Matthew Bell: The IoS Diary

Denies everything

Share
Related Topics

As if he hasn't got enough on his plate, word reaches me that Tiger Woods has found himself in the rough at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

Even before we learned of his colourful bedroom behaviour, his antics on the course left much to be desired, with tantrums and swearing as much a part of the performance as impeccably judged swings. After years of turning a blind eye to this, I'm told senior figures at the club have issued Woods with a warning, which could jeopardise his entry to next year's British Open at the terrifyingly smart club. but he's probably got other things to worry about for now.

***

Since he left Downing Street there have been various attempts to portray Alastair Campbell as someone other than a motor-mouthed Machiavelli. But it seems he really is human. After watching a rugby match at Keighley, West Yorkshire, where he used to be a fan, he was signing copies of his book when winger Sam Gardner sidled over with his own draft novel. "I expect you get a lot of this, but could you take a look?" he asked, handing over a plastic bag. While some hearts might have sunk, Campbell duly read the book and passed it on to his agent. When Gardner got in touch again he was thrilled to be given various tips and suggested tweaks, and The Rectifires has now been published. "He's written me a foreword," Gardner tells me. "He's a nice man – polite and down to earth." The rehabilitation, annoyingly, continues.

***

Those who say Boris Johnson is nothing but trouble for David Cameron should know that the Mayor of London is doing his best to help. On Friday, a star chamber will meet to discuss whether Edward McMillan-Scott, Tory MEP for Yorkshire, was wrongly ejected from the party after he took a stand against the ECR, Cameron's new European group. Many Tories feel McMillan-Scott was unfairly treated and now there is a suggestion their number may include Boris. Johnson knows McMillan-Scott from his years as a Brussels correspondent, and is backing his "less meat, less heat" position. "Boris told me he wanted to lose a stone, so I told him to eat less meat," McMillan-Scott tells me. "I lost two and a half stone by not eating meat." Fine, but what about his other campaign? Is Boris backing it? Boris's spokesman is tight-lipped. "This is not something he would get involved in either way," he says. Boris? Judicious? Well, well.

***

Producers of Have I Got News For You have grown ever more adventurous in their choice of guests, but the union leader Bob Crow was a tangential thought too far. As Crow, better known for calling strikes than cracking gags, was introduced to the studio audience before the cameras rolled, there were loud boos and hisses, as though a pantomime villain had walked on stage. A programme source explains: "Our audience is composed mainly of London commuters. They are not amused by Tube strikes."

***

One top environmentalist who won't be anywhere near Copenhagen is David Bellamy, the respected botanist and lisping Father Christmas lookalike. He is yet to be convinced of the link between human activity and climate change, and is currently busy on his memoirs, which set out his views. Since coming out as a sceptic, Bellamy has been ostracised by the BBC, he says, and his profile is certainly not what it used to be. But he continues to campaign to save the rainforest, and is vigorously opposed to palm oil plantations in Borneo, which are threatening orang-utans. He tells me he is also set to open a giant Butterfly World in Hertfordshire in February. And where did we catch up? On a 1p Ryanair flight to Pisa. Oops!

***

An awkward scene was narrowly avoided last week for David Blunkett and his one-time lover Kimberly Quinn. Both were invited to the launch of Dogs in Vogue, a glossy book about the pooches used in shoots for the fashion mag. The party was in aid of Guidedogs for the Blind, trainers of Blunkett's labradors, and was co-hosted by Vogue, whose publisher is Stephen Quinn, husband of Kimberly. Happily, Blunkett declined his invitation, allowing them an event-free evening.

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

Tradewind Recruitment: Intervention Teacher Required To Start ASAP.

£125 - £150 per day + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: A 'wonderful primary ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Maths Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is an 11-16 mixed commun...

Recruitment Genius: PHP / Drupal / SaaS Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...

Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough, Cam...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Benedict Cumberbatch attends a special screening of his latest film The Imitation Game  

Benedict Cumberbatch race row: What's the actual difference between 'coloured' and 'person of colour'?

Matthew Norman
Pressure is growing on Chris Grayling to abandon the Government bid to advise Saudi Arabia on running its prisons (Getty)  

What in sanity’s name is Chris Grayling doing in the job of Justice Secretary?

Matthew Norman
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy