Pandora: Coulthard tires of the circuit

Alistair Darling is not the only Scotsman conforming to the daft dour stereotype by bringing gloom to our front rooms. The square-jawed racing driver David Coulthard has decided to moan about the forthcoming Formula One season, his 15th.

Speaking about the Fuji circuit in Japan, situated beneath the dormant volcano, the 36-year-old complains: "It's a shit track that must have been designed by someone high on mushrooms."

Canada's esteemed grand prix at Montreal does not escape: "They only have Portaloos in the paddock. And as anyone who has crapped in a porta-potty knows, it's a pretty uninspiring experience."

Poor dear. Wouldn't happen in Monaco.

A big day at Westminster, and guess who can't keep away...

Guess who was in the Palace of Westminster's Central Lobby yesterday afternoon? Ah, damn, the picture has given it away.

Yes, Alastair Campbell, that famous gym fiend and glutton for punishment, just can't stay out of the action. The Budget is always so exciting.

Gone are the days, though, when Campbell, having just torn strips off a junior political reporter, breezed in as part of the PM's phalanx, with blaring police outriders. Instead, the former prime minister's former spokesman now has to receive a vigorous security fondling like all the plebs. Gaargh!

He was spotted standing alone in the Central Lobby, leaning against a pillar, wearing a humiliating yellow visitor's sticker, his all-access pass presumably having gone the same way as his private phone line to Downing Street.

So what was he up to?

"Nothing," Campbell told Pandora, when tracked down last night to Richard and Judy's party at The Arts Club in Mayfair to announce the shortlists for the Galaxy British Book Awards.

Any advances on nothing, Mr C? "I wouldn't worry yourself about it. It wasn't very interesting. Now leave me alone. I'm having a conversation."

And indeed he was, talking avidly to the Horrid Henry children's author Francesca Simon.

I bumped into him soon after, by chance, at the urinals in the gents' toilets. (Don't ask.)

"Did you follow me in here?" demanded Campbell, defensively. Bullying the bullies, hooray!

Lemmy must wait for his cucumber buffet day

Lemmy can cancel that limousine to Buckingham Palace. In a wild squeal of feedback, Downing Street has pulled the plug on a bizarre petition which demanded that the mutton-chopped Motörhead rocker, né Ian Fraser Kilmister of Stoke, should hear the words "Arise, Sir Lemmy" in the Queen's next honours list. Services to sideburns, perhaps?

The entreaty to Gordon Brown reads: "Lemmy, a bastion of British [heavy] metal, thoroughly deserves to be knighted." Some 322 members of the public joined the clamour – 46,745 fewer than want Jeremy Clarkson to be prime minister and clearly not enough to secure the bauble.

No 10 has touchingly replied, taking it all most seriously: "Lemmy's achievements in music are well known and respected. It is easy to see why so many people want his record formally recognised. Your support has been carefully noted." That's a no.

Agyness's hippy retreat

Agyness Deyn has been splashed across so many newspapers of late (most enjoyable were the photos of her cavorting with a nightclub pot plant) that she risks tumbling in to that calamitous celebrity honeytrap, overexposure. Timely, then, for the 25-year-old tomboy model, to take an overseas break.

"I'd like to go to India in a couple of weeks for yoga," she tells Pandora at a cocktail party. "I want to go there, relax and get more spiritual. But, you know, I don't want to sound all hippy-dippy."

The trip will also serve Agy's culinary interests – after all, not long ago she was a Lancashire chip shop girl whose currency was saveloys. At the recent London Fashion Week, she wore an eyepatch after contracting conjunctivitis. I hope her delicate figure isn't as prone to the dreaded "Delhi Belly".

Nic on the run

If nothing else, Nicolas Sarkozy's marriage to the acrobatic Italian temptress Carla Bruni will burn off his love handles. Yet the French president's appetite for le jogging remains unsated.

Sarko is derided in France for running in public in shorts and a sweaty NYPD T-shirt. According to a report in Paris Match, the competitive Gaul has requested "jogging sessions" with Lord Coe, the London 2012 Olympics supremo, during his forthcoming state visit to Albion.

Imagine: a leader of the free world and Britain's poshest champion, pounding together through Windsor Great Park as children skip behind, the Rocky soundtrack blaring as they leap the moat, back into the castle for tea and medals. Says Coe's office: "It's not true."

pandora@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

E150/2014 - English Language Checker (Grade B3)

On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice