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DEBBIE BEE is dummying up a new-look Nova for IPC to relaunch next year. The magazine was the creative pacemaker on these shores during the Sixties and Seventies, with a high-octane, monthly mix of pioneering hot fashion, social crusading and talented stars between its covers. Bee, thought to be in her thirties, is a seasoned fashionista who successfully turned around Scene three years ago, repositioning the troubled music title as a must-read for the glossy posse. Her name's absence from the masthead of recent issues had enquiring minds wondering where she'd gone. Now we know.

SCOTLAND'S NEW football strip has got people talking. Did its striking design take Herman German's eye off the ball this week? Enquiring minds have been wondering about the colour, too. Is it orange? Coral?

Or Salmond pink?

THE CAPITAL'S 21st-century mayor has got to win the party vote. And this week Trevor Phillips pledged to campaign for 24-hour licences for the city's nighteries, saying: "London will be a fun city." Big hat, no cattle, Trev; the lubricious Lord Archer has beaten you out of the blocks here.

Archer's smart Time Zone Devolution Bill - currently awaiting its second- reading date in the Upper Chamber - bolsters the argument for extended licensing hours, traditionally a red rag to Archer's true-blue core vote. "We have all these visitors to what is the best city in the world, but tell them to go to bed at 11 o'clock," says an Archer aide. So now we know that either an Archer or a Phillips mayorship would liberalise London into a 24/7/365 world city. What do Livingstone and Norris think? Pandora predicts we'll know sooner, not later.

DAVID LINLEY, furniture-maker, bridled like Lady Bracknell when he spied a wine glass atop one of his pounds 20,000 tables during a New York store's promotional party.

"Whose glass is that?" he asked archly. It vanished, pronto.

PICTURE IT - the Octopus publishing group is rallying its sales troops in a London hotel. The after-dinner speaker is Joseph Connolly (pictured, below), master of black comedy, quondam antiquarian bookseller and possessor of the hairiest head and chin in medialand - his flourishing beard and long, wavy hair suggesting a fabulous hybrid of Cap'n Birdseye, Karl Marx and Chewbacca from Star Wars.

Pre-dinner, Connolly gets edgy about making the speech and visits the gents' to chill. En route, he's spotted through the open door of an adjacent function room, where L'Oreal (the glitzy beauty product corporation represented in telly ads by Jennifer Aniston), is having a sales powwow of its own.

The result? Connolly is pursued into the lavs by a troika of looks-conscious L'Oreal suits, excitably offering him a "free makeover". Stand by for the atrabilious JC on a screen near you, glaring at the camera and snarling "Because I'm worth it..."

IT'S A JUNGLE out there. It must be. Why else would the British Army offer to tutor business people at its Infantry Training Centre near Dering Lines in Wales's Brecon Hills? Pinstripes tired of paintball can ride choppers, tackle assault courses, or be led blindfold across hostile terrain. Weapons aren't available, but mountain bikes may be; courses are individually customised and priced; they're run by "whatever units happen to be available at any particular time". An army mouthpiece contends that "the scenarios develop leadership, delegation, teamwork, imagination and decision-making under pressure". First to sign up? An eight-person crew from the Discovery Channel, who brought along the profile endurance racer James Henderson and the adventure-loving Storm model Sarah Odell to mitigate the rigours of life in uniform. Is this a new twist on camouflage chic?


CAN THIS be true? Catherine Zeta Jones (left) has finally dumped film star Michael Douglas to marry former Blue Peter trophy boy John Leslie...

Contact Pandora by e-mail: pandora@ independent.