Londoner’s Diary: BBC man’s diplomatic answer to Covid battle

 (Paul Adams Twitter)
(Paul Adams Twitter)

A BBC journalist who has had Covid while covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine told the Londoner “it’s not an ideal set of circumstances,” but he was keeping things “in perspective”.

Diplomatic Correspondent Paul Adams is in his ninth day of testing positive for Covid in Kyiv and has been trying to isolate. He told us the virus “saps your energy when you need it most — though my case has really been no worse than a mild cold”.

Adams, right, played down his own situation, saying: “When you’re in a place — a city — in total lockdown, it rather puts your own isolation in perspective. And when you have to report to the basement when the sirens wail, there’s a limit to how much social distancing is possible.”

Many UK journalists have stayed in Ukraine to cover the war, with thousands following them online to keep up with events. On Saturday, BBC anchor and Mastermind presenter Clive Myrie tweeted a picture of himself watching the quiz show from his Kyiv base.

Adams said “one small advantage” of isolating was that it had given him “a lot of time to take a long hard look at the wealth of online material, social media especially. It takes time to process this stuff”.

Mirren weighs in on Meir debate

Helen Mirren (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Helen Mirren (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

DAME Helen Mirren’s portrayal of former Israeli PM Golda Meir in a forthcoming film has drawn controversy because the actress is not Jewish herself. Now Dame Helen says she’s “really glad the discussion is out there”, adding “I love casting against type, against gender, against race”. She pointed to Adrian Lester playing Henry V, telling the Hollywood Reporter: “Henry V definitely wasn’t black. But it doesn’t mean that a black actor can’t be absolutely brilliant and show us something, reveal something about the role of history, about the character that maybe one hadn’t thought of before.”

No Love lost in Lanegan tribute

COURTNEY LOVE gave an ungenerous tribute to fellow singer Mark Lanegan over the weekend. In a post on Instagram, London resident Love slammed Lanegan, who died last week, for “writing out” their friendship from his 2020 memoir, blaming sexism. “I co-signed your mortgage... I paid for three rehabs,” she said. Lanegan was also close to Love’s late husband, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. She later deleted the message, posting a picture of her and Lanegan in happier times.

Bargain? No, he’s the real McCoy

 (Emma Samms Twitter)
(Emma Samms Twitter)

EX-Dynasty star Emma Samms has formed a likeable power couple with newsreader Simon McCoy. So the Londoner’s eye was caught by her recent comments: “You could call me a bargain-hunter, a recycler, upcycler, or an environmentalist, or you could just call me cheap” she says “but for me there are few things more pleasing than finding a second-hand bargain”.

In fact she was talking about renovating a property. Phew.

Allen and Redmayne stage a triumph

LILY ALLEN and Eddie Redmayne were among the winners at the WhatsOnStage awards, held at the Prince of Wales Theatre last night. Nominees included Omari Douglas, while David Harewood, Daniel Monks and Tracy-Ann Oberman presented prizes. Carrie Hope Fletcher, who campaigns on plus-size issues and won an award for Cinderella, said she hoped her casting means “more women get the chance to play princesses”.


House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle addresses lawmakers in the House of Commons (PRU/AFP via Getty Images)
House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle addresses lawmakers in the House of Commons (PRU/AFP via Getty Images)

COMMONS speaker Lindsay Hoyle was very exercised by a controversial boxing match over the weekend. “I will be speaking with the sports minister,” Hoyle declared online, adding: “The result is a travesty of justice.” Although boxing authorities are now looking into Josh Taylor’s victory, is it really Hoyle’s fight too?


CONCERN for the war in Ukraine has reached even the government mousing cats. Gladstone, who used to hunt mice in the Treasury and is a colleague of No 10’s Larry, wrote online over the weekend that a pair of Ukrainian felines were to be welcomed into the team of “ambassacats” who represent their countries.