to work exclusively for the BBC, but even Jonathan Ross can't resist the odd freebie. Ross and his 14-year-old son have been treated to an exclusive free preview of a computer game at his London home, and are to be given a copy before its general release. Ross's son described the game, Spore, as "bloody amazing" on a computing blog, and posted photos on the internet of him with his father endorsing the game.

"People from EA came round to our house today and showed me and my family the current beta of Spore," writes Harvey Ross, "We didn't actually get an early copy but we've played and we are getting an early version of the creature creator early." Spore, which is expected to be as big a craze as SimCity, will not be available to the public until September. A BBC spokeswoman denies any wrongdoing, but BBC editorial guidelines state: "Staff should not take advantage of their position in dealing with suppliers to obtain personal discounts for themselves, or their families."

Jonathan Ross was unavailable for comment, but a spokeswoman insists: "Appearing on a games website in no way contravenes Jonathan's contract with the BBC or compromises the very tight editorial guidelines governing all BBC shows."

Andy Burnham's remarks about the relationship between David Davis and Shami Chakrabarti drew pantomime boos from a host of women MPs, not least Diane Abbott. "I am extremely disappointed in Andy Burnham," she harrumphed. "I thought the Labour Party had left these sort of politics behind." But wait. Wasn't it only 10 days ago that Abbott, on 'This Week' on the day of Davis's resignation, gave a light-hearted "hmm, yes" when Andrew Neil mentioned – entirely innocently and seriously – that Chakrabarti-Davis were very close? "Diane took it in a nudge, nudge sort of way," confirms my source in the studio. Viewers will recall that Neil promptly steered the discussion back to safer grounds after Abbott's interjection, saying "No, I don't mean it in that way." Abbott accuses me of a smear when I get in touch. "Why are you trying to build an edifice of meaning on the syllables 'hmmm'?" she asks. Hmmm indeed.

Poor old Nigel Kennedy. Not as famous as he used to be, the elfin violinist did his best to hold his own among the veritable Madame Tussauds of A-list celebrities who turned out for a night of karaoke at Ronnie Scott's jazz club on Thursday. After Gwyneth Paltrow had sung 'Killing Me Softly', and Bryan Ferry did a duo with Lily Cole, Kennedy gamely volunteered to accompany author Will Self, who got up to sing 'Hey Joe'. As he began to play, Self naughtily adapted his lyrics, and sang "Oh Nigel Kennedy,/ why don't you just fuck off, back to Poland, just fuck off..." etc/" I regret to report the laughter was hearty, but our Nige bravely played on.

What is it about Kay Burley that she can't help getting slapped? The 'Sky News' presenter's scrap with a photographer outside Uxbridge Court on Friday, which left her with a purple cheekbone, is only the latest episode in a lifetime of Punch and Judy knockabouts. In 2001 she was slapped by co-newsreader and one-time love interest Frank Partridge, and in 1994 the 'Mirror' reported she had suffered a broken nose after a row with her then husband Steve Kuttner.

The 'Sun' journalist Alex West was suspended after he was caught attempting to buy cocaine, but is now safely back on the staff. And it seems such trials and retribution are part of a family tradition. His father, Lord West of Spithead, piped up during a debate on Asbos to reminisce of his own misdeeds: "I remember getting the tawse, as it was called in Scotland – the belt or the cane – and I would occasionally boast to chaps, 'Gosh, I've just had the cane'. It did not mean that I tried to get caned again, although I might have been occasionally." Lord Peston, whose son Robert is a BBC journalist, was also a bad boy, it seems: "When I was young, this behaviour was called 'hooliganism' – I speak as a hooligan – but we all grew out of it," he said, "We became very senior people in our society."

As a leading rock chick, Peaches Geldof should be used to loud music. But even she was unable to subject her ears to a 30-minute amplified soundwall during a gig by My Bloody Valentine on Friday. Although standing towards the back, Peaches had to cover her ears when the band played 'You Made Me Realise', a song which goes into a half-hour meltdown, described by one fan as akin to the sound of a jet engine. But at least she stayed the course – many had to leave the room.

m.bell@independent.co.uk

React Now

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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour leader Ed Miliband unveils Labour's pledges carved into a stone plinth in Hastings  

Election 2015: Smash the two-party system! Smash the voting system!

Armando Iannucci
Tactical voting is a necessary evil of the current first-past-the-post system, where voters vote against what they do not want rather than in favour of what they do  

Election 2015: Voting tactically has become more fraught in new political order

Michael Ashcroft
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power