Monday 27 December 1999
AMONG THOSE unlucky (or is that lucky?) enough to be working over the Millennium eve is Labour MP Gareth Thomas (Harrow West). As Home Office parliamentary private secretary, Thomas volunteered to be the Government's spokesman on the Millennium Bug. Luckily for Thomas, this sober duty will be followed by a ski-ing holiday - assuming the Bug doesn't leave his plane grounded.
Speculation that unlikely couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones are to split has been rife over Christmas. A last-minute decision by Zeta Jones to spend Christmas in Wales had Douglas scrambling across the Atlantic to join her. While the British press has almost given up on them (notably Scotland's Sunday Mail, which called Zeta Jones a "simple, calculating wee Welsh girl who knew that a famous husband never did a girl any harm"), Douglas's generosity has swayed US opinion. For Christmas, he gave her two diamond bracelets. But as diamonds are a girl's best friend, does she still need the man?
FORGOTTEN TO buy someone a Christmas present? How about bidding for a Russian submarine? Built in 1964, this 300ft relic of the Cold War is being auctioned on the Internet by the SubExpo company (www. subexpo.com). "We'd like $1m but we'll settle for less," says the company's president, Alexander Sheftman, who adds reassuringly: "It's not hot."
The most amusing moment provided by Christmas television this year almost went unnoticed. Who Wants to be a Christmas Millionaire? took the unofficial Yuletide comedy award when one contestant phoned a friend to ask which country out of Norway, Denmark, Finland or Sweden did not help constitute Lapland. "I'll go for Swindon," the hapless chum offered, correct in a manner of speaking.
PHILOSOPHER OF the millennium? Thomas Aquinas? Rene Descartes? Karl Marx? Try Eric Cantona. The Gallic wisdom of the former footballing hot head (now "star" of the grand ecran) stretches further than seagulls and trawlers. Pandora considers this an appropriate time to revisit Eric's fertile mind. In the days leading up to 2000 we have selected a few favourites. Today: "Life is always too cruel. All we can do is say, `Let's try and pass the ball and let the sun shine.' Let's just hope it shines on everyone."
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food