Thursday 24 September 1998
THE PROSPECT of a lengthy speech by Robert Maclennan, outgoing president of the Liberal Democrats, has made many people's blood run cold in the past. Once, Labour MP Tony Banks even told the Commons that any "old fartbags" who talked too long should be forced to learn the complete works of Mr Maclennan. A real stickler when it comes to his texts, Tuesday saw Maclennan's final presidential speech. At one point on the page were printed the instructions "meaningful pause", followed by the puzzling exclamation, "Mm!". Pandora is pleased to report that Maclennan delivered his "Mm!" with such gusto that some in the audience actually woke up.
WHAT'S IT like to be Leonardo DiCaprio? American socialite author George Plimpton found out recently when he spent a night at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont in the same suite where Leonardo usually stays. He was awakened in the middle of the night by eight "enchanting nymphets" who brushed past him and into the bedroom. "They were looking in the closets. One of the girls put her head on my pillow, because that's where Leonardo had rested his head." Plimpton told the NY Daily News: "I would have said it was a nightmare - except they were so terribly attractive." Once certain that Leonardo wasn't coming, all the nymphets departed. As Plimpton now knows, celebrity is hell.
FOR MIRANDA Green, Paddy Ashdown's delightful right-hand woman, this year's Brighton Conference has been a bit of a rags-to-riches story. Two years ago, during the Lib Dem's last Brighton visit, she told Pandora: "I was a humble researcher. I stayed in an exceedingly cheap bed and breakfast run by a Mr and Mrs Doss. They did a fab breakfast, but the contrast couldn't be more obvious."
This year, Miranda has her own suite at the Metropole Hotel, but laments that her media-spinning responsibilities haven't allowed her to enjoy it much. Her title is now "Head of press and communications - Leader's Office", but she says, "You can only use it if you also say how ridiculous it is." Pandora must caution Miranda that politics and modesty make strange bedfellows. Who ever heard Peter Mandelson say that his title was silly?
AT TUESDAY'S launch of The London Fashion Book, author Andrew Tucker was talking about the flap in the international fashion world caused by some New York designers, including Calvin Klein and Donna Karan, who held their shows in advance of London Fashion Week. "They are messing people about," Tucker insisted, displaying his loyalty to the London scene. How this will affect his next project - The New York Fashion Book - remains to be seen.
DID YOU know that Bart Simpson is a Scientologist? Or, at least, Nancy Cartwright, the actress who is the voice of Bart, is a member. Along with a number of other Hollywood figures, including actress Juliette Lewis of Natural Born Killers fame, she has signed a letter that has been sent to 300,000 people along with a booklet entitled Harming Artists: Psychiatry Marginalising Creativity. This attacks accepted psychiatric practice, and blames it for the deaths of entertainment stars like Judy Garland, Vivien Leigh, Janis Joplin, Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Don Simpson and Michael Hutchence. In response to these revelations, Pandora can only echo Bart's immortal words: "Eat my shorts!"
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Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors: 'I think as far as coloured actors go it gets really difficult in the UK'
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Photographer Matt Lankes' portraits of the cast of Boyhood influenced the film's storyline
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners