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What is Matthew Parris up to now? The political commentator, probably most famous for outing Peter Mandelson on BBC2's Newsnight, chose some interesting words for his appearance on another BBC programme, Breakfast With Frost, yesterday. Commenting on the suggestions that Chancellor Gordon Brown may move out of Number 10 Downing Street, where he currently resides, to make room for the new Blair babe, Parris said: "Eat your heart out Gordon Brown. He can't be a father - well, he could be, - but he isn't going to be one." For good measure Parris flourished: "Eat your heart out Gordon Brown, eat your heart out William Hague." What can he mean?

AS IF further proof were needed of Jeffrey Archer's unsuitability for the post of mayor of London it came last week in the context of an ITV Carlton debate on, of all subjects, crime in London. Participants in the debate included Lord Archer, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Condon and Mike Fuller, the most senior black policeman in the country who was earlier this month promoted to the rank of Commander. As they all made their way into the studio, Lord Archer turned to Sir Paul and remarked loudly: "Hey, Paul, where did you get this black man from? Is he a real policeman or did you just put a badge on him to make the Met look good?" (Archer has since apologised for this, his latest faux-pas.)

Superman is Jewish. That is the startling assertion of Tattoo Jew, "an online magazine for Jews with attitude." The latest edition (to be found at www.tattoojew.com) argues that "the immigrant refugee baby" that was Superman, "responded to real needs perhaps crystallised in the psyches of Jewish men as they tried to measure up to Diaspora standards of masculinity wherein they were strangers in a strange land." Enough already?

HOWARD MARKS'S Mr Nice persona duelled with Reservoir Dogs' Mr Blue in London last week. Marks, the celebrity Welshman and former drug-smuggler took on fellow ex-criminal and Tarantino star Edward Bunker at the Union Chapel in Islington. Mr Nice kicked off the anecdotes with a story of his connections with the Mexican Secret Service. Mr Blue replied with a tale of a one-legged convict so tough that the authorities used to place his artificial limb in a separate vehicle when ferrying him between prisons. In the concluding Q&A session Mr Blue was asked about gun laws in his native America. "There are two hundred million guns in the US," said Bunker. "I wish there were none, but I'm sure not going to be the first person to hand in mine."

Opera star Placido Domingo suffered a tragic loss this weekend as he auctioned his beloved black Cadillac limousine. In his capacity as artistic director of The Washington Opera Domingo sacrificed his wheels to raise money for the company. The 22-foot-3-inch V-8, 4.1 litre limo comes complete with leather seats, television set, VCR, tape deck and a bar. Before the auction Domingo admitted that the departure of the Caddy was heartbreaking: "I wondered if I should have tried to outbid everyone."

CYNICS HAVE been making much of the timing of the announcement of Cherie Blair's pregnancy, and the fact that it pushed the Ken Livingstone embarrassment off the front pages. Moreover, the baby will appear next May, just in time for the mayoral elections. Baby engineering seems fanciful, but if life imitates art look no further than the classic political sitcom Yes Prime Minister. When fictitious PM Jim Hacker was attempting to divert media attention from an embarrassing political situation, his loyal private secretary, Bernard, suggested "How about a Royal event - wedding, divorce - pregnancy?". "You can arrange that." scoffed Hacker. Under New Labour perhaps anything's possible...

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