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The Independent Culture
Winner of the week

'ULLO JOHN, want a new motor? One that might, just might, snap Jeremy Clarkson's knicker elastic at 100 yards? pounds 28,500 only. Redolent of Jaguars of the past, the new

S-type uses many of the old Jag trademarks, not seen for a few years: oval grille, curvy rear window treatment, sloping boot. Plus wood and leather. Fans should be delighted. Very Inspector Morse. Very Michael Heseltine. And, let us not forget, very John Prescott.

Coiffure of the week

NOW, MR Prescott does indeed favour the grace, pace, and space of the Jaguar over "wind in the hair" motoring. But is that because he fears for his barnet? Auberon Waugh thinks so. He makes this outrageous claim in the New Statesman: "It is a vital clue to the character of this powerful man, and the nature of his urge to power, that he wears a wig."

Surely not? John Prescott is a "what you see is what you get" politician, with a well known disdain for "image-makers", and, presumably, for wig- makers too. You can't see him having much to do with

the namby-pamby world of artificial hair.

Examine the evidence of the Prescott pate (top) in 1974, and today. True, there is a remarkable constancy in both the style and the hairline. But is it likely that he would be putting his head on the block with the same hairpiece a quarter of a century on? No. That's no syrup. No way.

Parasite of the week

THEY'RE UGLY. They suck your blood. And they're back. Like rickets and TB, another Victorian scourge, the bedbug, is making its return. So what do you need to know? Well, they're about a quarter of an inch long (a bit more after a feed); they gorge on you while you're asleep, taking about 12 minutes to finish their meals; the female lays 200 eggs; and new babies start sucking immediately.

Pesticides are now ineffective. So how did Great-Grandpa deal with the little buggers? Well, if he was a gentleman traveller, he would often take a pig with him while staying at strange hotels. He would then park the hog in an unclean bed first, so that it could satisfy the bugs' bloodlust before retiring for the night himself. Sweet dreams.

Image of the week

A TOUCHING snap of our columnist, Ken Livingstone, with the apparently harmless children's favourite, Sooty. But little does Ken realise that he is, in fact, chatting to Millbank's very own rival candidate for London's Mayor, the ultimate New Labour puppet. Indeed, Sooty, with his goody-goody ways and permanent smile, has a touch of the Tony Blair Care Bear about him. Say bye-bye to the voters, Ken - bye-bye!

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