Pandora

MICK JAGGER, the crumbly rocker, is being moodier than usual. Some say it's the DNA testing he must undergo to establish (or refute) paternity of the baby boy born to his 29-year-old Brazilian lover, Luciana Morad. Others contend he's feeling the heat from his long-suffering wife, Jerry Hall, who's now said to have her plans to divorce old child-bearin'- lips back on track. The current price for her golden goodbye is said to be pounds 5m. A balconette to cry on emerges in the shape of Vanessa Neuman, a 28-year-old student who has a property in north-west London's St John's Wood. Neuman also has a Manhattan pad; her grandfather once owned Mustique and her net worth has been clocked at pounds 200m. Could this be a case of SFT (Self-Financing Talent) meeting a man on first-name terms with most of the banknotes in his wallet?

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SLANGUAGE SUBTITLES this week lends its ear to the complex mondo of modern music, courtesy Spin. Avant-noodling: progressive = experimental noise creation (eg, Phish); echt = utmost; guitarmies = guitar + armies; heater = hot item; jazzbo = neo-beatnik hipster who owns more than one Coltrane or Zappa disc and feigns a hard drugs problem; meta = possessing duality in meaning and perspective; sincero = real (a backlash against irony overdose, thus "Alanis's hippie hair and sincero New Age veneer..."); talmudic = complex, esoteric, scholarly; uber = super (eg: "uber-smooth", "uber-size it").

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KUDOS TO Fifth Column Theatre, of the Oval in south London. From 10 to 19 June, the subsidised thespian troupe plans performances of Flow My Tears the Policeman Said, considered by hardcore Philip K Dick fans to be his meisterwerk. Flow My Tears is a richer and deeper work than Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the book transformed by Ridley Scott into Blade Runner. The action in Flow My Tears centres around Jason Taverner, an international TV celebrity who wakes up to discover he no longer exists. This could prove one to watch.

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JODIE FOSTER (pictured) is now the key player in the new Silence of the Lambs deal. Dino De Laurentiis and Universal are ready to pay north of pounds 5.5m for the author Thomas Harris's sequel to the monstrously successful movie. But last week the Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme bailed out of the action because he feared the new property would be "too violent". Anthony Hopkins is "receptive" to reprising his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter. But Foster, currently shooting in Malaysia, is the hold-out. She won't commit, say Tinseltown jaws, until the script is done. Similarly Sharon Stone is stalling a Basic Instinct follow-up until she's happy with the cold type on the page.

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CRUISE CONTROL? The Mission: Impossible sequel, currently shooting down under, is living up to its name. First, there was a row when extras were charged admission by a racetrack, giving a new meaning to the term "paying your dues". Then Tom Cruise, who is co-producing the film, didn't like the look of the daily rushes (or perhaps the way he looked on screen?) and, to date, three cameramen have been canned. Now the locals are revolting (woof!): this week the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Sydneysiders, angry at Paramount turning their town into a back lot, slashed the tyres of rented cars belonging to more than 10 crew members. The perps also pelted another saloon with raw eggs. "There were a lot of worried goons on their mobile phones," one resident smirked.

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FASCINATION FACTOR: They liked it once, so they'll love this twice - Mazher Mahmood, the News of the World's top gun "investigative" reporter, was fired from The Sunday Times for unsuccessfully trying to cover up a factual error in a story.

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"COLOUR CHANGE" is the expression used in some casinos when a player ups his stake at the table and calls for chips of a different hue. It also aptly describes what's happening with the Lib Dems. Paddy Ashdown's infelicitous "clear yellow water" phrase, with its Euronating echo, has inspired yellow party players to suggest it's time for a paint job. The Lib Dems' preferred new shade? They're going for gold. Echt smart.

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

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