Pandora: Buckler's not From The Jam anymore

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The Independent Online

And then there was one. We hear that the final whistle has sounded on the lingering collaboration between the former Jam members, drummer Rick Buckler and bass-player Bruce Foxton.

The partnership – named, appropriately, From The Jam – has in the past been ridiculed by their (considerably more famous) former Jam band-mate Paul Weller as being "a bit cabaret".

Now they have parted ways, shortly after Foxton agreed to play bass on Paul Weller's new album.

Buckler, who initiated the split, has offered no explanation for his decision, simply stating that, "with some regret", he "can no longer be involved with From The Jam." Foxton, meanwhile, insists that he plans to continue with the Jam cover band, and hopes to begin auditioning replacement drummers.

For his part, Weller is adamant that Buckler's new-found availability is not a sign that the Jam may be reforming any time soon.

"Paul and Rick still don't talk," explains a spokesman.

"He said he'd have to be in the gutter and his children starving before he ever performed as The Jam again, and he means it. The Smiths are more likely to reform than them."

Mandy fares well in the front row

Kudos to Lord Mandelson, who landed the hottest ticket in town: a front-row seat alongside Anna Wintour and Alexa Chung at Tuesday's Burberry show – the first that the label has held in London in more than a decade. Not only did he score prime position, but he followed fashion-world etiquette to the letter by donning what looked remarkably like a Burberry tie for the occasion. Sadly, his office wouldn't confirm said tie's origin – though Pandora's in-house style advisers are adamant. "It's definitely Burberry," they tell us.

Vaughan starts festive rush already

Spare a thought for Johnny Vaughan, whose nightmare before Christmas has already begun.

"It's always the same," the presenter told Pandora after hosting the Virgin Media Shorts Awards on Tuesday night. "I start compering end-of-year events around this time of year and it just doesn't stop. I'm exhausted.

"I had to question my existence last year. I was presenting an award for the best gift under £5.99. The winner was a pair of clogs filled with chocolate. It wasn't great."

Beeb saves on election extras

Ping! And out goes an emailed missive to all BBC staffers, offering them that long sought-after shot to find fame (not to mention the chance to save the Corporation a few bob in its all-important election coverage). "Be part of the next historic general election," the tantalising email offers its readers. "Smart-dressed extras wanted to be MPs in the VR (that's Virtual Reality to you and me) House of Commons... Will take 5 to 10 mins to shoot." How could anyone refuse such an offer?

Dizzee wins over an unlikely fan

News of an unlikely rendezvous taking place in the music industry – between grime artist Dizzee Rascal (formerly of east London; now of, er, Chislehurst in Kent) and Dame Shirley Bassey. The veteran vocalist is, apparently, keen to explore collaboration opportunities with Dizzee, of whom she became a fan when they both performed at the Electric Proms. "I'm really excited," she told us at the launch of her new album, The Performance. "Everyone's been telling me what a great talent he is. I'm being sent all his albums."

pandora@independent.co.uk

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