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BILL CLINTON'S curious claim that he took pot "but didn't inhale" can now be explained. Christopher Hitchens, a Brit-born, US-based journalist, says everyone was baking cannabis into biscuits known as brownies, when the duo attended Oxford during the Sixties. If Clinton had eaten one of these - and Hitchens said the Rhodes scholar had a reputation as "a cookie- guzzling goof-off," - Slick Willy would, this time, be telling the truth.

WAPPING LIES. A newspaper called The Times confected a story that Peter Mandelson has "a black eye". Pandora says "Pants." If Mandelson has a black eye, let's see a picture of it. Bet you there isn't one.

FULL FAT? Roche, the pharmaceutical corporation, is promoting Xenical, an anti-obesity drug, by inviting suitably accredited media to a viewing of da Vinci's The Last Supper.

OR LITE? A Los Angeles gym made its pitch to recruit body fascists by posting billboards citywide that proclaimed "Aliens eat fat people first". Outraged plus sizes responded by picketing the gym, bearing sandwich boards saying "So Eat Me."

ROCK FOLLY - "I went to his grave in Seattle about three years ago," Noel Redding says of Jimi Hendrix, the virtuoso guitar and sexual performer, alongside whom he once played. "And I smoked a joint for him and then the clouds and I left it there under the flowers I'd bought for him." The Home for Retired Gentlerockers beckons.

MILLIONAIRE ROCK babe, dark, foxy, 53, seeks guy. Must have pulse. I've dated Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer; but these days I hardly ever see men I'm attracted to - so have been celibate for six years. It's easy for women to hang out with famous men, but no man wants to be Mrs Cher. Check my picture (right); I could do with getting lucky, so if you want to rock off or pop on send proof of identity (platinum Amex card, Polaroids of other undraped celebs, full wallet) to Box 456 Pandora.

COLOUR CONSULTANTS say that yellow is the colour of the new millennium. Mellow yellow? The future's bright, the future's yellow?

SARAH O'HARE, the topless model who married the Murdoch scion Lachlan in March, has nabbed her first film role, as Candy in a flick called Head Over Heels. As in (to borrow from the new GQ) "sugar daddy's arm candy"?

LIZ TILBERIS, the late fashion guru, is being honoured by De Beers. Anthony Oppenheimer and Donatella Versace name her honorary chairperson of their high-voltage Diamonds Are Forever party next week. Prince Charles has the event, which features tunes from Jon Bon Jovi, on his dance card. This one should sparkle.

BUT BACK in Manhattan, it's business as usual. Incoming reports suggest that at Harpers Bazaar, the magazine Tilberis edited, a wholesale clear- out of editorial staff is in progress.

MIKE TYSON, the boxer and ear-biter, bailed from prison (road-rage, apparently) and celebrated by showing up at an Eighties-themed nightery with his wife Monica, on a motorbike. Inside the club, Tyson kept his helmet on throughout the evening as he enjoyed the choons, light-up dance floor and bubble machines. Sipping a soft drink, Iron Mike told the club's owner, Tim Ouellette, that he wanted to keep the helmet on because he did not wish to be recognised. Ouellette offered Tyson a VIP table for himself and another couple. Only then did Tyson remove the skid-lid. Until he had to visit the lavs, when he put the helmet back on.

SUITS AT a Murdoch TV network caved in to an over-sensitive Catholic pressure group to delete a scene from The Simpsons. It features a spoof commercial mocking those old school ZZ Top videos. A spod pulls into a petrol station. Three sexy girls appear to service his automotive needs. What's offensive? One of the cartoon chicks was drawn wearing a crucifix. And a voiceover said: "The Catholic Church: We've made a few... changes."

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