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Heroes and villains

David Hockney | Salmon Rushdie | A Japanese inn


David Hockney, whose new immersive exhibition in King’s Cross is both a giant rip-off and a “load of toss”, says Giles Coren in The Times. We forked out £120 to see a few “brightly coloured splats Hockney has done on his iPad” and a video of him driving around California in a convertible while listening to Wagner. The place is “simply crawling with toddlers”, running about and tripping over all the “elderly people passed out on the floor”. The whole thing screams “ostentatiously cultured north London bourgeoisie at its preposterous finest”.

Salmon Rushdie, for not holding a grudge. In a note shared online, the Booker Prize-winning author slammed the “absurd censorship” of Roald Dahl’s books by the “bowdlerising sensitivity police”, saying publisher Puffin should be “ashamed”. When Rushdie was slapped with an Iranian fatwa in 1989 after publishing The Satanic Verses, Dahl was rather less supportive, calling him a “dangerous opportunist” who “knew exactly what he was doing”.

Older listeners to Radio 2, who, says Trevor Dann, a former BBC head of entertainment, are seen as “the wrong kind of listeners”. BBC modernisers are more interested in younger “potential listeners”. Hence the departure of the immensely popular Ken Bruce (72) and Steve Wright (68) and their replacement by fresh-faced forty-somethings Vernon Kay (48) and Scott Mills (49).

A rather unsanitary Japanese bath house, which admitted to changing the water in its hot springs pool only twice a year. An official inspection of the £210-a-night hotel, ordered after a guest caught Legionnaires’ disease, found the water had 3,700 times the permissible level of bacteria. Boss Makoto Yamada said he never added chlorine because “the smell was not comfortable for me and I didn’t like it”.