Tuesday 22 June 1999
HITS MEAN CHITS: so here in Happyland, Pandora's proud to present another winning innovation - Panda Points. You know those supermarket loyalty cards? And frequent flyer miles? And credit cards that encourage you to spend pounds 3,000 on a meal so you can subsequently enjoy a free, very disposable camera? Panda Points are like that, only way stupider. Our girl dishes them out, you collect and redeem them for silly prizes, awarded to readers, contributors and correspondents on the basis of random criteria that change without notice. Watch this space.
CLAUDIA SCHIFFER (pictured) has been driving round New York. She doesn't have a driving licence. And what do those oh-so-tough NYPD cops say? "Nolle prosequi." (Well, they would if they spoke Latin.) Is this what Nancy Etcoff means by the Survival of the Prettiest?
MORE ON that wedding dress, borrowed by Diana, Princess of Wales, that Elizabeth Emanuel's liquidators are under pressure to sell. The lead creditor's magic number is pounds 360,000. The dress's value is so north of that - especially if Mohamed Al Fayed were to start bidding. Coming soon to a corner shop window near you?
THE US MINT has named Kermit the Frog as its "official spokesfrog."
ROBIN COOK is organising a sit down at Whitehall's 1 Carlton Gardens on July 20 for a klatch of trade union panjandrums - and they can expect something swankier than beer and sandwiches. How frightfully clever of Cook to solicit the opinions of Unison's Rodney Bickerstaffe, the TGWU's Bill Morris and the AEEU's Ken Jackson on foreign policy. Or might his hospitality be connected with the Cookie Monster's semi- closeted desire to lead the Red party?
OH, AND talking of junkets, a grand garden party is scheduled for next month to celebrate the opening of the first Scottish parliament for nearly 300 years. And what is the name of the headlining band..? Garbage.
NEW, IMPROVED reality... as lived on TV. Episode One: "You'll survive any war unless you show anybody else a picture of your loved ones." Two: "The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window of any building anywhere in Paris." Three: "A man will show no pain while taking a ferocious beating, but will wince whenever a woman tries to clean his wounds." Four: "All police investigations necessitate at least one visit to a strip club." Five: "When alone, foreigners prefer to speak to each other in English." Six: "Any woman investigating suspicious noises in a haunted house will do so in racy lingerie." Seven: "It's always possible to park directly outside the building you're visiting."
NEW IMPROVED reality...as lived in newspapers. The National Society of Newspaper Columnists Conference, held in Kentucky this month, had a special panel discussion entitled: "For Spouses Only: A Session on Living with Columnists." Why? The society's research suggests that "writing a column on a regular basis can lead to divorce, alcoholism, even suicide." Oh, guys - only when you do it properly...
THE KINDEST way to describe the human tragedies comprising the Commons administration committee? Megalomaniac paranoids. The tiny-minded Stalinists have just forbidden lobby hacks access to the Commons terrace because, it seems, MPs are frightened of being mentioned in "diary" columns. You should be so lucky...
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TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food