The news that new England manager Steve McClaren has engaged publicist Max Clifford suggests a striking lack of confidence in his ability to lead England's national team to glory.
McClaren obviously thinks Clifford can save him from the ridicule suffered by Sven Goran-Eriksson, Graham Taylor and other ill-fated national managers. You can hardly blame him for fearing what the media might do to his limited reputation. But McClaren will be judged by England's results. I'd advise him to worry about that, rather than hiring a fixer best known for selling celebrity kiss-and-tell stories to the tabloids. And why can't the FA's highly paid PR team manage McClaren's media relations?
Tonight, I happened upon a London pub boarded up and silent. The New
Concorde in Bermondsey has fallen on hard times. Its signs boast a restaurant serving la carte food and fine ales. The reality is silence on a summer's evening. The sign shows Concorde in flight - suggesting the pub was renamed in the 1970 to capture a symbol of the age. Sadly, Concorde has also passed into history.
It's hard to imagine Love Island celebrating 50 years on air. Today's television is obsessed with short-term, celebrity froth. But at least we can celebrate some good news. The BBC is to restore its 53 year old flagship current affairs programme to peak time on its most popular channel, BBC One.
Panorama has made the news during its distinguished life, most famously with Princess Diana's interview in 1995. But Greg Dyke's decision to move the programme to Sunday night was an act of vandalism: it's hard to imagine a less fertile time for hard-hitting current affairs. The surprise is that the BBC took so long to rescue Panorama from the grave. It might just have a chance, despite competing with Coronation Street. Channel 4 has protested that the BBC has set its old flagship against 4's current affairs strand, Despatches. But Panorama is simply returning home. In the days of VCRs, Sky + and DVD recorders, scheduling clashes no longer matter as much as they did in Panorama's heyday.
Richard Dimbleby will be smiling in his studio in the sky.
Tommy Cooper was one of the greatest comics of all time. He famously died on stage, cheered by fans who thought his collapse was part of the act.
I had no idea that Cooper was born in Caerphilly. The Welsh town's Tommy Cooper Society today unveiled a clay sculpture of the entertainer, which it hopes to turn into a permanent statue near Caerphilly Castle.
A worthy tribute to a man who brought happiness to millions.
Cycling is front page news. But yet again it's for the worst possible reason.
The news that Tour de France winner Floyd Landis has failed a Tour drugs test is a bitter blow. He has asked for a second test in the hope of clearing his name. Anyone who cares for the sport must hope that he is innocent.
But the 2006 Tour was hit by scandal before it had even started. I had been looking forward to following the first post-Lance Tour. But somehow I couldn't summon the enthusiasm after Ullrich and Basso had been thrown off the race. I wasn't the only one: viewing figures were down and the German broadcaster ZDF says it may stop coverage. A spokesman came up with a grimly apt comment: "We have signed a contract to show a sports event not a showcase for the pharmaceutical industry."
It's good to see the British media getting their priorities right - again.
The Middle East is ablaze. Men, women and children are dying. Towns lie in ruins. And the Daily Mail gets right to the heart of the issue: why are the BBC's war reporters not wearing ties?
It's beyond parody.
It's not the first time the paper's been hot under the collar about ties. It famously criticised Peter Sissons for not wearing a black tie when announcing the Queen Mother had died. People who hadn't spotted Sissons was not cloaked in black at the time suddenly feigned outrage. The fact that the Mail was flogging Queen Mum plates at the time went unnoticed...
It's good to see from the BBC that the National Assembly for Wales is getting extra powers.
Parliament has just given the Assembly the right to make its own laws (up to a point) without going through parliament. It's not yet a true legislature for Wales - but that will come.
The big argument was over Labour's demand for a ban on candidates standing for both constituency and regional lists. Opposition parties said this was designed to thwart opposition. Labour said it was a manifesto pledge. I can see the logic of telling candidates to choose.
The best news is that the debate about whether there should be an Assembly is dead and buried - as shadow Welsh secretary Cheryl Gillan has conceded. The argument now is whether the Assembly is doing its job properly.