Pandora logo

Irons to lead the field in battle against hunting ban

* Several public figures have threatened to go to jail in defiance of the Government's forthcoming ban on hunting, but no Hollywood stars have yet put their neck on the line in defence of the sport.

* Several public figures have threatened to go to jail in defiance of the Government's forthcoming ban on hunting, but no Hollywood stars have yet put their neck on the line in defence of the sport.

That could be about to change, though. For Jeremy Irons is set to play a leading role in the Countryside Alliance's campaign of disobedience, which kicks off in the New Year.

Irons - joint-Master of the West Carbery hunt in County Cork - has quietly supported the CA for several years, but work has until now prevented him being a regular mouth-piece for the organisation.

Recent events, however, have persuaded the Oscar-winning actor to do "absolutely everything I can" for the cause.

"I believe this is one of the two most devastating parliamentary votes in the last century," Irons told Pandora at Monday's premiere of his new film, The Merchant of Venice. "It's an outrageous assault on civil liberties. We're not harming anyone. The whole situation is terribly depressing.

"It's difficult to know what can be done now the Bill has been passed. We'll have to see how the two court cases go - that's one ray of hope. And I'll do absolutely everything I can to help."

Pandora gathers that the CA is planning several illegal mass meets on February 19, the first Saturday after hunting is banned. Perhaps a bit of Hollywood glamour will now be added to proceedings.

* IN THE week the Band Aid single was released, Bill Wyman, who wasn't invited to contribute to the project, is recording a tribute of his own.

On Thursday, the former Rolling Stone will be filmed at the Abbey Road Studios, alongside Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney, with whom Wyman is not thought to have collaborated in the past.

In two days, they aim to compile - from scratch - a musical tribute to Scotty Moore, who was Elvis Presley's guitarist.

"There's going to be me, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and a load of other guitarists all jamming together," explains Wyman. "It's being filmed for television, and also a DVD, the works.

"I'm basically looking forward to sitting down to play with the other guys, and seeing what we come up with. Scotty himself is flying over to take part too."

* THERE ARE limits to Christian Slater's talents. Having agreed - as this column first revealed - to take to the West End stage, the Hollywood renaissance man recently tried his hand at stand-up comedy.

The cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest are putting on a series of late-night comedy shows at the Gielgud Theatre, where their play is being staged.

Slater is compère. So, what does co-star Mackenzie Crook - an accomplished stand-up - make of his performances so far?

"Christian struggles, to be honest" Crook tells me. "He's got a great stage presence and a likeable persona but he finds all the jokes a bit difficult. I don't blame him - it isn't easy, but I wouldn't say he's a natural."

* THE DECISION by Tony Banks to vacate his West Ham seat at the General Election is already causing squabbling over the future of the Labour stronghold.

Banks (or Lord Banks, as he may soon be known) announced his departure last week, leaving one Jo Coles - an assistant to Yvette Cooper, who unsuccessfully applied for Halifax - to be parachuted into the seat.

In order to facilitate this, Labour's General Secretary Matt Carter has written to West Ham Labour Party, ordering them to adopt an all-women shortlist. But locals - citing their high ethnic population - would prefer a male. "We're not going to back down," says one. "This could get pretty messy."

* The departure of former lap dancer - and current Mrs Vic Reeves - Nancy Sorrell has encouraged Janet to bid for the role of camp "totty."

My colleague spent yesterday creating "body jewellery" with toothpaste, and flashing her bra at remaining (male) contestants. It's a fitting tribute to Sorrell, who will launch her own range of Ann Summers lingerie, Nancy's Naughty Knickers, when she returns to Blighty.

The mood has not all been sweetness and light, though. During one contretemps, JS-P told her companions "you're all thick". In another, she fell out with Paul Burrell, after his wife branded her the "jungle viper" in a letter.

"Mrs Burrell's going to get a whack with my handbag," promises Janet.

pandora@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

E150/2014 - English Language Checker (Grade B3)

On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?