Pandora

ON HIS first visit to Bulgaria last weekend, Prince Charles accompanied the country's President, Petar Stoyanov, to the city of Plovdiv, where Mr Stoyanov was born. During a tour of a grand house in the city's old town, the official party encountered a woman playing the piano. When she launched into a Beatles tune, the Bulgarian and Charles joined together in belting out the lyrics. The song was "All You Need Is Love". Pandora finds this both a sad and profound song for the Prince of Wales to croon. What a pity he won't be repeating his performance on Friday night, when the Queen and Prince Philip host their own grand party for his 50th birthday - to which Camilla Parker Bowles has not been invited.

u

GETTING TO the bottom of the mysterious Tom Cruise Blockbuster incident is not proving easy. Last week, of course, it was widely reported that Cruise had been refused membership at a Blockbuster video shop because he lacked two pieces of identification. Yesterday, Pandora revealed that Cruise's official press spokesperson now insisted that the incident had never happened, and that Tom Cruise had never set foot in a Blockbuster shop - anywhere.

In the latest twist, a Blockbuster spokesperson responded to Pandora's Monday story: "The sales assistant on duty in the Blockbuster store last week was adamant that the person who came in and made a brief enquiry about membership was the real Tom Cruise." This, of course, prompts the question: "If the shop assistant was so certain, why insist on all that ID?" The PR rep had a ready answer: "There are some very good lookalikes around, which proves the point that we always require ID."

As Cruise has recently vowed to wage legal war on anyone who publishes lies about him, and won a pounds 250,000 libel suit against The Express in the first victorious battle of that war, Pandora would not dream of questioning his veracity. Instead, Pandora offers a case of superb California fizz to any reader who can supply more information on this sinister Tom Cruise lookalike, and his insidious campaign to embarrass the Blockbuster video shops.

u

HOW WET can you get? That was the obvious question to ask after yesterday's launch of the Women's Unit report, "Delivering for Women: Progress So Far", led by Baroness Jay and Tessa Jowell. Held in a basement room of London's Commonwealth Club to document "18 achievements in 18 months", in fact the Women's Unit has not achieved a high profile outside Cherie Blair's inner circle of friends. Ten minutes into the presentation, a faulty sprinkler system sprayed the largely female audience. "It was very frightening," reports one drenched attendee. "We didn't know what was coming out of the ceiling - poison gas or what it was." Fortunately, it's a tough Unit and the potential wet T-shirt event soon reconvened.

u

EXCUSE ME, your Zippergate is still open. The latest bizarre development in Washington sees the independent counsel Kenneth Starr finding himself the subject of an inquiry by an independent investigator. A federal judge is, according to The Washington Post, looking into 24 possible illegal leaks by Starr and his team of snoopers to US media outlets including The New York Times, NBC, Fox and, yes, The Washington Post. The eventual report on Starr's alleged leaking is likely to be a serious bore compared to that multi-volume libidinous spew on Clinton that Starr presented so proudly to Congress a few weeks ago.

u

THE STRIKING-looking Australian actress Cate Blanchett (pictured), may have "outed" the former 16th-century English queen whom she portrays in the new historical biopic, Elizabeth.

"Elizabeth had very narrow hips, and she wore these tight, stiff-boned corsets that must have looked fabulous on her," Blanchett told an American journalist recently.

"But I can tell you they were difficult to wear. There are some people who say she was in fact a hermaphrodite, which would explain those hips."

Pandora looks forward to the full story, with all the intimate details, in next Sunday's News of the World.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Feeling all at sea: Barbara's 18-year-old son came under the influence of a Canadian libertarian preacher – and she had to fight to win him back
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Living the high life: Anne Robinson enjoys some skip-surfed soup
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
Doctor Who and Missy in the Doctor Who series 8 finale

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent