Pandora - Arts and Entertainment - The Independent

Pandora

NICK RAYNSFORD, Minister for London and Construction, has brought new meaning to the phrase "ministerial meeting". On Tuesday Ann Winterton, Conservative MP for Congleton, asked when Raynsford had last met construction industry representatives to discuss housing developments. After the usual ministerial blurb about how regular the contact is between the department and the industry, Mrs Winterton pressed the minister for the exact occasion of his last meeting. "The last occasion was yesterday evening," answered Raynsford firmly, before launching into an attack on the last government's housing record. And what was the occasion of this top-level ministerial meeting? A reception for the London Young Labour Councillors Network, sponsored by the Housebuilders Federation.

GOVERNMENT MINISTERS will be pleased that the opportunities to attend meetings, or rather receptions, are plentiful. The Greater London Labour Party (GLLP) will be holding a business dinner next month which MPs are implored to attend. The Labour members will receive complimentary tickets to the event and will surely be enticed by the GLLP's announcement that: "We are about to negotiate a `night off' for London MPs with the London whips." The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Byers, will be the guest speaker. At least there will be no need for MPs to ask Byers when he last met representatives of small business or training and enterprise councils, since they will be present at this Labour Party event.

THE ENTRE PRENEUR Richard Branson was a victim of an inventive youth armed with cherry pie in New York on Monday. Branson was at a Virgin Megastore signing copies of his autobiography when the youth emerged from the crowd and hurled the pastry in the Virgin boss's face. "We hugged, and I sent him on his way" Branson told the New York Post. Since his autobiography is called Losing My Virginity, Richard had to admit that cherry pie was an appropriate weapon.

TONY BLAIR was wowing MPs with a display of wit at yesterday's Labour Parliamentary Party meeting and, as is so often the case, Peter Mandelson was at the centre of the joke. At the meeting Mandy was praised by the Glasgow Maryhill MP, Maria Fyfe, for his strong sentiments over the arrest of General Pinochet. Blair apologised for Mandy's absence, quipping that he was "at a Socialist Workers Party meeting". There is many a true word spoken in jest. Pandora hears that the Campaign Group, the last bastion of hard-core leftism in the Labour Party, may be about to invite Mandelson to address one of its meetings. Peter Mandelson in the company of Tony Benn, Dennis Skinner, Jeremy Corbyn and Ken Livingstone? Now that really is a laughing matter.

THE ART-ROCK hero Patti Smith has been playing down her cult status. Salon magazine asked Smith this week if she woke up in the morning conscious of her icon status. "When I wake up in the morning, I wake up because one of my kids knocks on the door. And it's time to make the cereal because they're going to school. So I stumble down the stairs to make the cereal and make sure that the clothes I put in the dryer the night before are out for them to wear. And then I take my daughter to school. I don't think there's any part of my consciousness that considers that I have any kind of historic place on earth except in their life," says Patti. Perhaps even wild horses couldn't drag her away from this domestic bliss.

ATTENTION ALL beer promoters: Paul Newman (pictured) will advertise your product. "I'd do any commercial for a good-tasting beer" said Newman, at a charity event for the National Actors Theatre in the Big Apple this week. At one point in the evening Newman, already the star of his own salad-dressing production, was asked to pose for

a picture standing at the bar. He obliged, but was careful first to conceal with a napkin the label of the beer he was drinking. Perhaps next

time, if

the price is right, the napkin will come off.

Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

TV
Arts and Entertainment

To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

books
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams is reportedly competing with Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss for a major role in True Detective

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall is set to dance with Ola Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing. 'I have a friend who's a dancer and she said to me 'You want Ola because she's a fantastic dancer and she can make anyone look good' meaning 'even you'!' he said.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sting and Paul Simon on stage together at Carnegie Hall in New York

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week