In a frank interview (link currently down) with Bob Geldof in Saturday’s Telegraph Magazine, Neil McCormick, long-time U2 ally, reminds Geldof of their trip to meet the Pope in Rome in 1999. Geldof was ranting about ‘the ridiculousness of religious belief.’ Bono laughs and puts his arm round him: ‘You are so close to God. Closer than most people I know.’ Reflecting on this, Geldof, ever the reluctant saint, attempts to brush it off:

‘Well, Bono is a Jesuit priest. With a mullet hairdo.’

(Also, its amusingly apparent that the uncharacteristically loyal McCormick is trying not to be too rude about the album. He lapses here: ‘The album doesn’t make for easy listening – and not just because Geldof’s voice, never one of the loveliest things in popular music, has not improved with age.’)