Pandora: A break-neck production

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The National Theatre's production of War Horse, adapted from the 1982 novel by the former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo, is the theatre's hot ticket. Nominated six times for next month's Olivier Awards, the show is nevertheless not immune to the odd wardrobe malfunction.

One hour in to Monday night's performance of the moving First World War family epic, during a particularly climactic moment, the audience were startled when, out of the smoke and the frenzied whinnying, there appeared on stage a nervous woman dressed in black, wearing headphones – somewhat incongruous with the 90-year-old context.

She explained that one of the horse's heads had fallen clean off and there would have to be a 20-minute break in the performance. The show closes tonight. I guess you could say it stumbled at the last.

Kate books time away from the sofa to talk to lawyers

The storm over Kate Garraway's "clinch" with another man is not only causing her personal strife; it has understandably played havoc with her work.

On Monday, the bubbly GMTV presenter, 39, began legal proceedings against the Sunday Mirror after it printed photos of her embracing her strapping Strictly Come Dancing partner Anton Du Beke, 41, and suggested she visited his flat.

Garraway, pictured here with her husband, the New Labour spin doctor-cum-psychotherapist Derek Draper, said in a statement that she had been "extremely hurt" by the allegations of an affair. She and Draper are "as faithful, happy and in love today as we have ever been".

Garraway was scheduled to read the news bulletin on Tuesday morning but did not come in to the studio. Staff were informed not to expect her today, either.

"We were told Kate has been given time off on 'compassionate grounds'," said a colleague. "She is upset, not her cheery self. She's been a bit down about the whole thing."

The colleague conjected: "I think she just feels an idiot for putting herself in the position that they could take a photograph and imply it meant more than it did."

A spokesman for GMTV admits the presenter was told by bosses to take Tuesday off, but denies she's now on leave. "She was scheduled to have the day off on Thursday."

Garraway handed the matter to m'learned friends at Schillings, who have commenced High Court libel proceedings, excitedly shifting beans on their abacuses.

Rising interest in Beeb's star women

This morning, at last, the BBC will replace its economics editor, Evan Davis – known to colleagues as "Tripod" for some unfathomable reason, perhaps pertaining to a "Prince Albert" bodily adornment.

Davis is to join Radio 4's Today programme as a presenter. News bosses will today interview two women for his position.

The favourite is Newsnight's stern and fiendishly sharp economics editor, Stephanie Flanders, a bicycling, unmarried mum of one who was educated at St Paul's and Oxford. She is the granddaughter of the journalist Claud Cockburn and offspring of half of the musical duo Flanders and Swann.

Also stepping before the panel is Jenny Scott of The Daily Politics. Raised in West Africa, she went to Cambridge and the Bank of England as an economist.

It is unknown whether either candidate declares hidden body piercings to airport security.

Sly: junta is a real Burma

Like many Hollywood hunks, behind Sylvester Stallone's liberally-oiled pectorals there hides the heart of a political activist aching for expression.

The waxy actor's most recent installment of Rambo is set in Burma, whose ruling junta have blacklisted him.

Speaking at the film's London premiere on Tuesday, Sly told me: "The Burmese military said 'there's no way you're coming back into this country unless we can take you to certain parts like Rangoon.' I said 'no way, let me walk around without somebody watching.'"

Footballers were in enthusiastic attendance. John Terry sensibly declined to say if England boss Fabio Capello is scarier than Rambo. WAG Danielle Lloyd, when cruelly asked "Hillary or Barack?", replied: "Who are they? Are they in the film?"

Howe rude

Intriguing news, last week, that the BBC has commissioned a sympathetic portrayal of Maggie Thatcher, showing her 1990 betrayal by male Cabinet colleagues.

Entitled Margaret, the drama by Richard Cottan will have its lighthearted moments. I understand that at one point, Thatcher's husband Denis explodes and calls his wife's eventual assassin, Geoffrey Howe, a "sheep shagger". Her chancellor Nigel Lawson is denounced as a "sack of beetroot".

Cracking stuff, but Thatch's private secretary Mark Worthington expresses his doubts. "Denis was a man of strong opinions but I'm not convinced that those would have been his choice of words," he says. "He was an old-fashioned gent. "Certainly, the phrase 'sheep shagger' sounds rather unpleasant."