Killer toffs are shot down by Channel Four bosses

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The Independent Online

* Class war lives on. Channel Four provided a surprising defence of the aristocracy in a documentary broadcast at the end of July, but the broadcaster drew the line when it came to showing toffs picking off our feathered friends.

The British Upper Class showed the journalist James Delingpole indulging in a series of upper-crust pursuits. He rode with a hunt, quaffed champagne in Mayfair, and (more doubtfully) posed in a Ferrari.

However, viewers didn't see the presenter taking pot shots at pheasants - an experience which he describes as "brilliant" - during a visit to Hampshire, because programme-makers cut the scenes.

"The channel wasn't happy about showing too much blood and feathers," says a C4 insider. "Delingpole came out strongly in favour of shooting. And while it was fine for him to rant about the pleasures of fox hunting, because that's already been banned, we didn't want to screen a passionate argument in favour of another controversial blood sport."

When Pandora called Delingpole, he confirmed the scenes had been cut from the broadcast, but denied that censorship was to blame.

"It was really sad that the shoot didn't end up in the film," he tells me. "It looked absolutely beautiful. But I was amazed by how receptive Channel 4 was to my pro-toff thesis on the whole, so I don't think that's why it was cut. I probably wasn't as good a presenter as I was in the bits we filmed later on."

* Jade Jagger may be the offspring of one of Britain's richest musicians - and herself the creative director of the Bond Street jewellers Garrard - but she has clearly inherited some of her father's tendency to be careful with money.

Jagger until now happily living in Ibiza, recently put in an offer on a flat in Queen's Park.

The area is not yet one of London's trendiest, but is still within spitting distance of the smart boutiques and bars of Notting Hill, where Jagger spends much of her time when in the country. But her offer was turned down smartly.

"It's a beautiful loft-style apartment, with a big balcony and tons of space," says my mole. "It's clear to see why she'd like it as a London pad. But the offer she put in was, to be honest, paltry."

Instead, the flat has gone to the progeny of another rock old timer: Gala Wright, whose father Rick is the keyboard player in Pink Floyd.

* Having - just about - weathered the storm that surrounded the publication of the Public Accounts Committee investigation into his Duchy finances, Prince Charles could do with some good publicity now.

It is with unfortunate timing, then, that the Prince's chief lackey Michael Fawcett has opened his mouth. Fawcett now works for HRH as an "events organiser", but initially shot to fame when it was revealed that his duties involved squeezing the Royal toothpaste tube.

Speaking to a group of guests at a recent charity dinner hosted by the Prince, Fawcett announced rather grandly: "Whenever we are in Venice, we stay at the Danielle Hotel."

During a lull in conversation, one prominent American visitor was heard to mutter: "I wonder where Camilla stays."

* Another day passes and brings news of more confusion in the marathon battle to become the next Tory leader.

The party chairman, Francis Maude, who is behind controversial plans to deny grassroots members a vote in the forthcoming leadership contest, will be losing sleep. Opponents to his proposal are now openly claiming they have won their battle to block the rule change.

The result of the ballot is not due to be announced until 27 September, but already the former Conservative chief executive, Barry Legg, who is leading the charge against Maude's proposals, claims victory.

"All our canvassing has support running for us at two to one, which is in far excess of the blocking third we merely need," he tells me. "The proposal will be defeated, and it would be better for the Board to withdraw it."

* Our Prime Minister is certainly a dedicated follower of fashion. The naked women on the cuffs of his Paul Smith shirt made a statement, as did the Burberry polo top he wore last summer. Good to see, therefore, that he isn't letting things slip. When the paparazzi caught up with him on a yacht in the Caribbean on Wednesday, he was wearing swimming trunks designed by Vilebrequin. They are, according to fashionistas, "this summer's must-have beach accessories." Originating in St Tropez (where else?) they are sported by celebs ranging from Hugh Grant to Gary Lineker.

"The design worn by the Prime Minister are decorated in apples and cost £82," says a spokesman for the company.

Alexandra Shulman, the editor of British Vogue, told Pandora that although she had noted the PM's smart attire, she'd rather not pass judgement.

pandora@independent.co.uk

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