Michael Bywater: btw


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."

React Now

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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page


In Sickness and in Health: 'I'm really happy to be alive and to see Rebecca'

Rebecca Armstrong
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine