Pandora: A royal scandal... Queen's composer takes on MPs

Honourable Members, form an orderly queue here (and remember to get a receipt with your ice cream): you are soon to have your very own opera, courtesy of none other than Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, pictured, Master of the Queen's Music.

Following in the footsteps of recently appointed Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy – whose first official poem attacked the political corruption in the wake of the expenses scandal – the Queen's personal composer has decided to put together a "comic opera" on the subject.

"Like everybody else I'm outraged over the extent and depth of the MPs' expenses claims," explained Sir Peter at the St Magnus Festival in Orkney. "I am registering and expressing my disgust the best way I can – through my music."

"I may even invite a few MPs to the opening night – they will of course want free tickets, but be able to claim them on expenses for some fictitious fee!

"These people are a public disgrace and deserve to be publicly disgraced on stage. The bankers are also in for a rough ride in the work too."

Hitchens brothers go head to head

*Could Christopher Hitchens be in for some familial competition? Pandora hears that atheism's most active recruitment officer is to come up against his own brother in the God debate.

Peter Hitchens, a firm Christian and columnist for the Mail on Sunday, has been approached to pen a book on the subject and is sounding out ideas with a publisher. If all goes according to plan, the book could take on his brother's God is Not Great. Let's hope the clash doesn't cause too much awkwardness at the next family reunion.

Jude takes another Miller to Wimbledon

Last time Pandora caught up with Jude Law at Wimbledon, he had his former fiancée Sienna Miller nestled on his lap.

Not so yesterday. We ran into the actor, currently receiving iffy reviews for his Hamlet, enjoying the luxury in Evian's VIP tent in the company of another Miller: old friend Jonny Lee, ex-husband of Angelina Jolie.

Jonny's about to start a run on Broadway opposite – of all people – Jude's Sienna with whom, we're told, he will share several on-stage clinches.

Judging from his spot at Jude's side yesterday, the development has yet to cause any problems for the friendship.

Boulton gets a little carried away

*Pandora's not one to mind a bit of red-blooded debate, but even we were surprised to hear Adam Boulton exercising his very best French during this weekend's Sunday Live. Is this Sky's attempt to woo a younger audience?

Apparently not. Yesterday Boulton was forced to apologise via his blog: "My presenter's microphone was left open when I was having a somewhat heated discussion about an aspect of internal editorial policy," he explains. "I would like to make an unconditional apology to any viewer I offended."

Mariella sticks up for the autocuties

*Traditionalists, watch out. The ever-feisty Mariella Frostrup has waded into the debate on newsreaders, shooting down Peter Sissons after he became the latest to moan about the proliferation of photogenic females in TV newsrooms. "(He) proves yet again that the most dangerous aspect of the job is the threat of broadsides from jealous colleagues," Frostrup fumes in the Radio Times. "Instead of highlighting attitudes that suggest he might be better off retiring, a far more justifiable target would be the insidious ageism that continues."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent