Guardian columnist

Olympics’ Eurosport carve-up will have one simple result: fewer viewers — I am perplexed by the International Olympic Committee's failure to rush out the announcement that it is taking the Olympics to pay TV at 6.31am on the morning of 27 May.

What does David Cameron want from the EU? No one knows. But he wants it now — I enjoy watching David Cameron at European summits. He has the air of an actor in an advert playing someone in an important job. You know the sort of thing: you watch them move purposefully through a buzzy office pointing at things before they turn brusquely to the camera and declare: "I work in a fast-paced environment where every decision counts.

When car shows collide: Chris Evans v Jeremy Clarkson — Right off the bat, let's just concede that Top Gear is now our primary national barometer. If it is in crisis, Britain is in crisis. For reasons that may never be fathomed, the motoring show joins the health of Marks & Spencer sales and the porosity of Manchester United's back four as key indicators of Where We Are At as a country.

We can pay £7bn to fix parliament, or much less to an arsonist. You choose — News that restoration of the Houses of Parliament is quoted at £7bn should leave the authorities with two options. Either they source a reliable arsonist and attempt to pull off an insurance job. Or they take the increasingly well-trodden path to renaming it the Qatar Houses of Parliament.

How acting opposite a meerkat could have been Gerard Butler’s toughest gig — Exciting news of cinema's Gerard Butler, who is one of those actors who literally believes his gig is tougher than going down a mine. As he told an interviewer a couple of years ago: "There's no one in this world I think that works harder than me."

A reading from the Book of Desmond: and lo, Richard created the Beckhams — A rival emerges to the claim that Al Gore invented the internet. It turns out that Richard Desmond invented the Beckhams. Please adjust your records accordingly. It is the only to conclusion to draw from the publisher's complex new memoir, The Real Deal: the autobiography of Britain's most controversial media mogul.

What happens on footballer’s holiday in Vegas, or Tenerife, stays on holiday — Aston Villa's Jack Grealish apparently had a few in Tenerife and Arsenal's Jack Wilshere once puffed on a cigarette in the entertainment capital of the world but the season now lasts about 40 minutes, so players have to pack their jollies into far more contracted windows

Diary | Politics | The Guardian — Maddeningly, we must return again to David Hoile, the director of the British-Sudanese Public Affairs Council who denied ever wearing Hang Mandela kit and obtained a correction in this newspaper to that effect. David is irked by the snap we published as an aide memoire yesterday, depicting him at a 1983 NUS conference with a Hang Mandela leaflet taped to his tie.

So, which of the Fifa conspiracy theories do you buy into? — There is a character in the Martin Amis novel The Information who gets to the stage of feeling like he really needs a cigarette even when he's smoking a cigarette. An analogous sensation afflicts those drawn to conspiracy theories about the Fifa scandal. Guys, guys, guys ... this already IS a massive conspiracy.

Richard Keys and the art of the text message threat — To the Sun, finally, where columnist Kelvin MacKenzie has been in receipt of a round robin text message from Richard Keys, who joined TalkSport following his ousting from Sky. Kelvin is above all one of life's carers, and I've no doubt that it is in this spirit he has reproduced Richard's missive in full.
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Jul 01, 2015

@emilybell @lisaocarroll "oh didn't you know?" we'd say. "We have early closing on Wednesday." Drove him mad

Jul 01, 2015

@emilybell @lisaocarroll frequently - for obvious reasons - the readers' editor would tell us on he'd been looking for us

Jul 01, 2015

@emilybell @lisaocarroll when Matthew Norman and I did the Diary we would have "early closing" on Wednesdays. We kept the old ways.

Jul 01, 2015

@Martin_Hoscik you don't think that will have changed by then?! I hope your optimistic rune-reading is right but few share it

Jul 01, 2015

Citius, Altius, Pay-for-us: pay TV means far fewer people will watch the Olympics…

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