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The Independent Culture
BE HAPPY. Ken Calman, head honcho of the World Health Organisation, suggested in Geneva this week that Britain's Department of Health should be renamed "The Department of Health and Happiness." Next up: Frank Dobson as Santa Claus.

BILL MAHER'S Politically Incorrect show, simulcast on both sides of the Atlantic from London this week, should be well worth watching tonight. Come for the guests (Jonathan Ross, Emma Samms and Graham Norton)... stay for the rant: Maher trashes Brits who pick up America's predilection for New Age nonsense. "One thing I like about England is your stiff upper lip, " Maher says, "There's no fingerpointing, no excusing and no victimhood. The touchy-feely thing has ruined America; please don't imitate it here." On point.

SEVEN DWARFS: that's Pandora's view of the runners for Paddy Ashdown's job. Don Foster's bag-carriers say his bad heir days make him a natural Grumpy. Take a meeting with David Rendel and you'll understand why he's right for Dopey. Malcolm Bruce's short sharp noises about the economy sound Sneezy; Simon Hughes's total lack of punctuality, and legendary professional regimen, suggest Sleepy. Menzies Campbell is smart and has a bedside manner - Doc? Charlie Kennedy is chirpy, does TV panel shows and therefore should have a sense of humour: he's Happy. Leaving only Jackie Ballard... as Bashful? No irony deficiency here, baby.

YOUDATHUNKIT: Bow-tied Christopher Mason's intimate biography of the Versace family, Undraped, has been pulped by its publishers, Little Brown.

ELIZABETH BERKLEY (pictured) made a name for herself in the striptease flick Showgirls. Now she's coming to London's West End to star opposite Eddie Izzard in Peter Hall's production of Lenny, Julian Barry's take on the life, laughs and fast times of Lenny Bruce. Berkley will portray Honey Harlowe, the stripper who takes a one-way ticket (is there any other kind?) to smack hell with the foul-mouthed funnyman. When Valerie Perrine played the same role on celluloid alongside Dustin Hoffman, it put her on the map - Perrine recently turned down five figures to drop the dime on her former lover Dodi Al Fayed.

RUPERT EVERETT is tossing off a James Bond story with a fresh twist: 007 is gay.

CUSTOMS & EXCISE officers complained to Sky Sites, an outdoor ad company, about the sexy, six-metre, backlit supersite above passport control at Waterloo's Eurostar terminal. It showcases the Chicago dancer Joanne Ellery's bikini-style take on the fishnet look. Customs claim inbound passengers disembarking from Paris and Brussels think they've somehow landed in Chicago, the city. What yarbles! If the boys and girls fighting "the war on drugs" can't keep their mind on the job, perhaps Home Secretary Jack Straw could arrange for more gainful employment elsewhere.

ENQUIRING MINDS wonder why Professor Bob Worcester, of Mori polls, is suing the BBC.

NEWS BREAKS - and we fix it. The numbers are in from the British Virgin Islands elections. The ruling Virgin Island Party continues its 12-plus year stewardship: it won 11,438 votes, beating the Democratic Party's 11,168. Check the maths: that's 22,606 votes in total, isn't it? Given that the Islands have a population of 19,500 - and an official electorate of 9,500 - this is a remarkable result.

FEELING LUCKY? Maybe you just have a highly developed sense of intuition. Psychologists are beginning to accept, says the new issue of Zest, that intuition may sometimes be "more valid than logical thought." A new book The Intuition Kit (Element, pounds 19.99) is packaged with props to develop your inner guidance system. Pandora's hunch? A hit.

GLENDA JACKSON wants to leave Parliament - she has "no friends here in the Commons"? Say it ain't so, girl. Because, Glenda, you've got a friend - Pandora. Let's hook up for a girl-to-girl chat. Say, your place (as in the House of Commons) 25 May, about eightish?

Contact Pandora by e-mail: pandora@ independent.