Richard Curtis, whose films about posh, floppy-haired lovebirds would be no good today. The romcom writer, interviewed by his daughter at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, admitted that he was “stupid and wrong” for making such un-diverse films. Hang on, says Michael Deacon in The Daily Telegraph: if he had included a diverse range of characters, liberals would “thunder” that he could never understand their “lived experience”. He can’t win. The only way men like him can avoid being trashed by angry progressives is by “never writing anything at all”.
Dr Gianluca Grimalda, for refusing to budge on his environmental beliefs. The Italian social scientist needed to travel from Germany to Papua New Guinea for a research trip – and rather than take several carbon-guzzling planes, made the 14,000-mile journey via “five trains, nine buses, two ferries, two taxis, one shared car, one police convoy and, when there were no other options, two flights”, says The New York Times. The schlep took 35 days, and when he proposed coming back a similar way, his thinktank employers gave him the sack.
London, which is seemingly more perilous for bicycles than everywhere else in the world. Geordie Stewart spent 430 days cycling 22,500 miles around the globe, only for his bike, named Dorothy, to be stolen outside a west London pub on his return home. It “survived temperatures of -45C in Kazakhstan”, says Sarah Vine in the Daily Mail, “but no one is safe from Britain’s street crime”.
Rod Stewart, for refusing multiple million-dollar offers to perform in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The spiky-haired star says he used his “moral compass” to skip countries where women and the LGBT community have “extremely limited choices”. Gary Lineker and David Beckham, who have both worked in Qatar, “clearly couldn’t find theirs”, says columnist Amanda Platell.
Britain, according to Owen Jones, for being responsible for Hamas’s homophobia. The Guardian columnist posted on X (formerly Twitter) that “it wasn’t actually Hamas who introduced the law banning homosexuality in Gaza. Guess who it was? The British Empire.” Multiple users pointed out that an imperial law from 1936 probably could have been changed by now, if Gaza’s bloodthirsty Islamist rulers had any interest in gay rights.