Pandora: An explosive race

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The Independent Online

Jenson Button may have won last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, but what of that other, trans-continental race, the Volcanic Grand Prix? We mean, of course, the scramble to return to these shores in time to prepare for the next race in Barcelona. Button, naturally, need not concern himself with such things, having jetted to Thailand. No such luxuries for the rest of the travelling circus. Taking the chequered flag on Tuesday was, we're told, Ross Brawn, Button's team boss last year. He flew to Nice via Dubai and was chaufferred through France to set foot on English soil just after 5pm. Second was the Australian driver Mark Webber and his Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. Third came the BBC's Jake Humphrey and Lee McKenzie, who flew to Frankfurt, drove to Calais and reached Dover by ferry at 8.30pm. And last place went to Eddie Jordan, also of the Beeb, who failed to make it out in the first place. Keep up!

It's all change at breakfast sofa

Rumours of axe-wielding on the GMTV sofa abound; yesterday it was claimed that newsreader Helen Fospero was being lined up as Adrian Chiles' new co-host, presumably at the expense of one of the programme's incumbents, Emma Crosby and Kate Garraway. Garraway's agent is maintaining a stony silence on the matter. Crosby's man is in a better mood; Fospero, it turns out, is a fellow client. "Though I only know what I read!", he adds.

* In the flurry of post-egg puns ("Clegged!", "First the Chicken!" "Egg on his face") one voice remained conspicuous in its absence. Wither John Prescott, fellow egg-ee, never shy of a good gag? "He doesn't have anything so say," explained his son, David, currently on the campaign trail with Dad. "That yolk's not funny anymore..." Doh!

* Pete Townshend's appeal to fans not to buy The Who's merchandise has earned nothing but admiration from Pandora. How moral! Anti-materialist! And from one with such a bank balance! But what's this, but a day later? An ad for the very same stuff, from the band's official website, only reduced by 50 per cent. It seems Pete's bandmates don't share his views.

Osborne's a cut above his rivals

Gosh, it's all about electoral dressing. Yesterday we heard that Alastair Stewart had received bids for his debate tie, now John Lewis is claiming a rush for politically-hued neckwear. Alas, we suspect George Osborne's new hairdo – dubbed, in some quarters, The Lord Fauntleroy – may not have the same effect. A call to the barbers requesting an imitation was met with what we like to interpret as muted horror.