Pandora

COULD THE new Parliamentary office block opposite Big Ben become London's largest white elephant? It will provide space for 205 MPs and their staff at a cost of pounds 1m per office. However the current shortage of space could change with the introduction of PR, making many of these expensive new facilities redundant. Ken Ritchie, the chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, told Pandora: "There is nothing sacred about the 659 MPs we have at the moment." Indeed the Liberal Democrats have expressed a wish to see the number of MPs fall to less than 500 in time. If that occurs, Pandora wonders how the Government might fill all the extra space? A "Third Way" health and meditation spa? A warehouse for the contents of Mandy's Dome after 2001? A bottle of champagne to the reader who offers the most promising suggestion.

u

THIS WEEK sees the celebration of the 100th birthday of Fairy, Britain's largest selling washing-up liquid. The Proctor & Gamble product is going to Newcastle to fete itself with a launch that includes the "Fairy hot air balloon". Pandora has it on good authority that the Fairy balloon was built by Richard Branson's Virgin Airship & Balloon Company. Can we look forward to Richard himself donning wings and a wand to fly the balloon? "We'd welcome Mr. Branson to the party," said a Fairy spokesperson. "After all, he's been very successful at publicising his own products and, as far as I know, there are no plans for a Virgin washing-up liquid." There weren't - until now, that is.

u

BOYS, BOYS, please calm down and count your millions. James Cameron, the modest director of Titanic, can't stop himself from having a go at his star, Leonardo DiCaprio, in the current issue of Rolling Stone. The actor's sin was failing to turn up for the Academy Awards, thus missing the opportunity to be embarrassed to death by multi-Oscar winner Cameron, who announced to the glittering audience that he was "the king of the world". Now Cameron says, "The message I got on my machine, like the day before [was]: `It just ain't me, bro'.' Apparently getting $4m to do a juice ad that airs only in Japan is him; going to the Oscars is not."

It strikes Pandora that Cameron's own reputation would have been improved if he'd spent the Oscars evening quietly in a Tokyo juice bar, rather than making a fool of himself on the Academy stage in front of an audience of millions.

u

NEWS ARRIVES of Naked, a four-part television series on "the body" that is yet another bit of priceless intellectual property from those discerning BBC programmers. According to the Beeb's advance notice, "Some of the contributors in the series are Dominic who believes he would be more successful with girls if only he were thinner; Louise, a teenager, who isn't worried about her deafness but is saving up for a nose job; and 82-year-old Jessie who has had various body parts removed but still lives life to the full." Starting in late October, Horizon it's not.

u

THE MAD axeman of Greenford has been caught and residents of the Middlesex suburb are sleeping easier now. Gideon Lawrence was apprehended by police at Horsenden Hill last week, wielding a rubber axe . Police interrogation revealed, however, that Gideon was playing the part of a woodcuter on a historical tour organized by Ealing Council's countryside service. Oddly, local police allowed both the yeoman farmer with the scythe and the Roman soldier to remain at liberty.

u

NAUGHTY ALEXANDER McQueen (pictured) won an International Fashion Group award during New York Fashion Week (Part I) on Thursday. According to the New York Daily News, the head designer of Givenchy charmed his hosts by kicking off his acceptance speech with the words, "I'm so [drunk] I can barely even talk." Let's hope he has recovered (or at least found a new speechwriter) by the time the October pret a porter shows open

in Paris.

Arts and Entertainment
Judy Murray is joining Strictly Come Dancing 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
books
Arts and Entertainment
Double bill: Kookie Ryan, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Papou in ‘Nymphomaniac’

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Big Blues - Shark' by Alexander Mustard won the Coast category

photography
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'

Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
The X Factor 2014 judges: Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace was caught by a camera van driving 32mph over the speed limit

TV
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Outlaw Pete is based on an eight-minute ballad from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album

books
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012

film
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

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.

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering