THE HOTTEST ticket in town? Lenny, at Queen's Theatre. The buzz is electric. Judi Dench was in the audience over the weekend. And Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Joan Rivers have all flown in during the last seven days to see it. There's something for everyone in Peter Hall's production. Elizabeth Berkley (pictured) is the electrifying Hollywood hurricane showing she can make the cut on London's legitimate stage - her movie credits include Showgirls. Eddie Izzard is the decade's premier gender-blender, reinventing himself for the 21st century in front of the planet's toughest audience and most vicious critics. The magic third element, the straw that stirs this high-octane cocktail, is Sandra Caron. Caron comes from a stable that's no stranger to showbiz success - her sister was Alma Cogan. Lenny is around for only five weeks. Catch it if you can.

STEPHEN NORRIS: is he having second thoughts about running for mayor of London? Nozza is convinced he can be PM - dream on, sport - and his pals are urging him to drop out of the race, endorse Jeffrey Archer and fight Michael Portillo for the late Alan Clark's Ken and Chelsea seat. Norris would have the edge in one vital respect. The Poshopolis constituency's Conservative electorate will not need reminding that Norris is closer to Alan Clark than Portillo in that both Clark and Norris have form as masters of the mattress.

THE APA'S mobile phone has "gone missing" from the APA office. APA? That'd be the Association of Police Authorities, who spend all our cash on crime prevention initiatives...

DEBORAH MOGGACH, author of Tulip Fever, will get a surprise if she pops down to St John's Wood library. Last time we looked, her novel had been bedded down under "Gardening". In related bibliophile babble, John Howard, the Australian Premier, happened to reveal that his very favourite bedtime reading actually includes a tome called The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Along With Difficult People.

A WOMAN flying in Air New Zealand business class is being offered compensation after finding a rat sitting on her lap. The airborne rodent was spotted after the Boeing 767-300 had left Los Angeles for Tahiti. "The passenger felt something on her right leg, lifted her blanket and found the rat sitting on her lap," a mouthpiece said. The animal's carcass was found under the cockpit floorboard after the plane had landed in Auckland. It was thought to be "an escaped pet".

SMUGGLING PETS on to aircraft is easier than you think. After all, drug smugglers sneak stuff aboard planes all the time, don't they? Which segues effortlessly into Pandora's continuing high-flyers coverage. You'll recall that more than 50 employees of American Airlines and a Lufthansa subsidiary were arrested on narcotics charges in Miami the other day. (They'd been using the planes to smuggle cocaine.) So American Airlines may reconsider its ad slogan. Last time we looked, it was: "There's something special in the air".


ANNA WINTOUR'S affair with Shelby Bryan, a rich guy, got so out of hand that President Clinton himself telephoned Bryan's wife to offer his condolences.


THIS JUST in - a production secretary is suing for sexual harassment. She alleges that TV suits manhandled her breasts, poured water down her blouse and whipped her bottom with a dog leash. The show concerned is called Politically Incorrect.


OH, AND an extremely indiscreet thesp (no dabs, no traces, no problem) repeated this little exchange of greetings to Pandora over the week-end: "Hello - I'm Maureen Lipman." "Hi - I'm Patsy Palmer." (Pause) Lipman: "Are you an actress?"

Saucer of milk to the grande dame at Michael Winner's table at the Park Lane Hotel. And always remember to dish it up cold.

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