Pandora: An inflated alter ego

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The Independent Online

In my defence, you could have been reading what might have been a mildly amusing story suggesting that the grumpy Sky News stalwart Adam Boulton's excessive workload led to his priceless hissy fit on live television this week.

If all had gone to plan, my work for the day would have been complete, courtesy of some put-upon soul at the Sky press office sighing "no comment", thus allowing me to speculate on the matter in the usual measured fashion.

That was the plan. Then I heard there was a chance that Boulton might be appearing elsewhere in this newspaper and that about 34 equally busy hacks had come up with the same idea. So I've got a story about a balloon instead. Not any balloon, I hasten to add – a big balloon with Gordon Brown's face on it. Stay with me.

The online betting service Betfair put inflatable Gordon up for sale on eBay yesterday after using him to "draw in punters" during the election. They felt I might be petty enough to point out it had only fetched £18.50 last night.

The spy who loved himself

Is Sir Roger Moore still real? To avoid inevitable legal complications, I'm going to abandon that unhelpful train of thought right there and proceed with the following revelations from England's finest living actor. "Looking suave and sophisticated comes naturally to me," he brazenly announces. "When I slip back into my jacket, I just ooze charisma and look fantastic. I'm very modest too." Roger, you old tease!

* Some may imagine that Pandora would be among the last places to find news of ground-breaking scientific research, but today I prove you wrong. A helpful little press release from Nurofen reveals that Paris Hilton is our "most headache-inducing celebrity". You can question the validity of this all you like readers, but the facts are the facts.

* Now here's a royal tale to warm the cockles. Russell Crowe, no less, assures the doubters that Prince Andrew is, and I quote without exaggeration, "charming". The pair met in Windsor when the actor was filming Robin Hood. The colonial upstart wasted little time breaking down barriers, revealing he "threw a log" in the startled Andy's direction. "I'm happy he caught the log," adds Russ. "It was about showing a bunch of Englishmen that he's a bloke and ready for a bit of fun." Madness!

Will Zac be forced to pull the trigger?

The extravagant celebrations of Zac Goldsmith's curiously coiffured agent David Newman did little to warm cross-party relations with the Liberal Democrats on election night. Should a pact with Nick Clegg result in the expected watering-down of Tory policies, opponents of the dashing cad Goldsmith, left, are pinning hopes on his previous pledge to "trigger a by-election" if the party proves unable to meet original promises.