HIGH SPIRITS and extreme gossip were on the menu at Proud's opening of Dennis Morris's portraits of Bob Marley (pictured) the other night. The Jamaican High Commissioner Derick Heaven, thesp Kristin Scott Thomas, model Sophie Dahl and Wimbledon striker Robbie Earle mingled with the throng as quondam Radio 1 DJ Lisa I'Anson conspicuously tried to mend fences with the fourth estate. Everyone was talking about Warner Brothers' rumoured green light for a biopic about old natty dreadlocks; word is that the as yet untitled Marley project will (finally) be ready to shoot at the end of this year.
WHODATHUNKIT? ICELAND grows its own bananas.
HURRAY FOR Holyrood! The polls say SNP trails Labour by 15 points in the 6 May Scottish election. So some pundits are now openly urging the SNP to hook up with the Lib Dems. Both SNP and Lib Dems share a penchant for tax-and-spend - and keeping Noo Labour out. Lib Dem Scottish leader Jim Wallace and Aberdeenshire MP Sir Robert Smith seem keen to share a wee dram with the ScotNats: even MPs Ray Michie and Malcom Bruce might be persuaded to rush down the aisle at Gretna Green for a marriage of mutual convenience. Michie and Bruce would certainly be popular in Salmond's pool: last year the duo published a pamphlet calling for the abolition of the national anthem, and a north-of-the-border ban on flying the Union Jack.
DESPITE HIS punishing tour schedule, it's reassuring that the Deputy Prime Minister can find time to up his profile on the sub-continent. While attending a traditional wedding in Delhi (don't ask) there was a sudden flutter among the gossamer veils and colourful saris as the bride turned to Our Number One Guy's Chief Steward and said: "Oh hello John, I know you - I'm from Enfield, you know."
GM FOOD isn't Monsanto's only claim to fame - the "life science" corporation also manufactured Vietnam War defoliant Agent Orange.
ARSENAL'S MOOTED move to the Millennium Dome site may have to be re- pitched. Experts say a rumoured pounds 300m Gunners bid to relocate to the club's original home near Woolwich Arsenal could run into lighting problems. "Even now modern stadia have a problem with light levels supporting good grass growth," says Geoff Perris, the Sports Research Institute's grounds supremo. According to Perris, it's a bigger problem than the site's toxic antecedents. A mouthpiece for English Partnership, the governmental agency that's keen to unload the property when the Millennium Experience exhibition closes in 2001, confirms it would be happy to dismantle "sections of the Dome" and "excavate hardstanding surfaces" to accommodate any footie clubs looking for a new stadium.
PEOPLE ARE saying Victoria Adams wants to be "an involved mother". Perhaps she's planning to pick the nanny herself.
MAYBE IT'S a negotiating tactic, perhaps the circulation needs a boost, but Maggie Koumi, editor of Hello! magazine, has fired a warning shot across the grasping bows of the good ship Posh Becks, on whose decks nuptials are to be celebrated later this year. "The cost of buying stories has really spun out of control," Koumi told Press Gazette, the journalist's trade magazine this week. "I think [it's] quite frightening and it has to stop. Where will it all end? If a magazine pays pounds 1m every week it'll go bankrupt." Hello!'s goodbye would break the fluttering hearts of a nation's shop girls - who'd presumably be left moving their lips to the textual delights of rival OK! which, coincidentally, has just dropped a bernie (pounds 1m) to buy up the alleged story of Beckham and Adams's baby Brooklyn (emphatically not pictured).
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