Lovelorn Hack finds plenty to keep him occupied

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The Independent Online

* Since his sad split from the supermodel Kate Moss, Jefferson Hack has been keeping his head down and concentrating on the fortunes of his publishing empire, based around the lifestyle magazine Dazed and Confused.

* Since his sad split from the supermodel Kate Moss, Jefferson Hack has been keeping his head down and concentrating on the fortunes of his publishing empire, based around the lifestyle magazine Dazed and Confused.

All the more surprising, then, to see accounts recently filed by Waddell Ltd, the company that publishes Hack's edgy magazine, revealing that - at the end of its last reported financial year - the firm had debts of £350,000.

Meanwhile Dazed Film & Television, a TV company started by Hack, pictured, and the modish photographer Rankin in 2001, is six months late filing its own accounts, and thus faces a fine from Companies House. Its only other published return, for the year to June 2002, reports losses of £50,000 on a turnover of £206,000.

Apart from Dazed, Hack is responsible for a several talked-about publications, including Another Magazine, Rank and Intersection.

In explanation, Suzanne Waddell, the secretary of both firms, stressed that they are in good health, and said any debts resulted from the voluntary liquidation of another publishing firm - also set up by Rankin - which owed Waddell Ltd £600,000.

"That was in 2002 and since then in fact we've been recovering those losses. In the last year, Waddell made a profit of about £250,000," she said. "The accounts for Dazed Film are late because we're using an external accountant and he's being very slow."

* HELP IS at hand for those who, like Pandora, took one look at this year's Turner Prize, and wondered: "what on earth is all that about?"

Kirstie Allsopp, the comely presenter of Location, Location, Location , is to lead a series of guided tours around the Tate in the run-up to next month's awards do, which is sponsored by Gordon's gin.

"Anyone can come. This is about making the Turner Prize more accessible," Allsopp tells me, with almost evangelical zeal.

"The Turner gets so much press that people think they know all about it, and what they're supposed to think about it, and that stops them from actually wanting to go and see it. That's a real shame, as there are some incredible pieces in this year's show."

Yes, but is it art? "Turn that on its head and tell me, why isn't it art?" she responds, smoothly.

* IT'LL BE a dry old do at Emma Thompson's north London home this Christmas: she's decided to ban presents from the house.

"These days it's such a commercialised, horrible festival," says the Oscar-winning actress, right. "It used to be about love, now it's more, 'Okay, what can we buy?' So I ban presents. They're forbidden. The only presents allowed are things that are home-made, or things to eat."

It's not all bad news for Thompson's four year-old daughter, Gaia, mind. "Last year, my husband (actor Greg Wise) made green tomato chutney, but sometimes we give people pots of jam and sometimes we give chocolates. That's allowed."

* WHO SAYS David Blunkett doesn't have a sense of humour? Speaking about ID cards at a meeting of the IPPR think tank yesterday, the Home Secretary made an impromptu joke about his recent romantic dalliances.

Blunkett - whose affair with Kimberley Fortier, the (married) publisher of The Spectator , was recently exposed by a Sunday "red-top" - was asked if people's whereabouts can be tracked by the use of their credit cards.

Admitting he was "on pretty dangerous ground," he guffawed: "I'm currently not married so nobody will be trying to get me for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, although The News of the World did a pretty good job the other week." What a guy!

* Churchill would have choked on his cigar; Harold Wilson would have snapped his pipe. As the Government attempts to forbid smoking in public places, MPs are deciding whether to extend the ban to their own tea room at the House of Commons.

On Tuesday, members using the room were presented with a questionnaire from the Commons catering committee, asking if they would support a voluntary ban on smoking there.

The proposed ban is already proving deeply divisive: Dr Howard Stoate, a Labour MP and family doctor, urged his colleagues to support a ban. "MPs should set a good example," he said. "Smoking is a proven killer."

Others are going to fight it all the way. "Smoking is the only pleasure I get," comments the Ealing MP Stephen Pound.

pandora@independent.co.uk

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