The attention of Ian Paisley, leader of Democratic Unionist Party, has clearly moved on from matters as mundane as last week's fruitless interview with John Major. Instead, one of the churches in his denomination near Belfast, the Trinity Free Presbyterian Church in Portavogie, is busy circulating leaflets stating that Hell has been discovered only 9 miles below the earth's surface.

The pamphlet, which offers by mail order a cassette of a sermon entitled: Is Hell at the Centre of the Earth? (price pounds 1.50), contains a report from a Finnish newspaper that scientists, drilling in Siberia, discovered that the earth is hollow, and that Hell is at the centre.

The bright yellow pamplets are for sale themselves (pounds 5 per 100) so that the word may be spread with the utmost speed.

Unfortunately I was unable to reach Mr Paisley, a Calvinist who believes that the Pope is the anti-Christ and his followers yesterday, to ask if he had heard that the story has already been exposed as fraudulent in America.

As one clergyman, who did not wish to be named, put it: 'not that old chestnut again . . . '

Unexpected tears were in evidence at the RA's launch of 'The Glory of Venice'exhibition on Tuesday when designer Jasper Jacobs issued presents to RA staff who had worked throughout the night several days in a row to get the exhibition hung on time. Instead of the customary bottles of plonk, Jacobs surprised them with individual sketches which he had drawn surreptitiously behind screens and in dark corners as they went about the mounting, hanging and lighting. 'I tried to capture their attitude and poses with the pictures and sculptures.

It has meant getting up very early in the morning to finish them,' he explained. The only small problem, I gather, is that some of his subjects inevitably look a little weary - as well one might when one is sketched hanging pictures in the small hours.

Pity Bulgaria's United Democratic Front, the right-wing party currently in opposition there. Flying out today to support it is a delegation from Tory Central Office which includes John Earl, head of the party election unit, and Judy Jameson, Tory agent for Christchurch. The last time these two worked together, you may recall, was at the Christchurch by-election - one can only wish, for the UDF's sake, that things run a little more smoothly in Bulgaria. . .

Whilst the coastguard fraternity is in fits of giggles over a howler in the most recent addition of Coastguard magazine which relocates Glasgow on the East Coast of Scotland - in Strathclyde they jovially rang Aberdeen to ask for it back - those responsible for the error are surprisingly humourless about it. When I rang Special Publications of Bristol - merely to tease them gently of course - I got no further than a few garbled words than there was a click and the handset was swiftly replaced.

Although, as I recorded yesterday, the diaries of Alan Clark (below) now constitute bed-time reading for many an aspiring civil servant, it appears they are not so popular amongst London's building community. Clark's publishers, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, received an irate phone call the other day from one of its number complaining that the book was not raunchy enough.

Exasperated, Sue Gilkes who took the call, was forced into plain speaking: 'I'm sorry that there is not enough sex in it,' she said, to her colleagues' amusement, 'perhaps you should contact the person who sold the book to you to inform them of your disappointment.'

Arguably the most quintessential moment of 1994 occurred yesterday at the Saatchi Gallery.

A television crew filmed photographer Laurie Lewis as he photographed Andres Serrano's manipulated photograph of Leonardo Da Vinci's 'Last Supper' - in itself an illustration of a Bible story. If that isn't post-modern, what is?

(Photographs omitted)

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