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The Independent Culture
Axed

Good-bye, Crinkly Bottom, Farewell NTV. The BBC has driven a stake through the heart of Mr Blobby. Noel Edmonds' House Party, the show that made Gladiators look like Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent of Man, is dead. Noel used to send some of his guests to far-flung, isolated locations if they failed a simple test. Now that Noelly has failed the ratings test, the BBC also wants to send him somewhere. As the BBC said: "We're moving on to something different. `' is a negative word. This is a positive, forward move." Couldn't agree more.

Who's that girl?

It's Barbie, who celebrates her 40th birthday on 9 March. Barbie has an extremely impressive CV. According to her makers, Mattel, she is a world-famous actress, an award-winning rock star and an Olympic figure- skater. She holds a full pilot's licence, has achieved several masters degrees (including veterinary science and business administration) and still has time to be an active member of all four branches of the US military. Barbie is entering middle age with her raciest look yet - she is now into Body Art (butterfly tatoos).

Who's that boy?

It's Big John, of Edinburgh, who also likes Body Art. If you want to join in the latest craze, then de rigueur are plain black tribal designs derived from Maori facial markings. But it can create problems. Martin Skinner, a psychologist at Warwick University, says: "People may be put off tattoos because of the associations they make. Even an ornate butterfly might suggest something about self-inflicted pain, which is an unpleasant association." Don't tell Barbie.

Cool for cats

Feline Body Art. Here is Mr Moon, a Persian cream cat. He is a favourite to win prizes at New York's International Cat Show at Madison Square.

What's up, Doc?

Big Bunny Body Art. An unfeasibly large rabbit named Bodmin, weighing in at about 18lb. He lives, on a strict cauliflower-and-cabbage diet, at the Stoneywish Country Park, Ditchling, East Sussex.

Should men have

babies?

Lord Winston, the fertility expert, says that it is possible to make a man pregnant using the latest techniques. This is Tiny, of the rock group Ultrasound, at the launch of London Fashion Week, looking as if he's about to give birth to a mule. Now, that really would be unique.

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