Pandora

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The Independent Culture
REPORTS FROM America have come up with the intriguing suggestion that actress Judi Dench (pictured) and MI6 Chief Sir David Spedding will hold secret talks next month. Dench, who now plays intelligence boss "M" in the James Bond movies meets Spedding (known as "C") on 15 December, according to sources. Apparently Spedding asked for the meeting to be held to discuss security issues with her before the next Bond movie, Pressure Point, is released at the end of next year. "Judi didn't know what to make of the meeting, but she is going," a source has told the New York Daily News. Let's just hope if it is happening she didn't want to keep it a secret.

RUPERT MURDOCH'S soon-to-be-ex, Anna, is starting to date. Life without the media tycoon has not held her back according to New York Magazine's Intelligencer. She has been spotted a few times with Marshall Rose, a widower and head of the board of the New York Public Library. Rose and Anna Murdoch have been described as having "mutual friends", a circle that includes David Niven Jr, with whom Anna has also been seen. With rumours of Rupert Murdoch's desire to marry his current companion Wendy Deng, it may be now a question of which of these two Catholics gets to the Vatican first to seek papal permission to marry again.

SPEAKING OF activities of famous exes, Bianca Jagger, married for six years to disgraced Rolling Stone Mick Jagger, has written an open letter to President Clinton warning him of the effects of global warming. "Mr President, I implore you to secure the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on global emissions. After all, Hurricane Mitch is not just a natural disaster, but very likely a symptom of global warming and unstable weather, and it would have taken only a small change of course for it to have hit Florida and Texas," writes the Nicaraguan celebrity in the December issue of Nation. Pandora salutes Bianca's concern, and thanks her for putting the activities of that other natural disaster, Hurricane Mick, in perspective.

HARD WORKING Labour Party staff at Millbank will be enjoying something of a naughty treat this year. The annual Christmas staff outing on 7 December takes place at London's Planet Hollywood, where there is a reception laid on before a screening of Primary Colors, the John Travolta film based around the woes of President Clinton. Pandora wonders what would Bill make of Tony Blair's troopers revelling in his misery? But more to the point what would Democrats watch if they wanted to see Blair squirm? The Hammer House of Lords, perhaps?

DANDY AUTHOR Tom Wolfe, whose trademark is a vanilla-coloured Southern plantation owner's suit, has been decrying the way his fellow American men dress these days. "They look like they're fleeing before an invading army," he told US gossip maven Liz Smith. "Casual Fridays! It's crazy. Any man over 35 should wear a jacket and tie. It just makes you look better. To see old men in October wearing shorts, it's ghastly."

"WHO WANTS to be a millionaire?" Frank Sinatra once sang. Well, certainly his family are finding no end of ways to capitalise on his popularity. Shoppers in the States will now be able to purchase their goods with a credit card with a picture of their idol on it. Some friends of Sinatra have poured scorn on the card. "There's something a little cheap about it. This is not the same thing as putting your face on a stamp. This is a commercial thing," said one Sinatra buddy to the New York Daily News. "Frank would never have gone for that; he didn't believe in credit."

ELIZABETH HURLEY is just one of the celebrities who, for charity, have listed 10 items that they would most like to receive in their Christmas stocking. The exercise is part of Macmillan Cancer Relief's Celebrity Stocking Auction taking place on 9 December. Other stars involved include Sir Anthony Hopkins, Joan Collins and Joanna Lumley. Hurley lists Agent Provocateur underwear, a Versace vase and a Tiffany paperweight amongst her luxury choices. Pandora wonders what Liz's partner Hugh Grant wants for Christmas - something divine no doubt.

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