Matthew Bell: The IoS Diary

Freshly minted and in constant circulation

Share

They were the darlings of News Corp: she the face of Sky News, he political editor of The Sun. But the five-year romance between Kay Burley and George Pascoe-Watson has, I can reveal, come to an end. He has moved out of the large arts-and-crafts house they shared in Harrow-on-the-Hill, formerly the home of Carry On star Kenneth Connor. Pascoe-Watson is understood to have moved back to his own house, which had been let. Burley, 48, has been a presenter at Sky since it launched, while her ex, 42, is a rising star at The Sun and is close to David Cameron. "It's very sad, nobody wants to talk about it," says a friend.

***

In other Sun romance news, editor Rebekah Wade is reported to be marrying her boyfriend Charlie Brooks, the raffish racehorse trainer. Or is she? Two newspapers confidently announced the wedding last week, one even fixing the date at June 13th. But this is, apparently, news to Brooks, who says it came as "a bit of a shock" when he read it over breakfast. The story has yet to be removed from the newspapers' websites, so why so bashful Charlie?

***

Arthur Scargill fumed last week at an allegation that his old sidekick, Mick McGahey, vice president of the National Union of Mineworkers, and Tory deputy leader Lord Whitelaw tried to stitch up a deal to settle the miners' strike of 1984-5. Scargill said the claim, made by Francis Beckett and David Hencke in a recent book, was "either the most outrageous smear since the Zinoviev letter or the greatest betrayal by a union leader in living memory". When I contact him, he emails to say he wants evidence of these "secret talks". The authors say the late Bill Keys, the print union leader, acted as go-between and they provide dates of his meetings with Whitelaw and Megahy from Keys's diaries. At this point Scargill goes a bit quiet – a pity as the authors also allege the discussions produced a deal that Scargill rejected. Sadly, he refused to talk to them, but they are keen to show him the diaries. Arthur? Are you there?

***

Is there a conspiracy of silence among their friends to suppress the most interesting part of the Myerson story – the reason Jake Myerson turned to drugs in the first place? He told the Mail his childhood had been "shattered by fights, reality and talk of my parents separating". They didn't split, he said, "but perhaps it might have been better if they had, because everything which has happened now is, in my eyes, a by-product of trying to keep things together". Both parents have trilled about the need for honesty but neither has addressed what Jake calls their "need to pretend things are still idyllic". When I ring to ask whether we can expect Julie to write about it in future Jonathan gives a little laugh and says, "I don't think so". Julie doesn't return my calls.

***

Diane Abbott, disclosed on This Week that she was standing next to a minister during Prime Minister's Questions when David Cameron asked Gordon Brown about an inquiry into torture. Without naming names, Abbott said the minister repeatedly muttered, "This story is just got up by the Daily Mail. It's all the Daily Mail...". Abbott kept her confidences, but I can reveal that the minister within her earshot was Foreign Secretary David "Banana" Miliband, the very man in the spotlight over the MI5 torture allegations. It's not just the Mail who wants answers, Dave.

***

Guy Ritchie was the model of civility during his divorce from Madonna last year, taking only a fraction of her vast fortune, plus her Wiltshire estate. But could the film director now be willing to part with Ashcombe House, formerly the home of society photographer Cecil Beaton? I'm told a wealthy house-hunter from Sussex looking to buy in the area was recently shown round the 1,200-acre estate, but decided against it because of nearby Compton Abbas airfield, which annoyed Madonna so much she once tried to buy it to close it down. A spokesman for Ritchie says rumours Aschcombe is for sale are "completely false".

***

Mother's Day is close and retailers have swung into action. But what's this? Prominently displayed in the window of a well-known black and gold bookshop, they recommend as a gift Delia Smith's How To Cook. Not a present to be given in person.



Matthew Bell

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

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Performance Consultant Trainee

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Consultant trainee opportunit...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - (Full marketing mix) - Knutsford

£22000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Knu...

Ashdown Group: Web Developer - ASP.NET, C#, MVC - London

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Web Developer -...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A picture posted by Lubitz to Facebook in February 2013  

Andreas Lubitz: Knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 enabled mass murder

Simon Calder
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, presides at the reinterment of Richard III yesterday  

Richard III: We Leicester folk have one question: how much did it all cost?

Sean O’Grady
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn
Election 2015: Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May

Election 2015

Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May
Countdown to the election: Operation Save Danny Alexander shifts into high gear as the SNP target his Commons seat

Operation Save Danny Alexander shifts into high gear

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury didn’t forget his Highland roots in the Budget. But the SNP is after his Commons seat
The US economy is under threat because of its neglected infrastructure

The US is getting frayed at the edges

Public spending on infrastructure is only half of Europe’s, and some say the nation’s very prosperity is threatened, says Rupert Cornwell
Mad Men final episodes: Museum exhibition just part of the hoopla greeting end of 1960s-set TV hit

New Yorkers raise a glass to Mad Men

A museum exhibition is just part of the hoopla greeting the final run of the 1960s-set TV hit
Land speed record: British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

Bloodhound SSC will attempt to set a new standard in South Africa's Kalahari desert
Housebuilders go back to basics by using traditional methods and materials

Housebuilders go back to basics - throwing mud at the wall until it sticks

Traditional materials are ticking all the construction boxes: they are cheap, green – and anyone can use them
Daniel Brühl: 'When you have success abroad, you become a traitor. Envy is very German'

Daniel Brühl: 'Envy is very German'

He's got stick for his golden acting career and for his beloved restaurant - but Daniel Brühl is staying put in Berlin (where at least the grannies love him)
How Leica transformed photography for ever: Celebrating 100 years of the famous camera

Celebrating 100 years of Leica

A new book reveals how this elegant, lightweight box of tricks would transform the way we saw life on the street and in fashion, on the battlefield and across the world