SEPARATE TIME zones on these shores make more sense than fumbling gloomsters think: out of 175 New Labour candidates for the Scottish Parliament, guess how many come from a multi-racial background? One. Scotland really is another country, isn't it?
GREMLINS CREPT into Pandora's coverage of the Press Awards on Friday. Geoff Sutton, the hack brawling with a Mirror man after the ceremonies at the Hilton last week, has not worked for the Daily Mail for three years. No Daily Mail journalists were involved in the fracas. Sutton currently represents MSN, Bill Gates's Microsoft network. Pandora is delighted to put the record straight on behalf of Associated Newspapers - and Mr Gates. Apologies.
A BUENOS Aries nightclub has devised a novel new way of resolving such showdowns at Knuckle Junction: female bouncers. When a woman intervenes in a scuffle, say security experts, men don't react aggressively; there's a fear that if a woman beats a guy up he'll never recover from his friends' ridicule.
AS HIS passport eligibility moves inexorably towards its gruesome crescendo, Mohamed al-Fayed is apparently hedging in case the decision doesn't go his way. Ahead of a possible move to Manhattan, Chairman Mo is said to have offered his green-and-gold corner shop to Bernard Arnault, the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy boss currently embroiled in the messy take-over of Gucci. The hedge makes sense for Arnault too: the wheels may be falling off his Gucci deal. Francois Pinault, head of Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, France's largest non-food retail group, has emerged as a white knight to save the beleaguered Gucci president Domenico De Sole and his star design chief, Tom Ford. PPR owns the Yves Saint Laurent franchise and Ford, widely credited with revitalising the Gucci brand after a long spell in the doldrums, is reportedly keen to do the same trick with YSL.
SO IT seems that HM The Queen has squelched Prince Edward's plan to market the broadcast rights of his 19 June nuptials to Sophie Rhys-Jones through his production company Ardent. On the other side of the aisle, the putative princess is said to be having conniptions because her dress, apparently by Tomasz Starzewski, is too big to fit through the doors of St George's Chapel. And everyone's all adged up that Camilla Parker Bowles's invitation seems destined to be permanently lost in the post.
ENQUIRING MINDS are wondering why Tiger Woods (pictured) fired his caddy Mike "Fluff" Cowan earlier this month. Why change a winning team? Some say it's because the Tiger-Fluff combo hasn't been very winning recently: although Cowan partnered Woods during his dazzling six tournament victories spell in 1997, last year Tiger clocked just one title on the PGA tour. Others contend Woods was peeved that the caddy has traded on Tiger's celebrity to garner his own TV and commercial endorsements; Cowan also bragged recently to a golf magazine that he was on a 10 per cent bonus of Woods's winnings. But clubhouse gossips point the finger at Earl Woods, Tiger's domineering Dad. Woods Snr, a stern moral type, was apparently underwhelmed when Cowan, 51, recently ditched his long-time girlfriend for new fiancee Jennifer Young, 22. Officially all lips remained zipped; Cowan will only say of his 29-month gig, "It was a great ride while it lasted".
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