Guardian columnist

Is Mark Wahlberg really the kind of reserve officer the LAPD is looking for? — Swiftly now to acting's Mark Wahlberg, who makes an audacious bid for the Paris Hilton Chair of Celebrity Jurisprudence. Mark is erstwhile of the Funky Bunch, of course, and most recently of the Transformers franchise, having stolen our hearts - and our neurons - in the critically misunderstood Age of Extinction.

Ukip’s rogue males, sexual harassment and money mixups - a byelection drama that’s in the Dynasty league — If politics is showbiz for ugly people, then Ukip is fast becoming its Dynasty: high camp, hilarious, and increasingly impossible not to tune in for. And both have starred Joan Collins, obviously. This week, though, Ukip has mostly been starring one Natasha Bolter, who has quit as the prospective candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock and must now be prospective candidate for the Celebrity Big Brother house.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi: tit-for-tat miracle men are getting ridiculous — To football's Spanish civil war, first, and an escalation in the tit-for-tat hat-trick hostilities between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. On Saturday, Ronaldo notched up another three, only for Messi to retaliate on Sunday with his own trio (his third in four games) during in what must be described as an another astonishing performance in the Catalan derby (as long as everyone's not becoming so blasé that they aren't even astonishing anymore).

Childbirth is as awful as it is magical, thanks to our postnatal ‘care’ — Ah, the magic of birth! The unadulterated fulfilment of those first few hours and days of new motherhood! Isn't it wonderful? I'm afraid to say, I didn't think so. Or rather, I'm not afraid to say it any more - but it did seem rather awkward at the time, what with the welter of "how amazing is it?"

Mario Balotelli controversy proves FA requires new internet policy — Have you honestly got a "BALOTELLI RACE STORM" left in you? If you have, you must be a stronger man than me. Some of you might even be actual men, come to that - but let's not get distracted. First, a recap.

I’m confused about Britain and class: if I buy a telly on Black Friday does that make me a pleb? — There really is nothing more ghastly than a Tory MP calling a policeman a pleb - except, perhaps, people who jostle to get 50% off a telly. Have I got that right?

Angelina Jolie, Paris Hilton, Lassie and Tony Blair: here to save the world — Did it finally happen? Did the pernicious pretence that is the humanitarian awards industry finally implode last week, at a ceremony to give Tony Blair a "global legacy" gong? On the one hand, things look promising. Well over 100,000 people have signed a petition asking Save the Children to revoke its award.

Sending out an SOS! Sting to the rescue on Broadway — All hands on deck for Sting, who has parachuted himself into the lead role of his ailing Broadway musical The Last Ship. Principal Geordie duties had been filled by Jimmy Nail, but it seems that The Last Ship is listing terribly, taking on board $75,000 of losses a week, and Sting has acted now to stop it turning into a giant maritime disaster metaphor.

In the name of the FA’s own sanity, please don’t investigate Malky Mackay — There are few better guarantees of fiasco than the phrase "now the subject of an FA investigation". On these shores at least, it is the gold standard of creating outcomes in which everyone loses. There may yet be nuclear Armageddons with more winners than the list of incidents mishandled by the Wembley major incident department.

Insulted and caricatured: who declared open season on the critics? — Critics aren't dead. Not that you'd know it to look at them: their clothes are matted with pelted eggs and rotten tomatoes, their bodies are punchbags. Everyone thought critics were on the way out years ago, fated to become the first casualties of social media. But the internet has not yet rendered them irrelevant.
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Dec 18, 2014

Proposal: all World Cups and all Olympics (winter and summer) to be held in Switzerland in perpetuity

Dec 16, 2014

RT @MikeBenchCapon: @MarinaHyde Looking forward to Chelsea locking Barbara and Jenna up in a tower.

Dec 16, 2014

If Jeb or Hillary won & did 2 terms, presidency would have been passed between 2 families for 36yrs, bar Obama interregnum. Bit royal really

Dec 16, 2014

@sammysohail thank you so much! I am hopeless - I only just saw this... Hugely grateful xxxxx

Dec 12, 2014

Mark Wahlberg makes a bid for the Paris Hilton Chair of Celebrity Jurisprudence…

Dec 11, 2014

RT @HadleyFreeman: Farage shd just show a video of this to prospective immigrants. Then none of them would want to come here & he wouldn't …

Dec 11, 2014

Will Ronaldo and Messi be able to bring themselves to rate each other for the Ballon d'Or?

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