Pandora: Book will 'find out why Bercow is so loathed'

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The Independent Online

It was only a matter of time. John Bercow's election as Speaker provoked pantomime boos from many within his own, Conservative, party. (Metaphorical, of course.)

Then, last week, the Tory MP Nadine Dorries revealed that she has met with "a man who is writing a book on John Bercow" – an intriguing revelation given the venom with which Dorries greeted his election.

Now the book's author – BBC news producer Bobby Friedman – has got in touch with Pandora to offer further insights.

Friedman is currently interviewing friends and acquaintances of Bercow, for the unauthorised work, which he plans to release in time for the next general election.

"What I want to look at is how someone can be so hated," Friedman tells us. "I've always followed his career. It's very obvious that so many within his party don't like him. How did someone with virtually no party support get in? I want to know why people hate him. The reasons are more complex than people make out."

Still, it isn't all bad news for Bercow. "Lots of people love him too and I'm speaking to them. He was certainly perfectly nice when I met him.

"Hopefully it will be funny, juicy, full of insights, generally absolutely marvellous." We would expect nothing less.

Symonds has a brand new look

More news about those one-to-one classes to be offered by Sarah Symonds, the "professional mistress" and alleged former squeeze of Gordon Ramsay.

"I have reformed and am only dating single guys," she tells Pandora, insisting that her focus nowdays tends more towards the termination of affections. "I'm helping women deal with why they are in their situations."

But be warned, this is no mere act of charity by Symonds. She insists: "I have never charged for advice before, and I would prefer to have a column, but as I'm on my own it's the only way." But of course.

No favours for Ridley Scott's daughter

Sir Ridley Scott insists that, despite the pedigree of his daughter Jordan's cinematic genes, she was not afforded any advantages in the shooting of her debut film, Cracks.

"Once you start doing this job, you're in the water on your own," the gruff director explained at the British Film Festival. "I just cast (her) loose. I say, 'that's it, dude, you really want to do this? Then yeah'. I can't get her a film, I can't even get her a commercial."

Cracks stars the languid Bond girl Eva Green as the new teacher at a 1930s boarding school. Just the sort of casting you'd expect from any wannabe film maker, then.

Appearing for one night only...

*So much for Nicky Haslam's "affair" with Lord Snowdon. "It was only one night with Tony," the gregarious interior designer, who reveals the fling in his forthcoming memoirs, tells us. "I didn't want to seem rude so I just said it was an affair!

"He isn't fussed at all about it – ask him. He told me what fun he thinks the book is. The thing is, they only ever pick the bad bits out to sell the book. That's the only one in the whole thing. Well, maybe not the only one!"

Winehouse falls out of love with Barnet

*Residents of Barnet, breathe a sigh of relief. Amy Winehouse claims to have fallen out of love with the area. The singer – whose decision to buy a house in the hitherto peaceful north London suburb six months ago left neighbours pondering a future of paparazzi-packed streets – tells us she still spends almost all her time in central London. "I never stay in Barnet anymore," she said at yesterday's Q Awards after rushing in late to present a gong. "I like staying in town because that's where everything is happening and where my friends are."

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