The Diary

What fate awaits his TV date?

January 21, 2014

It won’t be a total black-out for Aran Clayton (above), 22, who is soon to appear on ITV’s Saturday night dating show, Take Me Out.

The former King David Manchester High School pupil can be seen wooing 30 single girls, all desperate to meet their Mr Right.

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Twins times three

January 21, 2014

A happy hatrick in our Social and Personal section this week, which announces the arrival of no fewer than three sets of twins. Mazeltov squared to the families of Max Ariel and Ella Pearl Cronin, Lily Penelope and Noa Miri Goldberg and Amelie Davina and Olivia Esther Sandler.

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Saving Mr Banks? No thanks

January 21, 2014

Someone at the Zionist Organisation of America seemed to have overslept — for a very long time. The group called on followers to avoid Emma Thompson’s latest film Saving Mr Banks because she supported a boycott of a coming visit by Israel’s Habima theatre company here.

The only thing is that the Habima tour took place in 2012, and Thompson’s action was nearly two years old.

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All aboard the Cameron club

January 21, 2014

The most interesting thing about communal leaders’ annual outing to Downing Street is who gets a seat around the Cabinet table.

I am told that an original list of 15 was drawn up to see David Cameron last Thursday but that was considered too big and so it was whittled down to 11.

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Beach huts Brazilian-style

January 12, 2014

Brazil, the venue for this year’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, aims to make Jewish visitors feel at home, judging from this photo taken by a reader in Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro

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Obama's Yiddisher brother

January 12, 2014

President Obama has a Jewish half-brother, Mark Baker, who was interviewed by Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv the other day. His mother Ruth was one of the four wives of Barack Obama’s father.

Raised in Kenya, Mark Baker professes “a strong sense of secular Jewish identity”. A pianist and author of Nairobi to Shenzhen: A Novel of Love in the East, he now lives in China.

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BBC's alternative Dreyfus case

January 12, 2014

There was a strong Jewish angle to the opening episode of the new series of BBC1’s Silent Witness; about the only thing missing was a shot of the JC on the lounge table.

The pathologists’ drama — a showcase for the props department with its grisly representations of scarred, scorched, mutilated and dismembered corpses — featured not one, but two Jewish families.

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From Parker to Peppa Pig

January 5, 2014

Veteran actor David Graham, who spoke recently at the Doctor Who 50th anniversary convention — he voiced Daleks — is set to reprise his most famous character of all. He will be voicing Parker, the cockney butler to Lady Penelope, in ITV’s remake of the classic series Thunderbirds, which is due to air next year.

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BBC's upside-down Talmud

January 5, 2014

The Talmud is probably the last book you’d expect to see on TV on Christmas Day.

But not only did a volume of the debates of the sages appear, it actually lent its name to BBC2’s adaptation of a ghost story by M.R.James, The Tractate Middoth.

The story hinges on a coded copy of a will secreted by a malevolent Christian priest in his Talmud.

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Martin Lewis is Google hit

January 5, 2014

Money Mensch Martin Lewis, who sold his business for a fortune earlier this year, enjoys a rare distinction. The personal finance expert, whose advice helps millions of consumers keep more pounds in their pocket, is the most Googled person in the UK, according to the Sunday Times.

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