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The Independent Culture
YESTERDAY'S controversial newspaper advertisement for last night's Channel 5 football broadcast depicted Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson. The two Cabinet ministers are shown discussing in camp style last night's Chelsea match in terms of an "outing" for Laudrup. When a Press Association reporter at Westminster decided to obtain MPs reactions to this bit of harmless savagery, he was amazed to have to explain to one Tory MP what the term "outing" meant. No matter for, in their wisdom, his superiors at PA decided it best not to offend Messrs Brown and Mandelson any further by running a story about the offending ad. Pandora salutes this act of sublime editorial decency and urges you to forget what you've just read.

A JOYFUL sunbeam has pierced the domestic gloom chez Murdoch with the engagement of 27-year-old Lachlan, his father's heir apparent, to Wonderbra model Sarah O'Hare (pictured). Currently head of Rupert's extensive Australian operations, the tattooed Lachlan graduated from Princeton, worked for a spell on both The Times and The Sun, is an avid yachtsman and a keen motorbike enthusiast. He proposed to the voluptuous O'Hare in Australia on Monday night and the next day the glittering couple made a joint bet on a horse called Tie the Knot in the Melbourne Cup. Although the nag only placed sixth, it reportedly "ran on strongly in the final furlong". Pandora suggests this is a favourable omen for the couple's future happiness and looks forward to seeing Lachlan in the winner's circle (where he was born) for many years to come."

THE ARTIST Francis Bacon's longtime friend and major heir John Edwards was in New York for Halloween to attend the opening of a show of 10 previously- undisplayed Bacon paintings at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in SoHo. In his leather jacket, short hair and dual earrings, Edwards sipped champagne and kept his distance from most of the other viewers, who included artist Julian Schnabel, authoress Tama Janowitz and actor Stephen Dorff. His privacy was ensured by a number of hulking, security guards. Perhaps Edwards' shyness was a result of the enmity he created in British art circles after he ditched Bacon's long-time London dealer, the distinguished Marlborough Gallery, to go with New York-based Shafrazi. Tony Shafrazi, incidentally, came to prominence in the mid-Seventies when he attacked Picasso's Guernica with spray-paint in the city's Museum of Modern Art.

THE LUCKY ladies of Sedgefield and Hartlepool, just to mention two trendy New Labour communities, are sure to be gasping with delight when they unpack their Christmas stockings this year. Pandora has just seen New Labour's Christmas mail-order gift catalogue and it's not all "New Labour, New Britain" T-shirts, mugs and pens. On offer this year is a range of silver fashion jewellery designed by the legendary Glaswegian architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. These positively shine with Bond Street glamour. So now it's New Labour, Art Nouveau - with all pieces at Gordon Brown-sensible prices too!

HERE'S ANOTHER batch of irresistible Christmas gift ideas - this time from the man who introduced the Beatles to transcendent enlightenment back in the Sixties. Yes, it's that sweetheart Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Pandora has been lucky enough to obtain a catalogue of his "Instant Relief Programme". A wide range of incense, aromatherapy and massage oil products are available by mail, plus some innovative goodies like his car deodoriser and "Raja's Cup", a coffee substitute hot drink. You'll be glad to learn that the Maharishi accepts Visa, Access and Switch.

MORE ON ABC News's extraordinary Election Eve cock-up whereby the US network broadcast detailed, utterly fictional voting results over the Internet for seven hours before the American polls opened. Looking on the bright side, an eager-beaver ABCNews.com producer wrote his superiors a "debriefing" memo. "It is now 8:30pm PST and we are at double our normal traffic for this time on a Monday night, and still cranking," he enthused. "We can expect a lot of traffic tomorrow morning (more PR than money can ever buy)." Another ABC spokesperson released a "clarification" on Tuesday: "The person who drafted this was responsible for Monday's incident and was terminated earlier today." They

play rough on American telly.

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