Eton boys get in a sweat over Ann Summers talk

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The Independent Online

Eton's pious founding father, Henry VI, would have disapproved: the top public school will this week host a talk on sex toys and lacy knickers.

Its Keynes Society, named after the famous Old Etonian economist John Maynard, has invited the chief executive of sex shop Ann Summers, Jacqueline Gold, to address 160 members on Thursday evening. The Master in Charge will supervise proceedings.

The college's tail-suited pupils are aged 13 to 18. As one former Keynes Society member said of the occasion: "Anyone whose balls haven't dropped – well, they will do then."

Gold says that Eton did not give her any "ground rules" for the discussion, which will focus on her life and achievements. She has decided not to take any visual aids or product samples, leaving the boys to do their own research.

Recent speakers at the Keynes Society include Stuart Rose of M&S, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Michael Portillo, Gavyn Davies, Chelsea chief exec Peter Kenyon and a European Commissioner. Gold will be wined and dined in Hall before she speaks.

"I was very pleased to accept,"says Gold, "because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I've never been to Eton. I hope to encourage and inspire them. I'm looking forward to the questions and answers at the end. Students don't hold back."

The fee for the current academic year is £26,490 – and who can argue that the lads don't get value for their parents' money?

The long and short of how Sophie got her man

For fairly obvious reasons, the (huge green) eyes of Sophie Dahl and those of Jamie Cullum did not meet across a crowded room.

The statuesque model-turned-author, six feet tall in her socks, and her "jazz hobbit" boyfriend, who is eight inches shorter, are not natural dancing partners. And it transpires that without the assistance of Harper's Bazaar editor, Lucy Yeomans, they might never have got it on.

"I set them up," says Yeomans, at Moet's Gold party. "I've always been a bit of a matchmaker. I suggested Sophie duet with him [at a Lavender Trust party in March] because not a lot of people know she has a great singing voice.

"Sophie even wrote me an email to thank me. I think they're great together."

Cullum has promised: "I can assure you I make up for the height difference in other ways."

In the hard rock slammer

Ozzy Osbourne fans in Fargo, North Dakota, were taken aback when they were invited to a VIP pre-concert party before the bat eater's gig. When they arrived, they were met not by the straggly-haired mumbler, right, but by dozens of law enforcement officers bearing warrants and cuffs. Gotcha! Sheriff Paul D Laney had sent invites to people ignoring court summons and fines. "They get very creative in how they abscond from the law," said Laney. "We got real creative in how we reeled them in."

Ozzy disapproves of the Sheriff's actions, saying: "Aaaarrrgh eeurrrgghhh arrsses." Which his publicist translated as: "Sheriff Laney went out of his way to tarnish my reputation by implying that I attract a criminal element, which is certainly not true. My audiences are good hard-working people. If he uses my name again I'll bite his head off."

Bad contact

The very best of luck to the outgoing political editor of The Sunday Times, David Cracknell, who has quit the paper to stumble forth into the billowing fog of the PR world.

Just before Cracknell left his previous job at The Sunday Telegraph, to enter Rupert Murdoch's Wapping fortress, he was notoriously discovered robbing his boss's juicy contacts folder off a laptop.

He subsequently had his security pass revoked and was placed on gardening leave. One former colleague now comments: "It is to be hoped that when Crackers leaves this time he takes his own contacts book and not somebody else's!"

Truly hard-core competitors

Please shake your tassles. Vanessa del Rio, the "Latin from Manhattan" 1980s porn star, is the subject of a new, 400-page, limited edition coffee table tome. Fifty Years of Slightly Slutty Behavior, rrp £300, colourfully commemorates her "ferocious" contributions to adult cinema.

In scenes reminiscent of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, one copy will contain a special "Golden Ticket", entitling the buyer to "an all expenses paid evening with Vanessa, to be documented by a photographer". Crikey! What would Willy Wonka say? Just keep your eyes open for a whooping, skipping man of a certain age, being chased down the street by his contemporaries.

Coincidentally, both Willy Wonka and del Rio have employed dwarves as extras in their filming.

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