Pandora

EWAN MCGREGOR (pictured), topliner of the big summer Star Wars prequel, doesn't go to Knuckle Junction. "I can talk a good fight but I'd run a mile if one ever happened," McGregor says. "I had a fight once but I just got punched to the floor and that was it." The refreshingly unstereotypical Scot may have to make some attitude adjustments when the much-hyped movie eventually hits our cinemas. "Suddenly all these people are coming up to me with posters to sign," the pacific thesp says, "`May the Force be with you.' People have actually said that to me... I think that's quite batty."

SMILEY FACES were hoping that the success of the Lockerbie negotiations would foreshadow a similar deal to bring PC Yvonne Fletcher's killers to justice. Don't hold your breath. Pandora sees liability issues and a ballistics report roadblocking the suspected shooter's surrender.

WINNING TEAM. Now that first-division champions Sunderland have booked their premiership berth for next season, is the manager Peter Reid thinking differently to avoid the Yo-Yo syndrome that has pushed Nottingham Forest to the drop? Reid dummied parliamentary lobby journalists when he arrived for their morning briefing this week with Alastair Campbell (wheels down from Washington DC) and Fraser Kemp (Lab, Houghton and Washington East). The simian manager looked and learnt as Campbell and the hacks tackled the Kosovo war. Next stop for the Sunderland boss was Downing Street. Perhaps this visit down south will inspire the former England star to add more strength and depth to his squad - the premiership is a league

of its own.

TODAY'S SLANGUAGE guide is to Asian youth phrases. Chirpsing: flirting with the aim of pulling and subsequently plodging. Pudi (among Muslim kids) or fhudhi (to their Hindu counterparts): beautiful girls. Benchod: insult implying the other party is incestuous. Is it (pronounced izzit) used as an acknowledgement of a definitive statement, equivalent to "Oh really" - cf innit, all-purpose intensifier (eg "This place is the dogs, innit"). Having a session: smoking cannabis. Munch: takeaway food. Chat to you later: speak to you soon.

ELLEN BARKIN stars in the appropriately titled Drop Dead Gorgeous, a scathing comedy about American beauty pageants - and Pandora's spies say Barkin, one of the smartest players in La-La land, steals the film. Alas, someone's stolen her boyfriend. Ron Perelman, the billionaire chairman of Revlon, was spotted hooking up with a well-upholstered cable TV star. The man must have rocks in his head.

TOM JONES was asked by connections of a 104-year-old Watford fan to come and sing at her birthday party. The 60-year-old singer, who looked as though he'd put on a pound or two at Momo's Arabesque bash earlier this month, declined the gig on health grounds. Pandora wishes the old roue well. FYI (For Your Information): Last time we looked, Uncle Tom's taste in femmes ran to rather younger laydeez.

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A DELICIOUS moment during Donald Macintyre's Peter Mandelson documentary earlier this week. Mandy, it revealed, loves Andy... Andy Williams, the singer? Pandoraphiles will want to go buy the book (Mandelson, the Biography, HarperCollins) on this one.

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LAST WORD on Hugh Hefner's 73rd birthday party at his Holmby Hills hideaway. Hefner complained he felt faint and bunny people hit the panic button. A Hefner mouthpiece now dismisses the incident as a "moment" and blames it on the Playboy boss drinking on an empty stomach. She also says that Hef is seeing three women - conveniently named Mandy, Sandy and Brandy. A case of too much on his plate but not enough in his belly?

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e-mail: pandora@ independent.co.uk

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