Pandora: Cameron rewards Paul for his bravery

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The Independent Online

Cameron Diaz would feature in many a red-blooded male's list of the top 10 most beautiful women, but, by her own admission, it is fair to say that most of these admirers would think twice about asking the actress out on a date.

"I'm a lot of woman – in a lot of ways," she recently told the readers of GQ magazine. "And I understand that can be intimidating."

Still, that didn't seem to deter the bloke who was placed in charge of the exclusive photoshoot that Diaz agreed to do for GQ in Los Angeles several months ago.

According to the magazine's modish editor Dylan Jones, once their work for the day was done the cheeky fellow managed to bag a date with the Hollywood star afterwards. "She enjoyed the session so much that she accepted an invitation from Paul Solomons, the magazine's art director, to go for a drink with him that evening at the Sunset Marquis Hotel," Jones wrote in the London Evening Standard last week.

In fact, I am reliably informed that the date was far from just a one-off. Lucky old Solomons subsequently flew back to La-La-Land for several "drink" meetings with the luscious Diaz.

Hats off, chaps!

Konnie's acting regrets

It could all have turned out so differently for Konnie Huq, the bubbly television presenter who, until earlier this year, was a regular fixture on the Blue Peter sofa.

The Bengali beauty originally hoped to become an actress, but was put off by what she saw as a lack of opportunities for young Asian girls. "That's how I started out. I was in the National Youth Music Theatre with Jude Law, Matt Lucas – those sorts of people – about 10 years ago," she tells me.

"Asians could not get a part except as a repressed daughter on EastEnders –no period dramas, nothing. I could try now but I wouldn't know what to do. I'm a presenter now."

Strip for the right script

The actress Anna Popplewell found fame in the recent Chronicles Of Narnia films. For now, though, she wants to concentrate on her degree. "I'm at Oxford studying English literature," she told me at a party for Elizabeth Arden. "I've done one year and have two to go, so I'm not doing anything concrete at the moment. I'm reading scripts with quite a critical eye."

Contrary to Popplewell's prim on-screen image, when she does return to movies she is up for anything. "I wouldn't just do a naked scene for the sake of it but I wouldn't rule anything out," she added, gamely.

Why a GG's not favourite

Germaine Greer has been nominated for Australia's Prime Minister's Book Awards, supposedly judged by PM, Kevin Rudd. Oh dear. Two years ago, he was not happy with Greer's claim that the animal kingdom took revenge on "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin. "A grieving mother, grieving kids and a grieving nation and what do you get from Germaine Greer? A bucketload of politically correct pap," he raged.

Boris couldn't go, so...

Ken Livingstone continues to cling to the trappings of high office. To the puzzlement of just about everyone, the former Mayor of London is currently tottering about in Beijing at the Olympics. "Given that Boris isn't coming, I think it's useful that someone is

there who is identified with London," he told reporters. "We had very good links between my office in London and the mayoralty in Beijing."

Let it go, Ken.

Wayne fails to score with Edders

There was excitement on the culture-drenched streets of Edinburgh last week when rumours began circulating that Wayne Rooney was in town.

Since the Manchester United footballer doesn't strike you as your average culture vulture, the paparazzi were keen to get a snap. Their efforts, however, were in vain, since a spokesman for Rooney insists it must have been a lookalike.

"It's definitely not him, he's in Manchester – he's been unwell," I am told. "He does have a younger brother, Graham, who looks incredibly like him, maybe it was him."

It certainly wouldn't be the first time that Graham Rooney has caught the press out. Earlier this year, News Of The World journalists thought they'd got video evidence of Wazza playing away from home, only to discover that the Casanova in question was actually Rooney minor.