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!"
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food