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JONATHAN POWELL (below), Tony Blair's Chief of Staff, has hitherto insisted on maintaining a low-profile "wallpaper" role (See Pandora, 13 July). Andrew Rawnsley in yesterday's Observer echoed Pandora's view that Powell is the most powerful man in Blair's inner circle. Powell was First Secretary at the British Embassy in Washington. He still maintains a high- level network in the city, much to the chagrin of the Ambassador, Sir Christopher Meyer. Naturally, Powell has learnt a thing or two about the American way of political funding, and appears to have applied his knowledge to the recent reshuffle. In America, campaign spin-doctors tend to find themselves in the role of Commerce Secretary, after their election victory. Two people following this route were Ron Brown, Clinton's strategist, and Maurice Stans, once one of Nixon's chief aides. How interesting, then, to find the double act of Peter Mandelson and Brian Wilson, Labour's election- winning team of 1997, together again at the Department of Trade and Industry. Could it be that the fundraising skills of these two men will be practised on the giant corporations of British industry?


HAS ALAN Clark fallen on hard times? Given that he recently hosted a "champagne garden party" at Saltwood Castle for 200 of his constituents, costing them pounds 20 a time, this is perhaps a little difficult to believe. However, before the parliamentary recess Clark found himself in a spot of bother paying for his breakfast at the Commons. Clark was not carrying any cash. Fortunately for him, he was able to turn on that famous charm and encourage people to turn out their pockets for another good cause.

"NO ONE forgets a good teacher," according to a recent Government campaign endorsed by many celebrities. Had the drummer Keith Moon been alive, perhaps he would have been in the advert too. A biography of Moon, Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon, to be published by Omnibus Press, reveals the deadly accurate insight of his music teacher at Alperton Secondary Modern School. In a report on the 12-year-old Moon, he writes of his "great ability" but warns: "Must guard against the tendency to show off." Fortunately for Who fans everywhere, Moon was too much of a rebel to take heed of this advice.

CHRIS EVANS and Jonathan Ross were enjoying a rare bout of summer sunshine in Hampstead last week. Evans, Ross and a small entourage entertained themselves at a popular watering-hole, enjoying such pub delights as the quiz machine, and a few lagers to boot. Ross, who has been mooted as a possible successor to Barry Norman as the BBC's film guru, gave Pandora some helpful advice as he emerged somewhat bedraggled from the "gentlemen's cloakroom". "There's a bloke in there," he slurred pointing to the locked cubicle. With that kind of pinpoint analysis, Ross is no doubt ready to take on Barry's mantle.

YASMIN REZA'S hit production Art keeps on packing them in. The current cast playing out at the Wyndham's Theatre is an all-American affair, with David Dukes, Cheers star George Wendt and Stacy Keach. The roles have previously been taken by Ken Stott, Tom Courtney and Albert Finney; at one stage Jack Dee was on board. The current run is booked up for 14 weeks. "We are a tourist attraction," exalted Keach to Variety. Keach reveals that a British trio is on its way to Broadway, hopefully to repeat the success. Let us hope it is a case of "Art imitating Art".

MONICA LEWINSKY'S infamous dress, allegedly complete with essence of Bill Clinton, was from The Gap, according to Matt Drudge, the Internet columnist who broke the original Lewinsky story. The dress, now being tested for traces of DNA, has been the centre of attention of the political scandal, but now it seems that it will send shock waves through the fashion world too. The Gap have never previously been lured into making the same dramatic advertising moves as Benetton; with this news, perhaps the strategy will change. Pandora fears that images of fun-loving khaki-clad youth frolicking in adverts for The Gap will never be again be seen so innocently. Could this be the making of a slightly moister American Dream?