Matthew Bell: The IoS Diary (19/06/11)

Where every day is Ladies' Day

Related Topics

More fun on the phone-hacking front. A rumour reaches me that the News of the World is still paying the salary of sacked news editor Ian Edmondson, with whom, we were told, Rupert Murdoch was furious when "significant" evidence of unlawful voicemail interception emerged. Edmondson, incidentally, is known to have been under a lot of pressure recently, and is less than happy with his former employers. Anyway, I understand that the NoW has not been paying his salary, but has been making "duty of care" payments to his family. These have come to an end. Quite recently, actually, and apparently the police know about it. In any event, let's have no more cheap rumours about the buying of silence, please.

It was set to be a meeting of two of the world's most influential men – Bill Gates and Paul Dacre. But, alas, last week's scheduled encounter between the Microsoft billionaire and the editor of the Daily Mail was cancelled at the last minute. Accounts differ as to why this historic – and potentially world-changing – conference was scratched. Gates was in London to meet the Prime Minister and lobby the coalition to continue giving aid to the Third World. He even made time to appear on Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman. It has been suggested that Dacre, who hates to be lobbied, preferring to trust his own judgment, was reluctant to be lectured by a geeky moneybags. Not true, says my man at the Mail, who reveals he and five senior executives had cleared their diaries for a meeting when Gates cancelled. "Gates asked to reschedule at the last minute," he explains, "and unfortunately a new window couldn't be found at such short notice."

Much excitement in the trendy St Katharine Docks area of east London, where top theatre director Rupert Goold has applied to create a temporary performance space. Notices have gone up round Commodity Quay, near the homes of David Mellor and David Suchet, announcing plans by the Headlong Theatre company for an all-signing and dancing multimedia space, from August to December. Goold, 38, who directed Lucy Prebble's award-winning Enron in 2009, is riding high on a wave of popularity for his new Merchant of Venice at Stratford, and last year's Earthquakes in London at the National, touring nationwide from September. But can he convince his would-be neighbours, who recently saw off plans for a skyscraper nearby? "When I first read the notices I thought it was for a lap-dancing club," harrumphs one suspicious resident. "But now I know it's Rupert, of course I welcome it." Mwua, mwua!

Stephen Fry may be about to feel the wrath of London's taxi drivers, over claims he illegally parked his black cab in a taxi rank, a pet hate among cabbies. Barry Hooper, an executive for the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, has written a piece for Taxi magazine, accusing Fry of this most grievous of sins. "I have spoken to a couple of drivers that were very irate," writes Mr Hooper. "A bogus cab was left unattended on the John Lewis rank for a couple of hours. I'm told this cab belongs to comedian, writer, celebrity, Stephen Fry. If that's true, I'm no longer a fan." Mr Hooper is now appealing for photographic evidence of the incident, which occurred outside John Lewis on 4 June. Fry and Prince Philip are among a few savvy Londoners who drive an unlicensed black cab, partly for anonymity, partly for their excellent turning circle.

Sixties heart-throb Jess Conrad is playing down the sniping after being created OBE last weekend. Some wonder why the singer deserves it, given that his contribution to music includes three tracks so bad they made it on to Kenny Everett's compilation of bad music, The World's Worst Record Show. The gong was not for music, however, but for Conrad's "services to charity". "I've always been very serious about my work and about charity things," he tells the diary from Marbella, where he has been attending the Rhys Daniels Trust Butterfly Ball. In a sign of Conrad's continuing popularity in certain blue-rinsed spheres, a pair of his underpants fetched £500 during the charity auction. Conrad took it in his stride. "Women still fall for me," he says. "But mainly because they're too old to stand up."

St Paul's Cathedral is without scaffolding for the first time in 15 years, after a £40m restoration. The poles are down in time to celebrate 300 years since its completion, in 1711, and ahead of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations next year. Earlier this year, Her Majesty was reported to be suffering knee pain, which could be a problem when she comes to walk up the west entrance's 24 steps. Palace officials insist she is quite capable, but it's intriguing to see a swish new ramp has been unveiled at the north door.

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Polish minister Rafal Trazaskowski (second from right)  

Poland is open to dialogue but EU benefits restrictions are illegal and unfair

Rafal Trzaskowski
The report will embarrass the Home Secretary, Theresa May  

Surprise, surprise: tens of thousands of illegal immigrants have 'dropped off' the Home Office’s radar

Nigel Farage
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas