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The Independent Culture
Dancing queen

Abba's Super Trouper Agnetha Faltskog still won't take a chance. Since the late- Eighties, she has lived quietly in her isolated home on Ekero, an island suburb of Stockholm. She has explained her attitude to some Swedish documentary-makers: "For a 10-year period I have neither played nor sung nor listened to music. I didn't even care about getting a decent stereo. It was a way for me to come to terms with everything and slowly become well again. Silence has been a necessity." The interview is in sound only - she refuses to appear on camera. I think one of us is crying.

Furry princess

The blonde in the bubble-bath bikini is Pamela Anderson, the most lusted- after woman in the world since Agnetha decided to hang up her Spandex pants. This is how Pammi decided to host the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo. Perhaps 10 years in Scandinavian solitude may help her bounce back.

Peak practice

Scotland elects its first parliament in 300 years. Wales chooses its first-ever National Assembly. And last Thursday the residents of the small Derbyshire community of Buxworth voted on whether they should change the name of their delightful village to Bugsworth, the name it bore before 1929, when a local vicar and a teacher managed to change it because it was "ugly and had connotations that were unpleasant". The Buxworthians voted by 233 (63 per cent) to 139 (27 per cent) against change. I'm not surprised. Buxworth may be a little ungainly sounding, but it's not that bad. Not as embarrassing as Piddlehampton, for example. Or Willie, a village in Warwickshire that regularly has its road signs stolen. Or you could move to Six-Mile Bottom, Cambs.

How much is that doggie?

A poodle named Rusty has become Britain's richest mutt, having been left pounds 10,000 by Beryl Maidment. Rusty will have to work hard on his investments if he wants to catch up with Gunther III, an Alsatian who was bequeathed pounds 65m by an Austrian countess. Barking mad.

Image of the week

This cheeky photograph was taken in 1924 with a Kodak VP camera. On the far right is George Mallory, on his expedition to conquer Everest, from which he never returned. His body was finally found this week. This, apparently, is how an English gentleman approached his peak.

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