Michael Bywater: btw

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The Independent Online

Today's Special: Roasted Food Critic, Drizzled With Bile. Appearing at the Cheltenham Festival, metrosexual flâneur and restaurant critic AA Gill, who denounced Gloucestershire and, in particular, Stow-on-the-Wold. "Worse than a Sudanese refugee camp," announced the immaculately tailored foodie; "purse-lipped tedium"; "pubs like outpatients". The mayor of Stow threatened Gill with rotten eggs in the ornamental stocks, and the Gloucestershire Echo praised the Cotswolds for being "untouched by city values", a view shared by "the thousands of tourists who flock here". It didn't mention the thousands of City traders, imbued with the ancient rural values of Canary Wharf, who flock to estate agents in search of something for the weekend. Paul Davidson, a local award-winning restaurateur savaged in print by Gill (who didn't like a cartoon in the lavatory) demanded: "How do you manage to justify the way you trash people's lives?" Gill, unrepentant, blamed the former RDF Media creative director Stephen Lambert, whom he accused of "behaving disgracefully" in the – Oops. Sorry. Wrong story.

* Woman Unhurt In Rather Silly Car Crash. Elsewhere in the Echo, we learn of a woman who wrote off her Nissan Micra on a country road after "a large spider came down from the sun visor above her head and lost control of the car". The woman, who was unhurt, is expected to issue a statement accusing the spider of "behaving disgracefully", while the spider, who has resigned, is considering an offer to become the new controller of BBC One, replacing Peter Fincham, who – Damn. Wrong story again.

* But Sir, Everyone Else Is Doing It Too, Sir. The right story at last. The popular ("at a new low" – The Guardian) BBC director general, Mark "Popgoes" Thompson, has flounced into battle following the Wyatt report into the Queen Storms Into Photoshoot Shock. Not content with accusing RDF Media's Stephen Lambert of "behaving disgracefully", Popgoes, or his avatars, are now lashing out at the competition. Friday's BBC website featured a story denouncing The X Factor for representing a house as Louis Walsh's house, when it wasn't his house at all. "We said it was his house, not his home" said a PR woman for the producers. Oh dear. Memo to DG: some things on TV are real. Some aren't real. The audience can tell the difference.

* BBC Improves Home Life of Royal Family. It wasn't always like this. My man in the Broadcasting House canteen tells me of a mammoth outside broadcast in Hyde Park for Commonwealth heads of state. The Duke of Edinburgh wanted to watch them setting up the fireworks in rehearsal, and the Queen came too, to keep an eye on him. Alas, their monitor was on the fritz. Presently, the best engineer was called out. He peered at it for a bit; then hit it a mighty thwack. Prince Philip, triumphantly: "See? See? The man from the BBC does it too."