Bianca 'furious' at cameo role in Fatboy's musical

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The Independent Online

The DJ, whose real name is Norman Cook, announced last week that he is writing a musical with David Byrne about Imelda Marcos, the fast-living, shoe-loving former first lady of the Philippines. Marcos's chief claims to fame include charges of corruption, a collection of millions of pairs of shoes, and a bullet-proof bra.

Much of the musical's action is set at the legendary New York night-spot Studio 54, and - according to insiders - includes the most famous event in the club's history: when Bianca Jagger arrived on a white stallion.

Jagger, now a human rights activist and ambassador for Amnesty International, is said by friends to be furious at the suggestion that the two women were in any way associated.

"Bianca has dedicated much of her life to alleviating the plight of the world's poorest people. Marcos has stood trial for corruption and spent millions of pounds on personal luxuries whilst much of here country was poverty stricken," says a source close to Jagger.

"Bianca is livid at the suggestion that they partied together, and will not hesitate to instruct her lawyers to put an injunction on the musical if the scene is included."

A spokesman for Cook yesterday said: "It is too early to comment on the content of the musical."

* A cunning ploy to attract audiences to Disney's next blockbuster, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, has back- fired rather spectacularly, prompting a public disclaimer from its leading lady.

The film's producers have employed Christian marketing groups to promote it, including Motive Marketing, the team behind Mel Gibson's storming success with The Passion of the Christ.

But Tilda Swinton who plays the White Witch, denies that it carries a Christian message. "We 're not a religious group," Swinton tells me, "We're film-makers. C S Lewis is a very well known writer of Christian tracts, but I think it would be an insult to him as a writer to say that The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is a religious tract ... This is not a religious film, but people will project on to it what they want to."

As if that wasn't bad enough, she adds: "Personally, I was brought up to believe it is extremely bad manners to talk about your faith."

* The comedian Lenny Henry is a man of lofty ambitions. He tells me that he's keen to try a spot of Shakespeare.

"I don't think it would be credible me playing the sulky student whining about his father's death," he says, turning down the part of Hamlet, to which every actor is said to aspire. "But Malvolio is a good part, and the Duke in Measure for Measure. There are lots of good parts in Shakespeare. There's lots of them I'd like to do, anything but Othello."

All of which prompts the Royal Shakespeare Company to say that they aren't particularly keen on auditioning him.

"That is really a matter for the director of each play," says a spokesman. "So I can't invite him along. We're interested to hear from anyone who can do classical theatre, but obviously it depends on the style of the production."

* Geoff Hoon may have lost his job at the Ministry of Defence, but he's lost none of the cunning attitude he's always shown in dealing with the press.

Yesterday saw the publication of details of MPs' expenses by the Members Estimate Committee, of which Mr Hoon, the Speaker and various other MPs are members. For the second year running, the list was put out at 3.30pm - a convenient 20 minutes after the House of Commons adjourned for the day, giving any politicians expecting tricky questions from reporters ample time to escape Westminster.

"We pointed out last year that the time of publication and the fact that it was on Thursday, when many MPs disappear to their constituencies for the weekend, meant they avoided having to explain anything," says one lobby hack. "That obviously appealed."

* It's difficult to know what Gordon Ramsay will make of this, but he apparently enjoys the support of Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The comely Welsh actress has given an interview to Hello! magazine, in which she backs Ramsay's view, widely publicised this week, that women "can't cook to save their lives".

Zeta-Jones, who is married to the well-worn Eighties heart-throb Michael Douglas, says: "Michael is afraid when I am in the kitchen. I am a terrible cook and I am not allowed to go into the kitchen any more. I did actually burn a pan. I got a little scared."

I suppose that's alright, though, when you have a few million dollars in the bank and someone to cook for you.