Extra! Extra! Capricious politicians cavort with chaotic civil servants while soap-smeared journalist gropes in the dark with footballer’s wife in new twist shock

And so to beds

I suppose this is good news – the Department of Health believes it is likely to hit its target for 100 new hospitals at least a year early. Rather worryingly, though, a DoH source tells me that a) this depends on what your definition of “new hospital” is, and b) the department only realised it was ahead of schedule when they looked at hospital construction undertaken by councils – an area the DoH, for some reason, does not keep tabs on.

A lot to learn

Civil service mandarins aren’t the only ones who are a bit scatty. Their political masters are often no better. A source close to the Department for Education and Skills tells me that when the government announced that 200 city academies were to become part of the Building Schools for the Future programme, officials were a tad surprised: ministers hadn’t told them. “And the programme should have taken three years and we were only given two,” the official groans.

A roof over their heads

Perhaps Footballers Wives should introduce a Scottish parliament-style construction storyline. Manchester United and England soccer star Wayne Rooney’s new house has gone £1.5m over budget according to the News of the World, and it’s not even built yet. Apparently Colleen McLoughlin, Rooney’s spendthrift girlfriend, has taken a leading role in the construction of the £3m six-bedroom mansion and so far, has included a spray tanning booth, an indoor pool and plasma TV screens in every room, as well as hiring a £150,000-a-session interior designer. “The last thing she wanted was for their dream house to be named Chav Towers,” said a friend.

Keeping up with Jones

Midas Group chairman Steve Hindley is, appropriately enough, going for gold on Sunday. Steve is a member of the CBI team raising money for Cancer Research by running the London Marathon, and his sole ambition is to finish ahead of Digby Jones – a tall order, my spies tell me, as the CBI chieftain has lost his spare tyre in training …

Atta girl

… Talking of running, may I just say what a trooper Abigail Williams of BW Interiors is. She ran a 10 km event in Ireland last weekend but fell after the first kilometre. She battled on to the finish line while numb from the knee down. “It was like running with a massive cushion on my foot,” says construction’s answer to Paula Radcliffe (except Abigail finished).

A soapy tale

A colleague would like me to thank property management agent DTZ for their help in his great escape last week. He was happily taking a shower in the gym by Building’s office, when the lights went out. After some time staggering around in pitch blackness, naked, soap-smeared and very toned (he assures me), he eventually felt his way to reception. Here he found out that the instructor had locked up 10 minutes early. From there he found the number for the building’s manager, DTZ. The amused lady in DTZ’s Bristol call centre managed to contact security to bust him out.

Fools told

A warning to anybody perusing the Association of Consultant Architects’ website … They have asked permission to reproduce a 1 April article by “Morgana Butterworth” on the, er, unusual case of JJJ Project Management vs Jenkins Electrical. Just so you know, it was an April fool.

Gratuitous royal wedding item
Gratuitous royal wedding item
Stop press: Windsor Castle is being moved. What, so soon after the royal wedding? Yes, indeed. In truth, though, this story is about as royal as a cement delivery in the Midlands. I gather that Castle Cement has christened one of its 220 lorries “Windsor”. And even though it lives in Rutland, Windsor is constantly on the move. With “Chas & Cammy” daubed on the windscreen, and a few tin cans trailing behind, no doubt.