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!"
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Paris charity auction staged to save the ancient city of Tyre
scienceScientists find the answer to a question that even puzzled Darwin
A very timely Great Train Robbery and a frantic 24 Hours in A&E among the highlights
Geoffrey Macnab: The Wolf of Wall Street's account of white-collar excess is A Rake’s Progress on steroids
arts + entsThe 'Friends' actor on his new role as campaigner on addiction issues
Arts & Ents blogs
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, film review
Brian Griffin returns: Cartoon dog back from the dead in Family Guy Christmas episode
Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
Coriolanus, theatre review: 'Tom Hiddleston has blazing stellar power'
Nymphomaniac, film review: 'Despite the surreal sex scenes this is a serious drama'
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Ian Watkins: Paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences, as judge labels him a 'dangerous sexual predator'
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
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