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BARONESS KNIGHT of Collingtree, what a comedienne! She's put down an oral question (snigger) which demands "whether it is a proper function of a university to carry out research which involves recruiting and paying 600 homosexual males to have anal intercourse?" This gives a whole new meaning to this week's Phrase That Pays: "More bangs for your buck."

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DAWN AIREY - is she a chump? She publicly brown-noses her old pal Greg Dyke; but Pandora hears that when Dyke was asked whether he'd employ the C5 dynamo, the BBC's new DG replied that we're more likely to find the Queen Mother doing headstands on Rollerblades.

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KELVIN MacKENZIE - Let's take a ride down this sewer in a glass-bottomed boat and punch the dog-eared bus ticket that is Kelv's tragic CV. Although on second thoughts - following the example of Live, Sky and perhaps Talk Radio when the hard numbers come in - let's not.

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EVERYBODY'S TALKING about the recent Faber bash in Queen Square. Picture it: sunshine, champagne, Tom Stoppard and Andrew Motion mingling with various literary lovelies and Ferrari-brains when suddenly... "Put it like this," one eye-witness said, "On a scale of one to 10, it's a nine when the girl walks up to her man, in public, and lands a haymaker. When he picks himself up and lands one straight back on her, that's a 10."

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PANDORA'S PEOPLE, at least those of us with a financial interest in the forthcoming US presidential elections, may value Henry Kissinger's take on the race. Kissinger, in town to promote his Years of Renewal, sidestepped endorsing "Shrub" Bush by postulating that the US's restructured primaries give more weight to New York and California voters. "So we'll have a winner by March 15," Kissinger predicts. Hillary Clinton's senatorial candidacy could "prove counter-productive" to Al Gore's presidential bid, he contends - Hillary Clinton's numbers, are good, "but although her positives are constant, her negatives keep rising, they're in the 40s now, and I was told the negatives are difficult to change. And eight more years of the Clintons? I think the American public are sick of them. I know I am."

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CATHERINE ZETA JONES and Michael Douglas. A 29-year-old Swansea siren (pictured) and a 54-year-old Californian thesp? Cue lots of gags about this being the mother-and-father of all May-December romances. But Zeta Jones's next flick is The Haunting - and she plays a rapacious bisexual. "She loves sex," says Jan De Bont, the film's director. "She's always making jokes about it." Douglas, a master of the mattress, has probably already discovered this for himself. But does he know that, according to the new Allure, she wants six kids?

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RAY DAVIES, Rick Wakeman and Chris Rea were wheeled out of the Crumbly Rockers Rest-home to judge an awards ceremony at The Forum this week. Top tipple of the night? Red Bull. Are we keeping you up past your bedtimes, boys?

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PUNCTUATION POINT - this twice-told tale gets a fresh airing in honour of our sister paper's new editor. We're at a college where an instructor writes "woman without her man is nothing" on the board, and suggests the class punctuate. The guys write: "Woman, without her man, is nothing." The chicks write: "Woman! Without her, man is nothing."

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THE ODDS say that when you marinate press releases from Camelot and Durex together overnight, add a soupcon of sass, and hit the switch here's the result: "If you are a man and play the lottery every week, your chances of becoming a millionaire this year by winning it are 133,000/1 against," according to The Book of Chance, "but if you do win, there's a four out of five shot that you could have sex with any woman you wanted."

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

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