This week I run with the Brexit bad boys, tell a shaggy dog story ... and cre­ate a jammy rammy

Sunday Herald - - FACT-CHECKING SERVICE - Ci­ti­zen Nige

HOW much would you pay to turn Nigel Farage’s ca­reer into a Hol­ly­wood film, specif­i­cally that bit of it where he gets pho­tographed a lot sur­rounded by red-faced racists in replica foot­ball tops and as a re­sult gulls 17,410,742 of his fel­low Bri­tons into vot­ing to leave the Euro­pean Union? Does £60 mil­lion sound rea­son­able?

Of course not. But “rea­son­able” isn’t a word that means much in Hol­ly­wood, and £60m is what some­one is ap­par­ently will­ing to pay for the rights to The Bad Boys Of Brexit: Tales Of Mis­chief, May­hem & Guer­rilla War­fare In The EU Ref­er­en­dum Cam­paign. It’s a book by Ar­ron Banks who co-founded the Leave.EU cam­paign, was for­merly one of Ukip’s big­gest donors and is very def­i­nitely a CON (Chum Of Nigel’s).

The project is re­ported to be a six-part TV series and, if the deal goes ahead, it may air as early as (gulp) April next year. Be­yond that, facts are scarce and the few oth­ers that are present – such as the pos­si­bil­ity of Kevin Spacey play­ing Farage and Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch play­ing any­one at all – seem flimsy and barely cred­i­ble. Not at all like a Ukip man­i­festo, then. And if by some mir­a­cle Spacey does think bet­ter of step­ping into Farage’s shoes, there is an­other op­tion for the role. “I am hop­ing if they do make the film, I think I should play me. I am re­ally good at be­ing me,” the man him­self told the Daily Tele­graph, the pa­per which broke the story and which should, by rights, be re­spon­si­ble for fix­ing it.

Hopes that a counter of­fer will ar­rive from some­body will­ing to pay £60m to stop Nigel Farage’s ca­reer be­ing turned into a film are fad­ing fast. But if you are that Re­main-vot­ing, Ukip-hat­ing bil­lion­aire guardian an­gel, get your wings on.

Fur good­ness sake!

IF I re­mem­ber my Fred As­taire films cor­rectly, cut­ting a rug used to mean danc­ing vig­or­ously in a top hat and spats while Ginger Rogers did some­thing el­e­gant in a silk nightie. All change th­ese days. Google the phrase “cut­ting a rug” now and you’ll be swamped with in­struc­tions about how to turn a cer­tain type of floor-cov­er­ing into some­thing you might wear if you were, say, Jon Snow, Lord Com­man­der of the Night’s Watch. Yup, this week’s big Game Of Thrones news is that the lux­u­ri­ous furs Snow and his men wear in the world’s favourite TV show about dragons are sourced from – some­one blow the Horn Of Jo­ra­mun while I let the sus­pense build – Ikea. No, re­ally. The rev­e­la­tion came last year when cos­tume de­signer Michele Clap­ton let the cat out of the bag dur­ing a talk in a Los An­ge­les art gallery. But for some rea­son it has taken this long to per­co­late up­wards (down­wards?) to where the great mass of GoT fans dwell. Any­way, on­line searches for the items in ques­tion – the Ludde and Skold rugs, which are coloured white and cap­puc­cino re­spec­tively and sell for be­tween £30 and £40 – have now sky­rock­eted. De­lighted by all the free pub­lic­ity, Ikea has even pro­duced one of its trade­mark, id­iot-proof in­struc­tion di­a­grams for any­one who wants to give it a go. The best news of all? You don’t re­quire an Allen key, a wedge dowel or any of those fid­dly wee screws you need three hands to hold. Just a good pair of scis­sors and, if you’re plan­ning on wear­ing yours in pub­lic, a fine sense of the ridicu­lous.

PJ may­hem

IDON’T know how hard Glas­gow band Belle And Se­bas­tian have ever tried to shake off their rep­u­ta­tion as gen­tle souls who’d rather be tucked up in bed with some co­coa and a book than throw­ing tel­lies out of ho­tel win­dows. But if I blinked and they did briefly make the ef­fort to party hard, “rock out” and in­dulge in Bieber-es­que lev­els of mis­chief while on tour, then all their good work has come to noth­ing. When the band’s tour bus made a late-night stop re­cently at a Wal­mart in North Dakota in or­der to buy drinks, drum­mer Richard Col­burn was ac­ci­den­tally left be­hind. Wear­ing just his py­ja­mas. Not very rock and roll, is it?

“I was com­ing out the Wal­mart and he was com­ing into the Wal­mart and he was wav­ing very hap­pily in a good mood and that was the last time that we saw him,” said singer Stu­art Mur­doch dur­ing an in­ter­view with a Min­neapo­lis radio sta­tion. It took Col­burn’s band mem­bers four hours to no­tice that they were miss­ing a rhythm sec­tion, by which time the bus had crossed the state bor­der. Were they par­ty­ing too hard? No. The un­sched­uled stop had been to buy bot­tled wa­ter and no-one no­ticed be­cause they had all gone to bed.

Hap­pily – but also a lit­tle weirdly – Coburn seems to carry his credit card in his py­ja­mas, which isn’t some­thing I’ve ever thought of do­ing. Any­way, well done him: that safety first ap­proach where his lit­tle plas­tic friend is con­cerned meant he was able to book into a ho­tel and then hop on the next plane to wher­ever he was meant to be. But still wear­ing just his PJs, of course.

“We have Richard on a plane now, so ev­ery­thing is OK,” Mur­doch tweeted later. “He’s in his py­ja­mas, sit­ting with a mi­mosa.” There’s a song in there some­where – most likely one of those whim­si­cal, hummable dit­ties for which Belle And Se­bas­tian are known and loved the west end over – though I’m strug­gling to find a rhyme for mi­mosa that isn’t a spicy In­dian del­i­cacy.

Ter­rier at­tack

REG­U­LAR read­ers of the Diary – I’m an op­ti­mist, I al­ways use the plu­ral – will know about its author’s ob­ses­sion with the an­noy­ing and en­tirely bo­gus tra­di­tion of rub­bing Greyfri­ars Bobby’s nose. The bronze like­ness of the faith­ful Skye ter­rier, made from life in the early 1870s by sculp­tor Wil­liam Brodie and sited op­po­site Ed­in­burgh’s Greyfri­ars Kirk­yard since then, passed a rel­a­tively peace­ful ex­is­tence un­til re­cently. To­day, how­ever, hordes of tourists who know per­fectly well Bobby isn’t a real dog have taken to rub­bing his nose for luck. So many and so of­ten and with such un­wanted vigour, in fact, that said ap­pendage is now shiny with overuse. But a fight­back has started. You may have read in our sis­ter pa­per The Na­tional about a Face­book cam­paign which has been launched in de­fence of Bobby – “Get them telt” was one sup­porter’s suc­cinct piece of ad­vice to which­ever coun­cil func­tionary has the job of ad­mon­ish­ing tourists – and last week there was an­other de­vel­op­ment when signs be­gan ap­pear­ing around the dog’s neck say­ing: “Hands Off Bobby.” Will they work? Will the tourists keep their paws to them­selves? Don’t hold your breath.

Clock­wise from top left: Greyfri­ars Bobby, Jon Snow and Nigel Farage

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