BBC BLOGS - Anne Diamond's Blog

Archives for April 2012

From Newsnight to Daybreak, Five Live to BBC Radio Berks!

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Anne Diamond | 12:46 UK time, Friday, 27 April 2012

rupert murdoch

It's been a busy 24 hours for me. And all because of Rupert Murdoch's appearance at the Leveson inquiry. Everyone seemed to want to know what I thought. Mmm.

I just wish that perhaps the media mogul had been put under greater pressure. I was rather hoping he'd lose his temper and snap. You know - like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men? That way, I thought, Lord Justice Leveson might get a better picture of the true character of the man.

When I popped into my corner shop last night, my newsagent remarked to me: 'why are they giving him such an easy ride?' I can't help wondering if that's what many people think.

BTW I don't think I've ever met Kirsty Wark before. She was lovely. Got home from Newsnight at half past midnight, and then, at 4.15 am, my car from Daybreak arrived!

I am SO looking forward to a snooze this afternoon.

I've been trending on Twitter!...

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Anne Diamond | 13:48 UK time, Thursday, 26 April 2012

part of a twitter screen

...According to my lovely guest today, Kate Robbins. She used to do me on Spitting Image back in the Eighties!

But apparently I'm trending on Twitter because Rupert Murdoch (on today's Leveson inquiry) hasn't the faintest idea who I am, and thus denies 'targetting' me - as was alleged by a member of his staff!!!

It comes to something when you 'trend' around the world because a giant media mogul doesn't know who you are! He should read his own papers.

Been asked onto Newsnight tonight. I'll let you know how it goes...

Eamonn Holmes' little secret.

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Anne Diamond | 12:30 UK time, Tuesday, 24 April 2012

It's a wobbly cushion that looks like a hot water bottle with knobbly bits. So that's what puts a smile on his face every morning when he presents the breakfast programme on Sky News.

There I was this morning, talking to him about a piece in the newspapers that says people who develop bad backs are in fact finding their jobs a pain in the neck. And that the best way to counteracts the problem is to change your mindset about your job.

Ah well, says Eamonn, after three hours in the news hot seat, he often cannot stand up straight - and his doc prescribed an orthopaedic cushion. And, with that, he whipped out this weird and wonderful bumpy rubber wobbly thing. Just looked them up on the internet - and many sufferers swear by them. In America, they'll refer to one as a "cush-tush"!

So next time you wonder what's making Eamon giggle, now you know, he's having his coccyx massaged on the quiet.

Little girls are little girls whatever their birth right.

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Anne Diamond | 10:11 UK time, Friday, 13 April 2012

The Queen

On today's show Lady Margaret Rhodes, first cousin of the Queen, was telling me what it was like growing up as a playmate of the young princess who would, one day, become Queen. They were all brought up in that upper class but wholesome culture of a jolly good childhood where you started the day by doing chores and writing letters and you spent all afternoon outdoors doing something constructive like weeding the garden or tidying the ivy.

One thing that chimed with me, though, was the game she used to play with the then Princess Elizabeth - they used to play at being horses. Not playing with their horses, but playing AT BEING horses.

Perhaps its something all little girls do - because I too (with a very much more modest upbringing) used to do exactly that, with my horse mad friend Sally. We were both performance horses in the circus. We used to spend our afternoons cantering around an imaginary Big Top, eating imaginary hay and trotting over home-made jumps.

I wonder what Sally is doing now.

It was lovely meeting Lady Margaret Rhodes - a woman who admits she wouldn't be where she is now (living in Windsor Great Park) were it not for the accident of her, and the young princess', births! She's a woman of strong personality, and with a mischievous twinkle still in her eye. She's had a happy marriage and four lovely children. Quite a character.

If you missed my interview - remember you can always listen again!

Mirror, mirror...

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Anne Diamond | 12:28 UK time, Thursday, 12 April 2012

Jenny Hanley

Talking today about beauty.

How do you face up to ageing when once you were known for your youth and beauty? If you're, say, fifty years old and you can still 'scrub up well', what do you most fear? That one day you won't be able to scrub up?

I spoke to the lovely Jenny Hanley, known particularly in the 70s as a TV beauty (remember her in Magpie?) and as a Bond movie girl (On Her Majesty's Secret Service). Unbelievably she's now in her sixties!

Does she fear that one day she will lose that precious ability to 'scrub up well'?

Nah, she retorted. "By then my eyesight will have gone, as well, so I won't be able to see myself in the mirror!"

An argument against laser eye surgery? Perhaps there's a reason our eyes fade in later life?

Starry starry night....

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Anne Diamond | 12:44 UK time, Wednesday, 11 April 2012

So sad to hear that most kids grow up nowadays not having seen the Milky Way with their naked eyes.

In fact, I reckon so many people are probably unaware that it CAN be seen with the naked eye.

It's all because of light pollution. We live in towns and cities apparently 'saturated' with street lighting, which is making those natural wonders almost invisible.

And just in case you think that turning down the street lighting might encourage more crime, apparently in Saffron Walden in Essex, police have reported that street crime actually reduced by half when the council turned off the street lights at night.

Food for thought?

I'd be looking out for icebergs, wouldn't you?

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Anne Diamond | 12:55 UK time, Tuesday, 10 April 2012

a titanic lifeboat

Talking today to Philip Littlejohn from Maidenhead, live from the Titanic anniversary cruise ship, the Balmoral, as it heads nearer and nearer the site of the Titanic wreck.

It's a strange way to mark the hundredth anniversary of such a huge tragedy - but to anyone who thinks it's a bit weird or possibly even mawkish to take this trip, just think - it's totally sold-out. All 1,309 berths aboard the Balmoral (exactly the same number as on the Titanic) were snapped up straightaway, costing between of £2,799 and £5,995 per person. Plus, they're serving food from the original voyage's menu - and many passengers are dressing up in period gear.

For that price, I would rather like to relax and enjoy my days at sea. But I know I'd be spending all my spare time on deck, eyes peeled for icebergs - wouldn't you?

"...this poor little scrap..."

baby in an incubator

It's been wonderful hearing some of the conversations as part of the BBC's Listening Project.

Today, we heard a highly emotional conversation between Steve and Judy, a doctor at the Royal Berks and a hospital chaplain. 30 years on, Steve was still hugely upset to recall the time he was caring for a tiny baby who was dying. He felt that they should stop any more medical interference and simply allow the young parents to hold their child - 'this poor little scrap', as he put it - until the inevitable end.

He said the hardest thing was walking away and getting on with the rest of the day's work. He was sure he couldn't have gotten through it without the help and support of the hospital chaplain. Do have a listen. There are lots of wonderful stories and snippets of valuable conversations on the Listening Project website. Congratulations to all those who've put it together.

Ohh - and Happy Easter!

If the book's as great as the interview...

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Anne Diamond | 13:01 UK time, Wednesday, 4 April 2012

...then Alex Crawford's book "Colonel Gaddafi's Hat" must be a blinking good read. We have a copy in our house at the moment, but I can't get near it because my son (wannabee war reporter) is lapping it up.

Alex is quite a character. She hates being called 'the mum of four who goes to war' but of course that's part of what she is, as the celebrated Sky News Special Correspondent who started her career on the Wokingham Times no less! She's four times been named Journalist of the Year and has an OBE for her services to broadcast journalism.

It was great to talk to her. Have a listen. Or grab the book.

Snakes (not so) alive!

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Anne Diamond | 15:42 UK time, Tuesday, 3 April 2012


As if being a parent wasn't hard enough - now there's something else to feel guilty about... Apparently, we're passing on our phobias to our children.

If they're terrified of tarantulas (who isn't?) or frantic about flying - chances are they've 'learned' that phobic behaviour from you. Experts say we should keep our behaviour under check, so that kids don't pick up the wrong responses.

The most common phobias passed on to the next generation in that way are fear of heights, then spiders, then flying, followed by snakes, small spaces, the dentist, germs and the great outdoors.

Talking of snakes - did you hear about the lady in Scotland who called out the Scottisgh equivalent of the RSPCA to get rid of the snake in her loft?

It was green and black with a bright red tongue.

It turned out to be a draught excluder.

But her fear was real.

Good weather for painting the hallway.

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Anne Diamond | 14:00 UK time, Monday, 2 April 2012

Paintbrush and paint pot

Well, actually it wasn't this past weekend. It was glorious sunny weather out in the garden - so why did I stay indoors and repaint the hallway? I've been meaning to do it for years so why did I decide to do it this weekend, when we get an unseasonal bout of glorious sunshine?

Because, let me warn you, once you start a DIY job in the hallway - the very entrance to your house, the most public area of all - you cannot leave it half done.

And it's always a much bigger job than you think it will be.

But at least there's good weather for painting coming up in the next few days.
We're told that snow (or possibly more likely, sleet, rain and wind) is on its way.

So it'll be a DIY Easter at my house - fuelled with chocolate!

Moral of the story. Never start what you cannot complete in one weekend.

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