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TOBY YOUNG - male lesbian? This week the Brit-born, Manhattan- based scribbler popped on a party frock, fluffed up his orange wig, applied racoon mascara and wiggled into a "startling" 36D brassiere. Why? Because Bob Guccione Jr, whose magazine Gear is currently having its rear kicked from here to next November by the marauding Brit ladmag Maxim, ordered Young to write a feature called "I Was a Lesbian For a Night". Young, still south of 40, dragged himself and his full court dress (emphatically not pictured here) into a cab and infiltrated Mother, a femmes-only hang- out on Manhattan's west side. But an eagle-eyed reveller there saw through the ruse - a posse of game birds surrounded the impostor and, humiliatingly, forced him to do a runner. "I thought being a lesbian was all fun and games," he said later. "But it's really dangerous."

"PSYCHOBABBLING BRIEFS" is one of the kinder descriptions of the International Alliance of Holistic Lawyers. Pandora is not yanking your chain; this strange-but-true organisation, according to Yoga Journal, "challenges clients to define their responsibility in the matter, asking hard questions to find out how the conflict arose and what deeper meaning it represents". Look, you want New Age trash, go to LaLa Land; you want a lawyer, hire a chick who understands stilettos.

ER IS on life support. The American drama, periodically seen here on C4, has been shedding US viewers like dandruff this season and NBC suits are ready to pull the plug. One reason for the long-running hit's demise is the exit, earlier this year, of the show's big talent, George Clooney (pictured). "It's changed the dynamic," admits Laura Innes (Dr Kerry Weaver in the show). "We really miss him." Pandora would add that if ER does flat-line, we'll miss you too, Laura - but reality is that the aqua-coated crew will be around for ever in repeat hell.

FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE fan Norman Tebbit is losing it, big style. The tragic old stick has put down a Lords question demanding to know "which of the political aims of the group Combat 18 cause Ministers to describe it as right-wing." On yer bike, matey.

SAND DARLINGS, it's the new black. How do we know? Giorgio Armani is promoting its new Acqua Di Gio range to fashionistas by sending product samples along with... individual, tissue-encased, exquistly wrapped bags of sand. There are 10 pebbles in the same box. Oh, and there's a vase too. Is this a jigsaw puzzle for the glossy posse?

NOTTING HILL or Star Wars: which will be this summer's bigger hit? Pandora likes underdogs and says "Notting Hill". But she also has a tip for Star Wars fans frustrated by Brit cinemas' apparent inability to pre-book seats ahead of its general release on 16 July. Apply for tickets to Islington's Almeida Theatre; the in-form venue holds a gala premiere of the movie on 15 July. Send an SAE to be in it... and may the force be with you.

JUMPER-SPORTING JAPESTER? Or dumb airhead? The jury's still out on Gyles Brandreth. The former Tory MP's new book includes a floor plan of Parliament with the main cabinet players' rooms clearly identified. Did someone say security frightmare? Maybe baby - but what terrorist is going to walk into Waterstone's and ask for a Gyles Brandreth book as a prelude to their plot for world domination?

WHAT'S EIGHT inches long, flesh-coloured and partially covered by a fig leaf? The Book of the Penis, coming soon to a book store near you. Its author, Maggie Paley, says she immersed herself on Planet Penis for a year. She attended male strip shows and a Hindu ceremony where worshippers honour the phallus, combed scholarly texts detailing primitive piercing rituals, pored over gay porn, found tattoo parlours where inkers mark penises, and tried to find Napoleon's penis. She also, strictly for research purposes of course, interviewed men with small, regular and extra-large members. "I can see the penis brings anguish as well as power and joy," Paley says. "Penises are status symbols for men the way faces are for women."

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