Watching brief - Amanda Platell finds Chris Evans's willy too small
Why the dish of Today is a lame duck, the spooky togetherness of the Tories, and how Chris Evans giv
Whether it was a slip of the tongue or a slip of his mask of impartiality, we will have to wait for Jim Naughtie's autobiography to find out. But slip it was, when one of the two most senior presenters on Radio 4's Today programme said to Gordon Brown's former economic adviser Ed Balls, "when we win the next election".
They were two seconds that could destroy the credibility of one of the most respected political journalists in the country. This monumental gaffe to Balls, the Chancellor's chief confidant, is a personal disaster for Naughtie. It leaves him wide open to charges of bias from the Tories. The Blairites are already suspicious of him.
For years, the Tories have suspected Naughtie of being a closet socialist, and now he has given them the silver bullet. It is tragic for any presenter to expose his own political preferences by accident, let alone a presenter of the BBC's flagship political programme.
With the general election looming, Naughtie is a lame-duck presenter. I'm told the Tories are already working out their "lines to take" with him. Each time he attacks them, they will accuse him of bias. They know they will also now have reasonable grounds to refuse to be interviewed by him.
This comes hot on the heels of the work done by Lord Pearson that found Today institutionally biased against Eurosceptics - most of whom happen to be Tories.
Both are hugely harmful blows to the credibility of this superior programme, and most damaging on the eve of a fierce and bloody election battle. Its first victim may indeed be Naughtie.
One measly little diary, and you can't get Piers Morgan off the airwaves. In the past week my co-presenter and his new book, The Insider, have been everywhere. But he could sue the Guardian for the picture of him the paper ran in its mag on Saturday, it was so unflattering.
Top moment of Piers's week for me came on Radio 4's Start the Week. With the wonderful Andrew Marr refereeing, and the humourless Lib Dem peer Julia Neuberger debating universal truths with the even drearier Steven Pinker. As if my mate Piers knows anything about that. Light relief was provided by Hilary Spurling, who has just written another book about Matisse, this time about the discovery of his missing pictures. While Spurling described the artist as one of the greatest, most misunderstood and misrepresented figures of the 20th century, Piers must have dozed off, as he clearly later thought she'd been talking about him.
Alas, Piers, Matisse's pictures may be missing, but at least they were real.
While we're on the subject of my dear co-presenter, Morgan and Platell threw up another revelation on Saturday. It's not just the polls that have changed for the Tories. For the first time in living memory, the knives are sheathed. When the Sunday Times splash claimed John Redwood had overstepped the party line on tax on our show, the newspapers met with the deafening silence of unity.
No one briefed against; there was no Tory split, no knives out, no variance from the planned agenda. What I would have given four years ago, when I was working with William Hague, for a shred of the loyalty the party is demonstrating towards Michael Howard.
Deeply in debt, Chris Evans is trying to relaunch his media career. In an interview for the still brilliant Sunday Times Magazine, Evans admitted he'd regularly flashed his penis at his staff.
"If you get your willy out, it's the funniest thing in the world," he said. "Everybody laughs . . . Girls love it."
I hate to be the one to break it to you, Chris, but the only reason a girl laughs at a man's penis is if it's laughably small.
Photographed in white and proclaiming herself as pure as the driven snow, Sadie Frost set the record straight in an interview with You magazine in the Mail on Sunday.
The would-be actress and wannabe frock designer said her career always comes second to her family, which is convenient, considering that her career has always been second-rate anyway.
"I don't like to play the field," cooed Sadie. "I can count on one hand the men I have had relationships with." The incidents of the alleged wife-swapping days so luridly reported in the red tops had clearly slipped her mind.
But then, the occasional night with someone else's husband doesn't really count as a relationship, does it?
The proposed ban on football games being shown before the 9pm watershed does not go far enough. That may protect kids from seeing yobbish behaviour, but what about protecting us from the yobbish behaviour of our football-loving partners? All that shouting and swearing at the television. A midnight ban sounds more like it to me.