Barometer: Sean O'Grady

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The Independent Culture
Legs of the week

THIS IS Lord ("Derry") Irvine, the Lord Chancellor. Take a long, sober look at this man in tights. Note also the quaint buckled footwear. Affront to modern Britain, or what? Derry certainly thought so and, after a vote in the House of Lords, he will now be able to wear trousers and slip-ons when presiding over the Lords. This is just as well. Derry may possess the sharpest legal brain in Britain, and give his friend the Prime Minister wise counsel (in a Cardinal Wolsey kind of a way). But Lord Irvine's calves are overly plump, without any redeeming shapeliness whatsoever, and shown off to their worst advantage by medieval leggings. Derry's legs have distracted their Lordships for too long.

Voice of the Week

MONICA LEWINSKY may have had calves to seduce a President, but her sexiest asset was her vixen voice. Monica's notorious telephone conversations with her "friend", Linda Tripp, (who was secretly taping them) are now available on the Internet. To listen to what she could do - and did do - for "the big creep", try:


tapes/index.html#complete. Linda Tripp seems to be eating her dinner during some of the calls, but Monica has the good manners never to speak with her mouth full.

Toilet toy of the Week

ENJOY GIVING dinner parties? Worried about breaking the ice? Meet Bog Monster. When a guest returns from a discreet visit to the lavvy with their clothes disgustingly soiled - thanks to Boggo - let's hope all will see the funny side. And if you think that's unpleasant, consider the effect the rubber rascal might have on the elderly and incontinent. It would, after all, scare the crap out of the best of us. What a way to go.

Clown of the Week

ANOTHER CAREER down the pan. Former professional footballer Paul Gascoigne (yes, I know he plays for Middlesborough) used felt-tip pens to create this self-pitying self-portrait. Too much to expect a graphic representation of his unkind behaviour to his former wife, Sheryl, but there you go. To thine own self be true, as Five Bellies might say.

Image of the Week

SURELY THE nut cutlet can't have been that bad?

It's Brit Art, or at least a Brit gallery, the Tate, showing this work by Italian Maurizo Cattelan. Those of us brought up on the tales of Squirrel Nutkin and Tufty, television's road safety squirrel, are shocked. On show in a year.