Pandora

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A NEW British invasion: ladmags are storming American news-stands. During the past year, Maxim has been beating up its lame American rivals by exporting the successful Brit formula of babes'n'boytoys; the rumour is that the book's next American ABC figures may hit the magic million mark. Conde Nast, which publishes GQ, responded to Maxim's attack on its turf by poaching Maxim's former editor to overhaul the troubled Details. Now Felix Dennis, Maxim's maverick multi-millionaire proprietor, has upped the stakes by luring former FHM editor Mike Souter away from London radio station Kiss FM to take the helm at Maxim USA. Souter's new job, which he begins next month, will take him head-to-head with his former deputy Ed Needham - Needham will launch FHM in the US against Maxim later this year.

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WITH AT least five films on the subject either ready for release or in production, Hollywood seems fascinated by virginity. Many of them feature girls who trigger deadly events when they finally do the deed of darkness. Pick of the litter: Never Been Kissed stars Drew Barrymore as a chaste journalist (now that's acting!); in Cherry, Jennifer Aniston plays a 29- year-old virgin so distraught at her sexual status she hires a hitman to kill her. We'll trade our ladmags for a desperate Jennifer any day.

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CINDY CRAWFORD blames her divorce from Richard Gere on Buddhism - he believed, she didn't. "I was evolving as a person," she says, "and got jealous because of the time it took."

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HOW DO we know David Ginola (pictured) is Anglicising? Because he's taken up golf. But although you can take the man out of France, you can't entirely take France out of the man. Ginola recently played with Kevin Keegan and Terry McDermott at St Andrews' Old Course. "As I was driving off that first tee," Ginola says, "I thought of all the players who have played the course and I was shouting `This is fantastic'. Kevin and Terry thought I was mad." Ginola, according to next month's FourFourTwo, later went on to beat Keegan on the links at Turnberry. The Spurs star also tells the football magazine that he harbours a secret fear of sharks. It stems from seeing Jaws as an impressionable 12-year-old: "That summer I never put a toe in the water," says Ginola, who admits his phobia bites every time he goes water-skiing. "Perhaps I will go to Australia and get in a cage surrounded by sharks just to banish the fear." Or he could take a cab to Lancaster Gate and sit in on the FA broadcast negotiations.

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HE CAN stand eating beetles. He can stand being chained to a radiator through a Beirut summer - but he can't stand children and animals. Terry Waite was recently spotted in splendid isolation in gold class on a Birmingham- bound Virgin train. Enter celebrity chef Marco Pierre White, his wife and their two young sons aged five and three, accompanied by a friend with her miniature poodle. As the party took their seats, the boys began to play with the dog. "It took less than five minutes for Waite to leave the carriage," reports Pandora's eyewitness. Apparently tragic Tel downgraded himself to blue class. Fun guy.

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ANOTHER TEL with a tale to tell is Terry Hands. The Welsh Taffia invited Hands, quondam director of Theatre Clwyd, "to inject some drama" into the opening of the Welsh Assembly next month. As their chamber won't be finished in time, Welsh MPs are to be temporarily billeted in an early 90s tat office block in Cardiff Bay. The only space in the building big enough to house the legislative chamber is its former mainframe computer room. Hands recently visited this somewhat utilitarian area; taking in its capacious banality the great director, perhaps realising even he was unequal to the task, allowed his jaw to drop and told the Welsh official sent to hand-hold him: "Are you seriously telling me that we are going to create the birth of a nation in an underground carpark?"

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

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