Benn's granddaughter to stand at the next election
Tuesday 25 September 2007
No sooner had we got used to two Benns jostling for space on the political stage, than another one comes along and joins them.
Emily Benn, as widely tipped, followed her 82-year-old grandfather, Tony, and her uncle Hilary into the political arena yesterday by being selected as the Labour parliamentary candidate for Worthing East.
She'll be the party's youngest-ever general election candidate, as the rules were only recently been changed to allow 18-year-olds to stand.
Benn is the daughter of Tony's eldest son, Stephen, and Nita Clarke, who holds the distinction of not only being a trusted political adviser to Tony Blair, but she is also a former squeeze of David Bowie.
"Emily is very honoured to be selected by the constituency party," Clarke told Pandora at the Labour Party conference.
She's facing an uphill battle though, since Worthing East currently enjoys a Tory majority of about 8,000.
As for her politics, a chum at Emily Benn's school in south-east London, where she is currently finishing A-levels in Latin, history and music, tells me that she was hardly Bennite.
Apparently, she was one of the few people at school to have supported the Iraq war.
Not that the head of the family seems to have held it against her. "I'm very proud of her," said the grand old man of the Left yesterday. "She is very knowledgeable and committed and has helped me with my campaigns in the past."
No Kidding: BBC put the skids on Jodie's show
The fallout from the "sting" by the News of the World on Jodie Kidd is showing no sign of letting up.
Over the weekend it was announced that, in the light of allegations that she had helped undercover reporters to buy cocaine, Jodie had been dumped by Marks & Spencer as the "face" of their in-store credit card.
Now, the story has apparently put the kybosh on an appearance on the BBC programme Who Do You Think You Are?
Kidd was due to appear on the next series but, although the BBC refused to rule it out ("Jodie Kidd is one of a number of people we're talking to") Pandora understands the producers have now gone cold on the idea.
It's a shame, since it would have made interesting viewing. Her great-grandfather was Lord Beaverbrook, the press baron whose Express titles, ironically, delighted in chronicling the high and lows of the rich and famous.
Crispian won't be Boulting
The singer Crispian Mills used an interview with this newspaper yesterday to set the record straight about his soon-to-reform band Kula Shaker.
But one thing Crispian didn't explain was why he called himself Mills. Although his mother is the actress Hayley Mills and grandfather the screen legend Sir John (he also sports the Mills signet ring), Crispian's father was that renowned film director, the late Roy Boulting.
"To be fair he called himself Mills rather than Boulting whilst he was at Stowe," says a former school chum, "So he definitely didn't do it to please the record company."
A spokesman for Crispian was unable to elaborate: "I'm sorry, I really don't know much about his family history."
The cast and crew involved in the forthcoming New Labour musical, Blair on Broadway, have gone to extreme lengths to ensure that they won't be playing to one man and his dog when the show opens at Islington's Hen and Chicken theatre next month.
They've travelled all the way down to Bournemouth for the Labour Party conference, where they have been handing out flyers to unsuspecting MPs as they make their way down town's pier.
Yesterday, the actor who plays Tony Blair, Joshua Martin, ambitiously attempted to leaflet Ken Livingstone. Somewhat predictably, the London Mayor wasn't biting.
"I think I've seen quite enough of the real Tony, thank you," quipped Ken.
Drogba is the special one
Further proof, if needed, that there is more to the Chelsea footballer Didier Drogba than his spoilt, sulky on-field persona suggests. On Sunday night, he was due to sing at the Royal Albert Hall as part of a fundraising concert for Aids awareness, but was forced to cancel after the sacking of manager Jose Mourinho had left him with no time for rehearsals.
Nevertheless, Drogba still made the long journey down from his team's defeat at Manchester United to make his excuses.
"He described the chaos which has been going on at the club over the past few days and very humbly begged for the audience's forgiveness," I'm told. "It certainly did the trick, as they gave a standing ovation. He hung around for an hour at the end to sign autographs, too. He couldn't have been nicer."
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