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MAURIZIO CATTELAN'S controversial sculpture of a horse, currently suspended from the Tate Gallery's ceiling, elicited a snappy response from the Royal Veterinary College. It's running an animal welfare appeal, Equine 2000. So the organisation fired off a feisty news "clarification" this week, naming its Florentine counterpart as Cattelan's horsemeat supplier. We Brits, capisci, don't raise funds for sick horses by flogging dead ones.

KIRSTIE ALLEY, the Cheers star, lives a little on the large side. Check this extract from court papers filed as part of Alley's divorce proceedings. "At Hallowe'en parties... we hired a 150-piece marching band and six cavalrymen on horseback shooting blanks from guns to commence the festivities. The parties would last six hours and in the past have included petting zoos, camels and ponies." Hmmmmmmm...

do Scientologists celebrate Christmas?

GREEN GLITTERATI planning to attend the organic picnic on 25 July (sponsored by Greenpeace and other PC groups) may be surprised by one early acceptor - Jeffrey Archer.

BIANCA JAGGER, socialite and chick for charity, attended a smart Manhattan binge thrown by Montblanc. The pen people opened their new boutique there with an installation by the shock artist Tom Sachs. It features scenes of lesbian bondage and auto-eroticism.

"It's not disgusting, darling," La Bianca reassured a fellow champagne- sipper. "It's art." Doesn't this remind you of that Bill Maher gag? "I'll tell you how I feel about porn channels. They don't educate us, they don't enlighten us, they don't come in clearly enough where I live."

WINNER OF Pandora's spacious, gracious and lavishly appointed Saucer of Milk this lap is Charles Elton, the Poshopolis literary agent. Describing the oddities of growing up at Clevedon Court, in north Somerset, he tells August's Conde Nast Traveller: "In 1960 the National Trust undertook to renovate the house. When we came back after two years, it was like moving into a Barratt stately home." Miaow!

STAR WARS hype is now hitting warp speed. So the precis of the day saves you precious seconds by summarising every George Lucas interview past and present, everywhere. Lucas believes that the Hollywood studio system is deeply flawed. And that digital film-making is the future. His films "are just telling stories"; he finds family life with his adopted children "fulfilling". Oh, and by the way - did you know he has made a new film..?

KERRY PACKER pulled a show called Naughtiest Home Videos off Australia's Nine network - in mid-episode - because he found that it was offensive. And that was back in 1992. We can only speculate on what's happened since to make the tycoon's latest media morsel so much more... relaxed. Yes, Packer's got a brand-new rag. Called Dingo. The mad dog mag centre-spreads a young femme who seems to have forgotten to get dressed that morning. In what may be a trend (see Readers Indigestion, Pandora, 13 July) the absent- minded model is pictured alongside a mangy bush mutt. Dingo also has a sensationally rude competition about Cameron Diaz (pictured) and Cindy Crawford, but the kicker is this invitation to readers: "We'd like you to think of us as the kind of people you'd invite round for a convivial glass of chardonnay and a few lines of blow..." Hey, last one over Kerry's electric fence is a sissy ratbag.


VENUS ENVY? Jerry Hall got pounds 10m. Adua Pavarotti, the tenor's wife, is holding out for pounds 50m. Their lawyers must be singing off different song sheets...


FRINGE BENEFITS? Is it to discourage office romances, or perhaps it's a way of keeping payroll costs on budget? Pertemps, a Midlands staff agency, has a fresh twist on perks. It offers single employees free membership of a local dating agency. Thirty people have signed up. Let's see how many match up.


Q: "WHY DO Australians go up at the end of their sentences?" A: "Because their ancestors went down at the beginning of theirs."

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