Pandora

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The Independent Culture
A leading football manager has apparently been scoring away from home. But further details of the married manager's exploits have so far been prevented by court injunctions, thwarting a tabloid newspaper from splashing the story. The revelations were due to emerge last weekend and set the press pack buzzing. However, the front page was pulled at the last minute, just as it had been the week before. Pandora hears that the story has been doing the rounds since the summer, but nerves at the red- top paper have been jangling because of the high-profile personality involved. It would seem that the issue could turn out to be something of a political football.

IS DAVID Curry, the pro-European Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon, facing deselection? Rumours reach Pandora that members of his local party have voted by three to one to reopen nominations rather than automatically select him. Curry, an ally of Ken Clarke's, has continually put his head on the block over Europe; he quit the Tory shadow cabinet in 1997 because he refused to stomach the Hague line. Now he seems to have paid the price. His election agent denies any reselection proceedings. Even so, when you have as a constituent Paul Sykes, the millionaire leader of the virulently Eurosceptic Pro Democracy Movement, you'd be well advised to wake up and smell le cafe.

Colombia's unemployed are flocking to a cemetery in Bogot to pray to a dead German beer magnate in the hope that his spirit will bestow prosperity. Suffering their worst recession in more than 60 years, Colombians have resorted to worshipping the bronze image of Leo Siegfried Kopp, who opened the country's first brewery, creating scores of jobs for slum-dwellers. The desperate supplicants bring flowers and "spend a day or two polishing him up", says a cemetery groundsman. The idol-worship has brought tangible benefits for some. A gaggle of entrepreneurs outside the cemetery gates has found gainful employment selling prayer instructions to visitors. Time to get the beers in, boys.

WEDNESDAY'S Q Awards were liberally sprinkled with drug references and obscenities. Par for the course, perhaps, for such a celebrity bash, but the bawdy atmosphere will make it exceedingly difficult for Channel 4 to air the proceedings as intended. Channel 4 was vague about when the show would be aired. "There is no date set for the programme," a spokesperson told Pandora. Very wise.

Conspiracy theorists have been revelling in the news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation once forced the cult crime show Hawaii Five-O to drop one of its characters. The character of FBI Agent Jasper, it was revealed this week, was dropped after the third episode because the Feds objected to the way he was portrayed. However, the actor Clarence Eblen, who played Jasper, confessed he was in the dark about the FBI's editorial involvement: "I had no idea whatsoever. I just thought it was my acting."

SAY THAT again? A peach of a clarification comes from this week's Harrow Observer. "In our story 'informal solicitors' in last week's Diwali feature we quoted Mr Pankaj Patel as saying 'We are not in the business of squeezing them dry for more money as many lawyers are known to do.' Mr Patel points out that what he meant to say was his firm's fees are commensurate with the work they carry out and their clients find them reasonable."

Pandora salutes ITV 2's football commentator Guy Mowbray. He was commentating on the Bayern Munich vs Glasgow Rangers match on Wednesday night, and hope sprang eternal when Bayern Munich took their successful penalty kick against Rangers. "A great save from Klos! - Nearly!" was the way Mowbray described the brave Rangers keeper's efforts.

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