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OPINION-FORMERS are being polled to find out their views on the issue of the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. The pollsters NOP Research Group are ringing around professionals, including MPs and MEPs, with a range of questions focusing on the relationship between Britain and Argentina - including the thorny question of Falklands' sovereignty. The Argentine leader, Carlos Menem (pictured), arrives in the UK on 27 October, and according to Downing Street he "may mention" the issue of the Falkland Islands, even though it is not on a formal agenda. Menem's visit and the poll are surely more than coincidental. Naturally, NOP were tight-lipped about who had asked them to carry out the survey. "If the client decided to release the results after the survey is finished, I can tell the client that you are interested so that he can get in touch with you," an incredibly nervous NOP spokeswoman told Pandora. Pandora is honoured that the client may deem to call, and we would be happy to share the results with our readers, exclusively, of course.

AT FIRST sight, there may seem to be nothing unusual in Michael Heseltine and John Major having lunch together, but given their impending memoirs, Pandora suspects that a deeper entente cordiale was hatched at their encounter last week. In yesterday's Independent, Heseltine lambasted the Tory Eurosceptics for making John Major's life hell when he was prime minister. Though Hezza was sometimes perceived as a thorn in the Major government's side, the two men now have the opportunity to co-ordinate certain chapters of their memoirs - with the common enemy of the Eurosceptics in sight. No doubt next year will see Messrs Major and Heseltine having a number of their colleagues for lunch.

WAITING FOR Marco, Channel 5's expose of the world of the top chef Marco Pierre White, naturally includes some of those moments of passion that the culinary supremo is famed for. In the programme, due to go out this coming Sunday, Gerald Gaeton, supplier of fruit and vegetables to many of MPW's restaurants, finds out that he has been unsuccessful in gaining the contract for the Mirabelle Restaurant. Gaeton blusters. "I don't know what I've done to deserve that," he moans. But the fruity encounter is all in vain, as Marco soon gets Gaeton to eat humble pie. "Don't impose yourself upon me in my establishment," the chef warns, "especially when the camera is on us. I think you should learn to be discreet, my friend, and I think you should leave the establishment now." Pandora is told that it was not just fruit and veg men who got under Marco's apron; the Channel 5 camera crew were kicked out on three separate occasions.

LAST WEEK, Paddy Ashdown's office experienced a little difficulty in flushing their lavatory. On telephoning the Parliamentary Works Directorate, an Ashdown aide found out that his leader's office was not alone in its toilet turmoil, and was told: "So many people have flushed their toilets this afternoon that the tank is empty." Why the rush? Pandora hesitates to suggest that it had anything to do with the opening day of the debate on House of Lords reform.

TIGER WOODS'S defeat at the hand of Mark O'Meara at the US Masters was all down to overindulgence. "I just didn't hit them the way I would have liked, and it wasn't good enough to take the matches into extra holes," the golfer complained after the defeat. No wonder, as insiders tell Pandora that Woods's pre-match preparations left a lot to be desired, involving as they did an exclusive diet of Dr Peppers and chips.

Sadly, Tiger's people at the International Management Group in the US were not around to confirm or deny their star's habits. Perhaps they were out on a fast-food break?

THE REVEREND Jesse Jackson is ready for the presidency. Having spent much of his time recently ministering to the Clintons in their hour of need (see Pandora of 1 September), Jackson told US News & World Report: "I've not quite decided to enter the race, but I have decided to set the pace." In all other languages, this means he will run for the presidency in 2000. After all, spending all that time with the Clintons must have prepared him for the unexpected blows that he will encounter when running for office.