Pandora - Arts and Entertainment - The Independent

Pandora

SUCCESS SECRETS, Mark McCormack's monthly intranet staff briefing has been interesting recently. The normally reliable in-house guide for the dorsal fins at IMG (McCormack's privately owned, international sports and talent agency), has gone postal in two recent issues. The first featured a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger threnody about the pitfalls of doing business with friends. The latest showcases an item under McCormack's signature, entitled "Perfecting a Polite Way to Say Goodbye," which unloads splenetic bile by the bucketful. Talent migration is an edgy issue with any star agency, but what, specifically, is making McCormack - a 30-plus-years survivor who rewrote the playbook on sponsorship and celebrity arbitrage - so snarky?

THE FIRST internet newspaper for women - that's the hype for Worldwoman, which launches this month. The new netmag takes stories from female journalists around the globe (something Pandora's been doing for ages, but never mind) and aims "to find solutions to the problems that male managers of this millennium have found intractable". Worldwoman's inspiration, it's said, is Lesley Riddoch, who once persuaded The Scotsman to change into The Scotswoman for the day, with an all-femme crew commissioning, writing and editing the broadsheet. So, in the spirit of advancing 21st century gender relations, can we expect a future edition of Worldwoman to be called It's A Man's Man's Man's World?

CAREER CREDENTIAL? So, while filming The Mummy, its British star Rachel Weisz (pictured) had a rat crawl all over her body. Hasn't every film actress?

NAUGHTY CRUMBLIES - what is it about the 60-pluses that makes them behave so badly? Take Michael Douglas's mama, Diana Darrid. Douglas suggested, perhaps as an alternative to gardening, that the 73-year-old former film star pen her memoirs. Her new manuscript is torrid; it features Mummy making the beast with two backs with Errol Flynn, Mummy having an illegal abortion, Mummy smoking spliff...

TIME CAPSULE this: "I'd finish recording a session for David Bowie's Hunky Dory, then go home for tea with my mum and dad. They'd be sitting there saying: `Get your hair cut! Nobody'll employ you looking like that.' I'd try to explain I had a record at No 9 in the charts, but I don't think they took any notice." - Rick Wakeman on the perils of teenage pop stardom in the 20th century's early Seventies.

DEMI "GIMME" Moore is following Pamela Anderson down the implant removal road. Semi-Demi?

READERS' INDIGESTION. Pandora checks the hot books because you're too busy. This week: Worm Digest. This quarterly (est 1993) features "upbeat" coverage of down-to-earth topics such as the Worm Man of Havana, the earthworm symposium ("A worm experience not to be forgotten") and a can't-miss chance to buy 2,000 hungry redworms, fresh from the vermicompost boxes of Happy D Ranch Worm Farm, for a pony (pounds 25). Dig it.

WONK WORLD is buzzing about a new guide to the thrills'n'spills of by- elections. Fortuitously launched to slipstream in behind the 10 June Leeds Central by-election, The Centurion By-election Guide is "an independent companion" to those one-off votes on these isles. But hold up, is this published by the same Centurion Press whose chairman, David Evans, was made up to a life peerage (Lord Evans of Watford) last year by No 1 Guy? The same David Evans who once employed Jack Cunningham as a paid adviser? The same David Evans who is listed as a top donor to New Labour? Yes, yes and yes. So how independent is this guide going to be? "Centurion will take no editorial role," a mouthpiece says. Hmmm.

AIR KISSES may be history; fashionistas are talking about the long, lingering kisses Kate Moss has been bestowing on her (female) thespian and socialite friends. Is Croydon's poster girl going all ambi-sexual on us? Her agent, Paul Rowland, says, "Kate's just very affectionate." So, as a matter of fact, is Pandora.

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

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