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John Prescott shook off his savaging by William Hague in parliament this week by stepping out with Lord Rogers. Having been mocked by the Tory leader in his response to the Queen's speech, much to the amusement of the Prime Minister, Mr Prescott wound down on Wednesday evening at the architect's new building at 88 Wood Street, near St Paul's. At the gathering the Deputy Prime Minister found solace in talking about that evening's England versus Scotland football match. "I won a tenner off Gordon Brown after the last game," Mr Prescott gleefully told Pandora, "I really enjoyed rubbing it in after we won." Sadly for the imprudent Chancellor, Mr Prescott wasn't taking bets on Scotland's return match. "I didn't have the heart to take any more money off him," Mr Prescott said, putting his faith in another England victory.

PETER MANDELSON'S enthusiasm for the Millennium Dome is blown away in a new television programme next month. BBC's The Dome: Trouble at the top, tracks the agonising progress of Mandy's millennial baby. We are used to Mandy waxing lyrical about how the Dome is a personal tribute to his grandfather the Labour politician Herbert Morrison and the 1951 Festival of Britain. But in the programme he says: "Why did I get involved with the Dome? Because I was a minister and I was told to. And ... I'd be a good fall guy if it all went wrong."

Cher has secured her long-term resting place in Paris's famous Pere- Lachaise cemetery. The graveyard of the rich and famous is so popular that only Parisians can apply to lie there. Edith Piaf was only admitted after friends drove her corpse to the capital so she could be officially pronounced dead there. Cher, instead, bought a pied-a-terre in Provence believing, erroneously, this would help her case. But this week the 53- year-old singer handed over $4,330 (pounds 2,820) for the privilege of decomposing in Paris. Judging from the worshippers seen paying homage to Jim Morrison's Pere-Lachaise tombstone, Cher will have gypsies, tramps and thieves for company.

IT WAS all girls together in Notting Hill this week as a temporary alliance was forged between Kensington and Chelsea candidates, Lisa Lovebucket and Louise Hodges, Sunday Sport model. Taking a well-earned rest from political campaigning, Lovebucket, of the Dream Ticket Party, and Hodges got together for a drink at Portobello Gold to show solidarity among the by-election's only female candidates. Both seem to be winning friends and influencing people, including that lord-a-leaping, the Earl of Burford. The peer has linked up with the Sunday Sport camp and, on Saturday, will canvass the Chelsea and Westminster hospital with them. In a nod to Burford's lineage, Hodges will be dressed as Nell Gwyn, the famous mistress of Charles II, complete with her own oranges.

Bill and Hillary Clinton are more evil than Adolf Eichmann, Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Genghis Khan and Vlad the Impaler, according to a New York Post internet poll. The President only lost first place to Adolf Hitler - by 39 votes.

FORGET OSCAR ceremonies, this week's National Book Award ceremony in New York was a real gush-fest. Steve Martin and Oprah Winfrey hosted the great event which saw Ha Jin, a former member of the Chinese People's Liberation Army tanked up with emotion over the success of his novel Waiting. Accepting the fiction prize he exclaimed: "I want to thank America, land of generosity and prosperity. Above all I thank the English language, which has embraced me as an author." Equally effusive was non-fiction winner, John W Dower. But Martin manged to bring some sanity back to the proceedings. When one victor read out a prepared speech explaining how she really didn't expect to win, Martin quipped: "You didn't expect to win and yet you wrote a speech!"

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