Matthew Bell: The IoS Diary (04/03/12)

Tack shop

Share

Well, waddya know? A top barrister who once called for the QC system to be scrapped has just become a QC himself. David Wolfe, a colleague of Cherie Blair at the Matrix Chambers, has obviously thought again since signing an open letter to the Lord Chancellor in 2003, in which he and 10 others declared that "the QC system is against the public interest". This nearly persuaded the government to scrap it. Now, with echoes of John Prescott's ascension to the Lords, Wolfe is one of 88 lawyers to be awarded the prestigious title, which usually gives barristers an excuse to charge more. When the legal blogger Roll of Honour pointed out Wolfe's volte face, he responded with weasely lawyer-speak to explain that it wasn't a U-turn, and insisted he wouldn't put up his fees. Clients should ask for that in writing, and feel free to let us know if he does.

The Daily Mail gave a robust defence of its practices to the Leveson inquiry, and has promoted Mail on Sunday editor Peter Wright to oversee "ethics and standards" across the papers. Indeed, so chirpy are senior Mail executives that I understand they have given a journalist from The New Yorker unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to editorial conference, for an article she is writing. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker's London correspondent, is preparing a big number on the Mail, whose website recently overtook The New York Times as the world's most visited newspaper website. But was it wise to grant Collins such access? She has previously written less than flattering pieces on British tabloid culture, and is, I'm told, not at all guaranteed to write a complimentary piece. The nail-biting begins.

Organisers of a James Bond exhibition opening at the Barbican have launched a hunt for the powder-blue romper suit worn by Sean Connery in Goldfinger. David Mason, the creative force behind the tailoring firm Anthony Sinclair, which used to make suits for Ian Fleming in the 1960s, has put out an appeal to find the fetching towelling-material one-piece, which Connery wears in early scenes of his third 007 film. "We don't know where it's gone," he says. "A lot of the costumes used in those early films have gone missing." Though the romper suit never really took off, the model David Gandy recently endorsed Anthony Sinclair's Conduit suits, as worn by Connery, and the firm has relaunched following the tailor's death a few years ago. Are there plans to bring back the romper suit? "I don't think so," giggles a spokeswoman. Never say never again.

Claire Tomalin and Robert Douglas-Fairhurst both enjoyed glowing reviews for their biographies of Charles Dickens in his bicentenary year. But despite being a bigger name, Tomalin has lost out on the prestigious Duff Cooper Prize for biography, which was awarded to her rival. The annual gong and £5,000 cheque was presented at the French Ambassador's residence in Kensington Palace Gardens on Wednesday, where Douglas-Fairhurst made a short and dignified speech. It must have been a blow for Tomalin, who also lost out on the Costa prize.

There was some surprise when The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson performed at the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002, given his history of drug-related mental illness. Ten years on, he is not billed for the Diamond Jubilee, though he still gives live performances. Speaking to the diary from Los Angeles, the 69-year-old says singing live is one of his great joys, up there with walking the dogs. "I walk every morning," he says, "just me and my 14 dogs, and always with my favourite, Lulu, the poodle. We walk in complete silence." Although it was an acid trip that inspired Wilson to write one of his greatest hits, "California Girls", he regrets taking drugs, and says he won't touch them again. "I took way too many and went out of my mind. It really messed me up." And, disappointingly, he's gone off the whole surfer vibe, too. "I live in Los Angeles, eight miles from the sea, but I won't ever go to the beach. I don't enjoy it any more." Maybe it's better never to meet your heroes.

Much confusion after Sir Paul McCartney's visit to Snog Ice Cream parlour in Covent Garden yesterday. Tory MP Robert Halfon went in soon after, and Tweeted that Macca "took out cash – says to staff 'this is more than you earn a week'!" But when I call and speak to Jemima, who served Macca five chocolate Snogs, she says Halfon's story is codswallop. Who to believe?

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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

£350 p/d (Contract): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP /...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Social Researcher

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Controller

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Head Porter / Concierge

£16000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The UCAS clearing house call centre in Cheltenham, England  

Ucas should share its data on students from poor backgrounds so we can get a clearer picture of social mobility

Conor Ryan
A study of 16 young women performing light office work showed that they were at risk of being over-chilled by air conditioning in summer  

It's not just air conditioning that's guilty of camouflage sexism

Mollie Goodfellow
Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks