Diary: Hi-tech search for hound

High Street Ken
Sunday 23 October 2011 06:27

A shaggy dog story from the pages of Facebook. Late on Monday evening, Sheridan Smith lost her dog: Enid, a cuddly Shar Pei with ear trouble, who went missing somewhere in the Crouch End area. Enid's "distraught" owner – former squeeze of James Corden; former star of Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps ; current star of the West End musical Legally Blonde, in which she plays a chihuahua-loving legal student – promptly established a Facebook group devoted to finding her. Soon Smith's fans were on the case, Enid was the talk of Theatreland, and by yesterday morning Radio 1 had issued a plea for her safe return. Around lunchtime, a breakthrough: Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden tweeted that the dog had been sighted, close to Gregg's bakery "by the park entrance". What happened next isn't clear, but by 3pm, it emerged that Enid had made her way to Battersea Dogs Home – where she was finally reunited with her owner. In the words of Smith's Facebook fan Doreen Formby, "love a happy ending :)"

* The Labour MP and one-time minister Tom Watson suggested on Monday that even Tony Blair thinks his mobile phone might have been hacked by reporters from the News of the World. Which begs the question: what exactly would they have expected to glean from Mr Blair's telephonic communications? TB, it should be noted, only acquired a mobile phone of his own a few short months before his departure from Downing Street (and three months, incidentally, before Andy Coulson's departure from Wapping). And it wasn't until after his resignation that he even learnt how to send his first text – to which he received the troubling reply, "Who are you?" Perhaps he'd been trying to wish his successor luck.

* Still, nice to see the Brownite Mr Watson leaping to TB's defence. He was once, after all, best known for instigating an attempted coup against the then-PM in September 2006, being the only minister to sign a round-robin letter from Labour MPs urging TB to quit – an act that TB described as "disloyal, discourteous and wrong". A call to Mr Watson to ask whether the pair have been in touch to patch up their differences draws only a low chuckle. But in his memoir, TB appears to forgive his wayward former foe for his indiscretion: "I felt sorry for him," the great man writes. "The trouble with a lot of the younger [MPs]... is that they just hadn't thought it all through. They got a little intoxicated with the excitement of changing leader and playing a part in it all." How gracious of him.

* The case of Andy Coulson provides "pretty good fodder" for satire – specifically Armando Iannucci's The Thick of It, says one of the show's stars, Roger Allam. Iannucci and co are "waiting to see how things develop" before starting work on another series, Allam told me at the premiere of Tamara Drewe , his new film with Gemma Arterton. "But the Coalition provides plenty of fodder – though I can't imagine the show without Peter Capaldi's wonderful performance, so maybe Malcolm Tucker will survive, too." Drewe 's director, Stephen Frears, was less circumspect. "If [Coulson]'s been authorising phones to be hacked," he declared, "then he should be taken out and shot! But I don't know much about it – I just read the newspapers." And you can't believe them.

* Further up the red carpet, Tamara Drewe 's creator, the cartoonist Posy Simmonds, revealed she'd been researching her next graphic novel by attending pole-dancing classes. "It's terrifying," she told me. "Terrible, truly ghastly. People look like complete arses doing it." Indeed. So, erm... might Ms Arterton be persuaded to star in that one, too?

* As Foreign Secretary, David Miliband regularly enjoyed the hospitality of the world's finest hotels. The leadership campaign trail is somewhat less glamorous. "I think I'm now the world expert on the different Premier Inns – which ones have got TGI Friday's [restaurants] and which ones have got Beefeater pubs," Miliband (D) laments in a recent campaign video diary. "But you know what you're getting with the Premier Inn: a comfy bed with a clean room." A man of the people.


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