A childish spat: Stuckists tear into Britart's finest

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* In this Turner Prize season, some of the biggest names in British art are to be subjected to a first rate character assassination.

* In this Turner Prize season, some of the biggest names in British art are to be subjected to a first rate character assassination.

The Stuckists, a group of contemporary artists opposed to conceptual art, are about to publish their first book. It's called Punk Victorian, and contains some hard-hitting stuff.

Damien Hirst is dismissed as a "Harry Enfield-type character", and "a ridiculous yob artist". The Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota, is a "hypocrite", and Charles Saatchi a "copycat", responsible for a "dysfunctional decade of art".

But it is Tracey Emin who cops the most stick. Before achieving fame, Emin had an affair with the Stuckist, Billy Childish. The book picks over this, and credits Childish with "discovering" her. It also alleges that Emin has erased him from her CV.

"Tracey Emin has hidden a significant part of her life from the world, which, for a confessional artist, is interesting to note," remarks the book's author, Stuckist co-founder Charles Thomson.

Pertinently, the book is published by the National Museum of Liverpool, whose trustees such pillars of the establishment as Sir Neil Cossons and Loyd Grossman.

"The museum was a bit paranoid about libel, but if Saatchi or Tracey sue, we'll have a field day," adds Thomson.

* A bohemian moment at the party for the new Vanity Fair film - written by society superstar Julian Fellowes - on Monday.

In the wee hours, Pandora spotted the film's bubbly, award-winning director Mira Nair, above, chuffing away on what looked (and smelt) like a "jazz cigarette".

"I've no idea what I'm smoking," she smiled, when I asked if illegal substances were being consumed. "Somebody just gave it to me."

There our conversation ended. I'd love to take the matter further, but Nair's agent says she's spent much of the past couple of days in bed, with "a bug', so can't chat.

* Trevor McDonald has made peace with Jonathan Sayeed, the Tory MP who accused him of "having benefited from positive discrimination".

Sayeed has written to Sir Trevor apologising and saying the accusation - in an e-mail to this column - was the result of a typing error.

Sir Trevor has now written back: "I'm glad you explained how it all came about," he says. "I never thought that you would seriously make such a comment. I fully accept what you say, in which case no apology is necessary." Now let that be the end of it!

* How much longer will Naim Attallah stay silent about the memoir of his former employee Jennie Erdal?

Mrs Erdal's book Ghosting claims - as reported by Pandora - that she acted as Attallah's ghostwriter during the 1980s and 1990s. The colourful publisher may well disagree, but has yet to make his feelings public.

Erdal's final chapter might tempt him to, though. "All story-tellers are liars, not to be trusted," it says. "They have an excessive need to make sense of experience, and so things get twisted and shaped to suit."

Says a literary source: "This passage raises questions about how much of her memoir we can actually trust."

* The photographer Bob Carlos Clarke - heir apparent to Helmut Newton - has sold an erotic snap to one of London's top suits.

David Ross, the co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, sneaked into Clarke's latest exhibition on Tuesday, and bought a black and white study of a naked blonde for £3,000.

"We'd no idea who he was till the credit card came out," says a source at the gallery. "It's rather ironic: the model's sitting next to a giant mobile phone, with a keypad that has sexual positions instead of numbers." The work, by the way, is called "Nookia".

pandora@independent.co.uk

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