Pandora

pandora@independent.co.uk
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The Independent Culture
It was inevitable that people would quibble with the British Film Institute's 100 best British films. One passionate critic, who has the distinction of appearing in two of these films (Alfie and A Taste of Honey), is the elegant Murray Melvin. The actor joined fellow professionals Joan Sims, Rachel Weisz, Terry Gilliam and Saeed Jaffrey at the BFI's bash on Wednesday. But Melv was upset about an omission from the poll of a cross-section of the film industry: "How can you have a top 100 films and not mention John Grierson?" he implored. He had a point; Grierson was the founding father of the British documentary, noted for his social- realism films, eg Night Mail. "Recognition should be about films that changed film-making," continued Melv, "not about throwing sops to certain films or directors." Quite.

ON WEDNESDAY, readers will recall, Pandora wondered whether Cherie Booth and Dame Stella Rimington, both holders of directorships, are breaking the law by not declaring their home addresses with Companies House. Downing Street, on behalf of the PM's wife, stuffily dismissed the story without investigating it; Rimington's people had no comment about why the ex-MI5 boss's address fails to appear. Dame Stella's representatives suggested it was a matter of personal security. The same might be said for the former MI6 boss Sir David Spedding, director of Silvertop, if it weren't that he does give his home address.

There were two meetings at Craven Cottage, home of Fulham football club, last Saturday: the derby fixture against Queens Park Rangers, and the encounter between Mohamed Al Fayed and the Labour MP Steve Pound. The member for Ealing North (Fulham fan) and his son Pelham (QPR fan) met the Harrods boss in the directors' box. The genial Pelham Pound asked Mr Fayed if he had played football as a boy. Mo replied in the affirmative. A curious Pelham asked which position he filled. "Captain - always captain," reminisced Mo, missing the point as usual.

POOR DIANA Ross - the shame of arrest. But this is not the first time the soul diva has been associated with a detention of this sort. Ross already endured "Arrest" on her 1972 album, Lady Sings the Blues - but that performance lasted only 15 seconds.

Meanwhile the rock star Lenny Kravitz admits, in an interview to be aired on satellite channel VH-1 next month, that he once kept an under- age prostitute beneath his bed. The magnanimous 16-year-old Kravitz rowed with his mum when she found he had been hiding the young lady (aged 13) for a month in an attempt to save her from the evils of street life. Lenny's philanthropic protestations eventually won his family over and they agreed to help the girl back on to the straight and narrow. Perhaps if Diana Ross were to get into real trouble she could pop round to Lenny's and lie low for a while?

MONSTER RAVING Loony Party chairman Alan Hope, who took over as party leader following the death of Screaming Lord Sutch, was confidently expecting to have his appointment ratified at the Loony conference today. But a rival candidate has now emerged in the form of Hope's cat, Mandu.

Mandu apparently stands more than a cat in hell's chance of scuppering Hope's ambition; it is suspected that the late Lord Sutch, a great animal- lover, would have encouraged voting for the ginger tom.

This weekend on Channel 4, Gordon Brown's ex-spin doctor Charlie Whelan pays tribute to former colleagues at the Treasury's information service: "If they want to deal with information they should work for British Rail or somebody like that, but we're dealing in politics and politics means you're punting a particular line, and that's the Government line, it's the New Labour line. I never differentiate between the two. We're the Government; we're New Labour. They couldn't hack it. Some of them had to go and they went."

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