Pandora

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The Independent Culture
PLANET HOLLYWOOD is reportedly ready to file for bankruptcy. The faltering celebrity restaurant chain has been struggling with sky-high debt and massive losses. The owner, Robert Earl, wanted to announce the catastrophe through the Hollywood trade press - so he could spin it to soothe the chain's celebrity backers. They include Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But this was not to be; his handlers are "in meetings" as the news breaks. Let's fix it: during 1999's first half Planet Hollywood has haemorrhaged more than pounds 39m from revenues just south of pounds 100m. This week Planet H's share price hit 75c on NYSE, down from a high of $5.75. Last time we looked at the chain's flagship Aspen outlet, it sold only merchandise: no meals, no queues, no rush. The London operation, celebrated as a place where you can chew on an overpriced burger while gazing at Bruce Willis's old vest, was still doing business this week.

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STRIKE TIME? Isn't it time we tackled the hard issues that really matter? Take the hazard of chipped and cracked nails that stop der laydeez from going bowling. Millennial life is fraught with such peril. Fortunately, help is at hand in the shape of Nail Nurses. They're standing by at Plymouth's Superbowl rink "to encourage potential customers to go bowling, safe in the knowledge that they can take steps to protect their nails against any potential damage". The nurses are equipped with Nail Envy, a brand of nail hardener.

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WHODATHUNKIT? 75 seconds after an athlete in action swallows salt, traces show in their sweat.

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THE DALAI LAMA has really had a week of it. First it was Goldie Hawn, who turned up to a talk the putative godhead gave, in a dress that was little more than butt-floss. Now the Tibetan spiritual leader (pictured) finds himself having an audience with Michael Jackson. Did he do something stinky in a past life?

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CARDIFF'S NEW millennium stadium hosts the Wales vs Canada showdown this Saturday. Mindful of Cymric rugby fans' beverage needs, the management has installed 17 bars. More than one will feature a multiple dispensing unit (MDU is the trade acronym) that can pour 12 perfect pints simultaneously. Valley dwellers have already nicknamed it "the joy machine".

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BILL CLINTON, campaigning for Al "Wooden" Gore, says: "His record is my record." Tipper must be thrilled.

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DOLL WARS - it's a jungle out there, parents. Pandoraphiles will remember that earlier this week, Sindy squared up to Barbie with her new celebrity escorts, Zoe, Denise and Geri. Update: the gruesome twosome are on notice - there's a new girl on the block. Harassed parents need to know that Tanya walks unaided for periods of up to 30 seconds - as long as she's got some shopping. (Sound like anyone you know?) Tanya's profile is definitely different from Barbie's role-modelling of American airhead glitz - Tanya role-models British airhead glitz. "We think of Tanya as a Northern It girl," say her handlers, mindful of their Manchester clients. "She dates minor celebrities." (That sounds like a lot of people Pandora knows.) Pandora would be the last to say that Tanya is a bit of a slapper, but... with only 129 shopping days to Christmas, cue cat-fights on the high street and lots of blond hair-pulling. Very kinky.

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ON SET with John Schlesinger shooting The Next Best Thing, the new Rupert Everett and Madonna movie, the crew kept referring to "The Diva". They weren't talking about Madonna.

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OH, AND winner of Pandora's alarmingly lifelike Saucer of Milk this lap is Suzanne Noble, who, while calling in with today's doll wars update, said: "Look, Barbie's 40. And she can't even walk yet?"

Miaow!

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e-mail: pan dora @inde pen dent. co.uk

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