Pandora

JANN WENNER, publisher of Rolling Stone, recently threw a party with his boyfriend Matt Nye for Jane Wenner - the wife Jann left for Matt. Pandorable!

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EAGLE EYES are watching Harrow West. This superficially unremarkable constituency was held by a Tory businessman, Robert Hughes, until May 1997, when voters preferred New Labour's candidate, Gareth Thomas. Hughes recently announced he'll not re-contest the seat, which Thomas currently holds with a majority of just 1,240, (required swing: 1.15 per cent). Hughes's nolo contendere opens a place for a fresh Tory face. Fact: Spanish Fly Guy Michael Portillo was raised in nearby Stanmore - and attended school in Harrow. Thomas's response on the prospect of going mano a mano with Spanish Fly? "Bring him on." Game boy!

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HEAVIEST INVITATION of the week is the stiffie for the opening of the Putney Bridge bar in London: it weighs in at a monstrous 40 grams.

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MAXIMILLION COOPER, male model and principal of Gumball 3000, is relieved that most of the rally's contestants had returned to London safe and well (last time we looked) after their gruelling five-day Euro ordeal. At the wacky racers' welcome home party at London's Met Bar this week, everyone was talking about the Monaco check point. Many madcap socialites missed it because they were in such a rush to catch the bus which left Rimini at 9:30am, taking those lucky enough to be on board for a spin around the San Marino Grand Prix circuit. Ooooops - Cooper misplaced the passes securing entry to the race circuit. Two "nasty-looking" Euros driving a high-performance sportscar, angry at missing their Fahrvergnugen around the San Marino track, demanded a refund of their pounds 4,000 rally entrance fee. Cooper deferred settlement. The Eurotrash, one of whom is said to be a champion kickboxer, then threatened to break his legs. Cooper hung tough. The now incandescent duo then approached Beverly Hills 90210's Jason Priestley (pictured below), who's in a pounds 250,000 Italian ride, and asked to take it for a spin. And vanished with it. When located more than three hours later, Kickboxer refused to return the Ferrari's keys to Priestley until Cooper put cash in their hands. Oh, and the other hot topic around the chequered flag - why did the Playboy models leave the rally?

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RICHARD BUTLER, the feisty Australian weapons inspector, wanted to step down from his UN role. But it's rumoured that he is being pressured to stay on after Iraq so he can continue his work (sangfroid please, everyone)... in China.

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ENQUIRING MINDS are pondering this: once an individual is mathematically adept he or she is numerate. The linguistically competent are deemed literate - so what do we call those (for example, designers) who are visually sussed?

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CHRIS SMITH told an alleged joke at the Terrence Higgins bash at Sound Republic the other day. "Last time I made a speech the person who introduced me was a bit nervous, and they described me as the Secretary of Straight for Culture, Media and Sport," Smith said. "But I'm the last person you could call that." It bought the pink-tinged house down. But don't give up the day job, Chris...

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BIZARRE BOOKS that have been published recently: The Romance of Leprosy and Hand Grenade Throwing as a College Sport. Don't all rush at once...

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FIRE SALE - would some public-spirited citizens clear this linguistic trash from Pandora's doorstep? Radio 5's "Another day at the office", footballers doing something "just for fun". And would anyone using either the Californian psychobabble "achieving closure" or that well-knackered old yarbles "chattering classes" please cease and desist immediately?

Contact Pandora by e-mail: pandora@ independent. co.uk

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