Watching brief - Amanda Platell asks what Seb Coe saw in Vanessa

Sebastian Coe's blousy ex-mistress has just blown the whistle on their affair but no one has suggest

Some wondered why Sebastian Coe would go to such lengths to try to injunct the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror from running his former mistress Vanessa Lander's story of their affair, which began ten years ago. If you've seen her, you'll understand why. Lander looks like something that has just been voted off Big Brother.

Mr Justice Fulford refused Coe an injunction, claiming that the papers' right to publish and Lander's right to free speech outweighed his right to keep personal information private. Editors throughout he country breathed a huge sigh of relief. The decision ensured the survival, at least for now, of that beloved British institution, the kiss-and-tell. It also made clear that the law lords draw a distinction between the publication of private medical information, as in the Naomi Campbell case, and personal information such as an affair.

The Coe case was important for another reason. The timing of the buxom Lander's story was clearly designed for maximum impact, the weekend after Coe was named chairman of London's Olympic bid. She and her pendulous breasts posed for the papers in baby pink. With a face as dark as her neglected roots, this was payback time for Lander.

But in a clear sign of a changing world, there was no serious questioning of Coe's fitness for the job, nor that he should be forced to stand down because of a two-year-long affair. Times have moved on. Blousy Vanessa concluded her ponderings in the Mail on Sunday thus: "I will always be flattered and proud, if a bit bewildered, that he picked me."

You're not the only one, love.

Last week in the green room after Channel 4's Richard and Judy, a softly spoken man came up and shook my hand. His name was Michael Gallagher. He lost his 21-year-old son in the 1998 Omagh bombing and his story was central to the chilling dramatisation Omagh, screened at the end of last month on television. He thanked me for taking on the then Northern Ireland secretary John Reid on BBC1's Question Time. I had said that although Reid drew a distinction between the IRA and the Real IRA in relation to Omagh, few people did, and that many viewed it as nothing more than a political trick, convenient semantics.

That Question Time was years ago. I had almost forgotten it, but not Gallagher. Details are important to a man who, as chairman of the families support group, has fought tirelessly since the bombing to bring the killers of 31 people to justice.

Having claimed responsibility for the bombing at 2am the following day, the Real IRA declared a permanent ceasefire.

Gallagher told me to watch closely Tony Blair's assurance after the bombing. The PM said: "For our part, we have agreed that the two governments will work together and will do everything that is possible within their power to hunt down those who have been responsible for this outrage."

Reading between the lines, one could be forgiven for thinking he knew, even on the night of the atrocity, that he could and would do nothing.

I'm not sure I would have advised the sixtysomething Barbara Amiel to wear cowboy boots on Breakfast With Frost, but with her fabulous legs, she almost got away with it. What she didn't get away with was her incredible smugness. It's part of the cleverness of Frost that the show gets people like her on, gives them a shovel and lets them dig away into a hole.

Sadly, she has turned into a Joan Collins lookalike. Her face was flat and completely expressionless, rather like a ventriloquist's dummy. Time for a spot of rebranding, Barbara?

Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen on ITV1 loses three million viewers in one night. The end of reality TV? Not a chance. It was the sight of Edwina Currie without make-up and in a hairnet that did it. And when it came to the voting-off section, even the compere, Angus Deayton, wanted to get out.

Sometimes you see a career flash before your eyes, as the constitution minister Christopher Leslie experienced at the end of May when he toured the television studios, trying to convince us that the postal voting system for the 10 June elections was not a complete fiasco.

It was a dodo debut for the wide-eyed ingenu straight out of front-bench MP school. I can't see him finding a place in Gordon Brown's team.

I was grateful for the final double episode of Friends, one to look back on the show and one to end it. Without the former, which contained some of the best scenes while the series was still funny, I would not have remembered why I ever watched it in the first place. By the end, the once-great Friends had morphed into cartoon characters even more pointless than that screeching, ridiculous Phoebe, which is some achievement.

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