KATE Winslet is at it again, gushing about her new man and the meaning of life and love. Doesn't she realise by now that all her ill thought-out words will come back to haunt her?

She once told us it was sexy to be round and then lost loads of weight. She described her husband as the most attractive man on the planet and then dumped him. She said she loved being a down-to-earth mum and wasn't going to rush around making films all over the world. Yet, after making two major movies in quick succession, she is currently filming in Texas with Kevin Spacey. Now "madly in love" with a rich and powerful film director, she says marriage is a meeting of minds and that no one should try to change their partners.

We may have taken what she said at face value once, but now her increasingly flowery utterings seem vacuous and insincere. Kate is only in her early twenties. Most of us would be embarrassed to hear our views on love, life and everything then played back to us now. Most of us have changed our minds many times in the intervening years too.

While our need for gossip and light-hearted distraction now is as great as ever, things changed on September 11. In many ways, the over-inflated status of celebrities was punctured that day and put back into proper perspective. If she is not to become a figure of fun, Kate would be wise to think carefully before the first thoughts that come into her head spill out all over the tabloids again. Perhaps she should just stick with the acting.

ONE issue which Kate's new dalliance, with director Sam Mendes, does raise is when it is acceptable to introduce your children to a new partner. Less than three months after separating from her husband, Kate and her new love spent two nights together at an American hotel with her baby Mia. Mendes is now more than just a new boyfriend. He is also a potential father figure. But does 12 weeks of dating her mother prepare him for the role? Hopefully, this is a relationship which is going to last, or baby Mia may end up feeling as confused as her mother sounds. As the nature of our society changes, many more men find themselves raising another man's children and the surrogate father role is not to be taken lightly. It is one thing to walk away from a broken relationship, which Mendes has done many times, another to abandon a young child who has grown attached to you.

NORTHERN men do not like chef Jamie Oliver, according to market research. I wonder if this is because of a) his southern geezer slang; b) his use of obscure ingredients; c) the fact he appears in too many adverts; or d) that he has shown that men can shop, cook and even clear up after themselves in the kitchen?

A TV critic remarked this week that the reason the BBC's £6.5m Trollope adaptation has been crushed in the ratings by Cold Feet, ITV's drama about modern life and love, is because few people identify with Trollope's obsession with money. Andrew Billen, in the London Evening Standard, says: "Most of us now judge ourselves not by bank balances but by emotional wealth. The crass pursuit of wealth that disfigured the 1980s now looks like an aberration of a previous age." So do they not get Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Shafted or The Weakest Link in London? And presumably no one plays the Lottery there either.