Another act yet to come in Osbourne theatre dispute

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* The dispute over Sharon and Aimee Osbourne's last-minute resignation from the cast of The Vagina Monologues could yet end up in court.

* The dispute over Sharon and Aimee Osbourne's last-minute resignation from the cast of The Vagina Monologues could yet end up in court.

Producers of the show are still speaking to their lawyers after learning through the Sunday newspapers that their leading ladies had returned to Los Angeles because of a health scare.

Although Sharon Osbourne, above with Aimee, announced on Wednesday that her 21-year-old daughter had suffered a cancer scare - she underwent an emergency operation to remove a lump from her breast - producer Mark Goucher told me later that night that he was still "considering his position".

"I have to be careful what I say, but they had a contract to be in the play, and obviously they are now not going to be," he said. "We are considering our position, as they say."

Goucher - who was speaking at the opening of Amajuba, at the Criterion Theatre - co-produces the show with the Old Vic owner Sally Greene. Their press night yesterday starred a replacement, Rula Lenska.

"We have to prove loss," he added. "For the previews, we've had people asking for their money back, but in general once they've seen The Vagina Monologues they go home happy."

A spokesman for the Osbournes said last night that they'd yet to be contacted by the show's lawyers, but would deal with any legal complaint as and when it arises.

* STAND BY for the most glamorous journalistic debut since Naomi Campbell picked up her quill pen and decided to write a novel.

The style-icon Iman who combines her career as a supermodel with the duties of being married to David Bowie, has been asked to write one of the New Statesman 's weekly diaries.

It's part of a campaign to brighten up the worthy journal with contributions from various rock-star wives, including Sting's wife, Trudie Styler.

"Trudie Styler has formally agreed to do a diary for us," says a senior NS scribe. "I can't confirm Iman yet, but yes, talks are taking place and she's extremely interested.

"Why us? We can only assume that they are both readers. Our diary is a great place for people to express their views, and, as a magazine, we are very fashionable these days."

* RHYS IFANS has betrayed his Celtic roots. The scruffy, Welsh-speaking actor intends to turn down an invitation to join the Gorsedd of Bards - one of the highest honours his countrymen can receive.

It's been suggested he'll be offered a bardship for a Welsh-language film about poetry he did a while back. But the man himself tells me: "I would rather walk down Queen Street in my underpants than join the Gorsedd. The Welsh language is integral to my creative life, but you're not going to get laid when you're wearing a big sheet."

Traitor or not, Ifans certainly has a brass neck: he was speaking at the Celtic Film and TV festival in Cardiff.

* OONA KING has a trump card to play in her touch-and-go battle to hang on as MP for Bethnal Green and Bow.

Helen Mirren, no less, is to speak at the official launch of King's campaign on Sunday. Apparently, she's been tickled into action by her disregard for one of the rival candidates, George Galloway.

"We've worked together on humanitarian issues about Africa," explains King. "Helen lives in the constituency and definitely doesn't want George Galloway."

Mirren has dined with Tony Blair at Chequers, so has "form" as a Labour luvvie. "I don't know if she's a Labour Party member," adds King. "I don't usually ask my friends, but she endorses the Labour candidate and that's why she's coming."

* Tony Blair's cheesy grin was a decisive factor in Labour's election victories of 1997 and 2001 - and this time it's more dazzling than ever.

So dazzling, in fact, that the Westminster rumour mill suggests he's had cosmetic surgery. "The PM's bottom set of teeth are as wonky as ever, but the top ones are bright as buttons," says one lobby slave. "Everyone's saying he's had them straightened and bleached. But since Labour keep preventing us speaking to him, no one's been able to pop the question."

Downing Street said last night: "We have no comment to make on these Whitehall rumours." A cynic might say that they're refusing to deny them.

pandora@independent.co.uk

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