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LORD PARKINSON was in a genial mood last week at a charity dinner held at the Natural History Museum. As he and Lady Parkinson waited to go into the dinner - in aid of Action on Addiction - he began chatting to Pandora about politics. Commenting on Chris Patten, Parkinson said: "I don't think Chris is clear what his future is. He's had an amazing last 15 years. What's he going to do now - star in Lethal Weapon 5?" Not if it's produced by Rupert Murdoch's Twentieth Century Fox studio, he won't, Cecil.


PANDORA HAS learned that the Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square may soon change its name to "The Royal Court and Jerwood Theatre". This would be in exchange for a donation of pounds 3m to the English Stage Company - which occupies the Royal Court - from the esteemed Jerwood Foundation, which is already a financial supporter of the company. Established by the late John Jerwood, a wealthy cultured-pearl merchant and philanthropist, the Jerwood Foundation gives an annual prize of pounds 150,000 in the field of education and the pounds 30,000 Jerwood Painting Prize.

THE NOTION of football players who are on "hot" scoring streaks has been rubbished by a psychologist writing in the latest issue of New Scientist magazine. "I analysed the goal scoring records of the top 12 goal scorers in the English Premier League for the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons to see if there was any sequential dependency in their runs of scoring. If a player has scored in his last few games does he have a better chance of scoring?" writes Peter Ayrton. "No. What about a player who has failed to score in his last few games - is he less likely to score next time? No. Any belief in the `hot foot' also is a fallacy." Which seems to imply that Glenn Hoddle and other managers might do just as well selecting their teams with the help of a roulette wheel.


THE LIBERAL Democrats (Lib Dem) are fast adopting the same kind of media sophistication that helped New Labour win the last election. Yesterday morning in Brighton, Paddy Ashdown first rescheduled a photo "opport-unity" on the pier, then refused to pose on a jetty with the sea behind him. "No way, You must be joking. I can see the picture now, with the headline `The End of the Pier Show'," the Lib Dem leader said. A more likely headline, given the Liberal Democrats policy on the House of Lords, would be "The End of the Peer Show".

PAUL MCCARTNEY is going on tour next year for the first time since 1993, in aid of animal-rights and vegetarian causes, according to Billboard magazine. Unlike his last stint on the road, he plans to take along other major recording artists. Possibles include Elvis Costello, Natalie Imgruglia, Blur, Lenny Kravitz and "the Artist".

One definite tour companion, according to Billboard, is singer Chrissie Hynde which, in Pandora's opinion, ensures the show will definitely be rocking.


LIZ HURLEY (pictured) may want to think twice the next time she's asked for a press interview. In the latest issue of US-magazine Detour, she reveals a taste for dressing her boyfriends in her clothes. Apparently she's particularly fond of watching them stroll around in her high heels and earrings, but draws the line at her lingerie. Hurley has been living with Hugh Grant for more than a decade and Pandora wonders if her revelation might not inspire some Hollywood producer to cast the two in a remake of the classic film Some Like It Hot which starred Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon.