Pandora

JOHNNY DEPP is set to star in the supernatural thriller The Ninth Gate, Roman Polanski's first film since 1995. The exiled director was forced to abandon The Double three years ago after John Travolta stormed off the set - and Sean Penn, Robert de Niro and Al Pacino all suddenly discovered previous commitments preventing them stepping before his cameras. Paris-based Polanski has been negotiating with the Los Angeles District Attorney's office to have charges dropped dating from an incident more than 20 years ago when he was accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl. With paedophilia in the Nineties occupying the position that Communism did in the Fifties as the zeitgeist's pariah vice, sources say the Polish- born auteur has been advised not to hold his breath.

CHARLES KENNEDY is not universally popular among his party's elder statesmen. Politicos know that when the precocious Kennedy first won Ross Cromarty & Skye at the age of 23, David Owen responded: "Who? Where?" But delve into Owen's memoirs and you'll discover that Roy Jenkins thought Kennedy was one of a group of SDP types who were "mesmerised" by the vampiric Owen, while Bob Maclennan described the young Scot as a "Judas" after voting against a motion particularly close to Bob's heart. But Kennedy, Harvey, Hughes and other putative Lib Dem leadership contenders may rest assured that Owen should be distracted from meddling in the contest by his new fondness for some daft euro-bashing.

BEVERLEY HILLS citizens will vote this spring on an ordinance that would compel local furriers to tag merchandise with labels stating: "This product is made with fur from animals that may have been killed by electrocution, gassing, neck-breaking..." Sometime London resident Diana Ross (pictured) is leading the fur fans; Georgia-born belle Kim Basinger the antis. One Hollywood cynic says that the plan is academic anyway: "I don't think a stupid label's going to make any difference. In this town, women get minks the way minks get minks."

PARLIAMENTARIANS CONCERNED about GM foods are being served mixed messages by the Commons Catering Committee Chairman Dennis Turner MP. In July, he told his Lewes counterpart Norman Baker that no frankenfoods would sully Westminster's crockery. Then he sent MPs a letter last week stating "the Catering Committee does not have a policy of banning such foods". Foodies confused by this neither flesh-nor-fowl stance are now being told that there is a third way. According to the Director of Catering Services, no ban exists but there is "a policy of avoiding... the use of foods that are known to contain genetically modified organisms". Pass the hot potatoes.

IT'S A question that is preoccupying Millbank's young, hot-shot webmeisters. They had an irate call from Culture Secretary Chris Smith after he discovered the official Labour Party website listed him as single. This must have come as something of a surprise to Dorian Jabri, the force behind the Tools for Schools computer recycling initiative: he and Smith live together in Islington with their Tibetan terrier, Tian, and are a long-time, long- term couple. Smith's fusillade triggered a volley of calls from other ministers. One wants to post a new picture because the current snap makes his face "look too fat". Another has demanded the removal of all dates from her biography to "avoid her looking so old". Pandora has bottles of fizzy pop chilling on ice for the first readers to successfully identify the two ministers concerned.

PAPARAZZI SNAPS have surfaced showing Doris Day, 73, snogging her next door neighbour, some silver-tongued lothario of 79. Whipcrack-away!

LONDON IS sinking. The capital's water table is at half its depth of 30 years ago; a well in Trafalgar Square is filling up at the rate of three metres per year. London Transport is concerned enough to be meeting insurance experts to analyse the implications. Thames Water predicts that drilling holes to pump away a projected 70 million litres of surplus water will cost pounds 10m - plus pounds 2m per year for subsequent maintenance. Look for gushing mayoral wannabes to start fishing for those floating voters on a No Flooding platform. But how it will go down in west London's bijou Little Venice?

Contact Pandora by e-mail on: pandora@ independent.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished

TV reviewGrace Dent: Jimmy McGovern's new drama sheds light on sex slavery in the colonies

Arts and Entertainment
Australia's Eurovision contestant and former Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian

Eurovision 2015Australian Idol winner unveiled as representative Down Under

Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl
filmFirst look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Arts and Entertainment
Season three of 'House of Cards' will be returning later this month
TV reviewHouse of Cards returns to Netflix
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford will play Rick Deckard once again for the Blade Runner sequel
film review
Arts and Entertainment
The modern Thunderbirds: L-R, Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John in front of their home, the exotic Tracy Island
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable