Pandora

SOME OF the biggest players in media advertising were spotted in Miami last weekend. David Mansfield, Capital Radio's chief executive, Andrew Barnes, commercial director for Channel 4, his brother Simon Barnes, a marketing supremo at Associated Newspapers, Nick Milligan, Channel 5's director of sales, and Steve Platt, MD for Carlton sales. Were they swapping corporate secrets? Or discussing takeovers and mergers? No. Despite the high-powered "Five Go Mad in Miami" scenario, Pandora can reveal that they went to watch the Super Bowl.

IT HAS come to Pandora's attention that a bidding war has begun over Biche, the first novel of Stephanie Theobald, the journalist who recently demanded to know why the word "lesbian" is banned from women's magazines while men's mags use it for erotic purposes. Theobald is also responsible for the term "bi-try", meaning the sexual advantages of being a lesbian while retaining some mercenary straight behaviour, principally hanging out with white heterosexual males who have the real power. "I suppose my point is that all women - and not just lesbians - are being patronised about what they should and shouldn't know about sex," says Theobald. Biche (French for "chick") - being fought over by Penguin and others - includes anecdotes on sex with a sumo wrestler, onanism at a Jean Paul Gaultier party and the secrets of French train toilet cubicles.

WAKE UP to a bright dawn of new jobs. GMTV is today expected to announce who will be the new editor of its breakfast programme. Martin Frizell, currently chief correspondent, was considered for the post. He is married to the GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips, who is expecting his baby. He also has a child with the GMTV executive Margaret Sawdon - but, despite his popularity in the office, a GMTV source tells Pandora that a surprise announcement is in the pipeline - that GMTV can do without an editor after all. Meanwhile Helen Morton, currently showbiz correspondent, has been filling in as Hollywood reporter, but it is doubtful that she will want to stay in Tinseltown. And a whole range of celebrity names has been thrown around - probably by their own PRs - with a view to filling in for Ms Phillips.

SPEAKING OF sofa situations, this comfy piece of TV furniture has recently been the subject of some subtle rebranding. When the BBC relaunches its breakfast show, it may decide to create a "soft area". With sofas. Channel 4 News viewers are probably delighted to see Jon Snow perched neatly on what has been referred to as a sofa-like "banquette". God forbid the presenters get too comfortable.

"MY OUTLOOK on life is completely different now. My feelings towards others have been transformed. I don't think I was a bad person before, but my faith in God has made me a more caring, compassionate, patient person." So said Glenn Hoddle in his autobiography, Spurred to Success. Of course, this was said 12 years ago, so there has been plenty of time for a reincarnation of the spirit.

READERS OF the Evening Standard's ES magazine will no doubt appreciate its feature writer John Gibb's efforts to go "behind the scenes" to expose casino cheats, but does going behind the scenes include going to the cinema? The report reads remarkably like the soliloquy of Robert De Niro (pictured) in the movie Casino. Pandora tried to contact Gibb, only to find that he had left. Perhaps the silver screen has already beckoned.

PASSING HARVEY Nichols, in London's Knightsbridge, on the No 10 bus on Friday, Pandora was horrified to see a beautifully stencilled message on all windows: "Pardon our appearance while we re-dress our windows." Pardon? Pardon? Is that not the absolute worst lower-middle-class, lounge- room, suburban usage? Are not Harvey Nicks' customers brought up from the cradle to say "I beg your pardon" or "I'm sorry" or "Please excuse me"? There is a shocking lack of standards in Pandora's favourite store.

You can contact Pandora by e-mail: pandora@ independent. co.uk

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