Pandora: Court in the act: Doherty's band is barred from festival by magistrates

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The Independent Online

More bad news for Pete Doherty, as we hear that his band is to be barred from performing at the Moonfest music festival this Friday.

In something of a land-mark case, magistrates have ruled that Babyshambles cannot appear at the event in Westbury, Wiltshire, because of the risk they pose to public order. It is, I am told, the first time that the Licensing Act has ever been used in this way.

Police in Wiltshire said they applied to the court after the band's performance at the Royal Albert Hall, which ended with frenzied fans clambering up on stage. "It is very unusual for the Royal Albert Hall to have to request police assistance, and on that occasion they had to," said a spokesperson.

"We have carried out an analysis of what Doherty does. His band speed up and then slow down the music and create a whirlpool effect in the crowd. Then the crowd starts fighting. We became concerned because the organiser did not appear to have due cognisance of all the risks."

In spite of the fact that Friday's gig – part of a three-day festival – has sold only 150 tickets fo far, officers argue that a similar ruckus could take place, insisting that "fair weather could bring the potential for disorder" as more tickets might be sold. "You are talking of as many as 5,000 people in what is effectively an open field," said the spokesperson.

Brand ignorant of Rocky role

Russell Brand may be tipped to star in Sky Movies' adaptation of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but the flamboyant comedian appears to know nothing about the project.

"It's news to me," says his agent. "It wouldn't surprise me if they wanted him but they would have plenty of hoops to jump through."

It isn't the production's first spot of bother. Not long ago Richard O'Brien, who wrote the original "Rock Horror" stage show, told Pandora of his dismay at being bypassed in the decision to make the film.

Hartnett broadens horizons with Caines

Is Angela Hartnett the next Gordon Ramsay? She's certainly expanding her empire.

Until recently, Hartnett could be found toiling behind the stove at Ramsay's Connaught Hotel. Now she's popping up everywhere, launching Ramsay's Florida outpost last year and this week opening Murano in London's Mayfair. As if that wasn't enough, next month sees her open yet another Ramsay venture in London: the York and Albany in Camden Town.

So far Hartnett has stayed loyal to her boss, but now I'm told she has agreed to moonlight at the 80th anniversary celebrations of rival chef Michael Caines's Gidleigh Park.

Let's hope relations with Ramsay stay sweet. The volatile chef has had enough problems with his other protégé, Marcus Wareing, who recently described him as a "sad bastard".

Callow keeps it clean

It seems that, after all these years, fame might have gone to Simon Callow's head. The great actor, currently in Edinburgh performing "A Festival Dickens", surprised theatre personnel by requesting they do his laundry for him.

"He asked and we weren't sure what to do," one staff member tells me. "We've got a producer's assistant doing it, though she's not too pleased. We keep running into her shoving clothes into the office laundry."

Somewhat ironically, Callow has previously told Pandora of his desire to appear in the US television show Desperate Housewives.

From the sound of things, he might not be the best casting.

Another own goal

Dear, dear. It would seem that lessons aren't easily learnt at the Evening Standard, where, for the second year running, the sports pages have claimed John Terry would miss out on the England captaincy. Unfortunately, for the second year running, they have got it wrong.

This time, the paper confidently named Rio Ferdinand as the favourite to head the squad. "Terry ready to lose England captaincy," proclaimed the back pages. Alas, just as the paper hit the stands, the FA confirmed that the honour would be Terry's.

Last year, it was Steven Gerrard who was billed as the captain-in-waiting. "We had a very good source," said an editor at the time. "This could happen to anyone."

No special treatment for Connery

Sir Sean Connery's appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival is being hailed as one of the highlights of the line-up, with tickets for his sold-out talk costing bidders a small fortune on eBay. But the organisers insist that the former Bond will not be reaping undue profits from the event. Instead, he has agreed to appear for a modest fee of £150 – considerably less than many other big-name attractions.

"He isn't being drawn by big bucks," says Catherine Lockerbie, the festival director. "We don't want to say, 'You should pay more for him because he is an A-list person and that one is a B-list person. You won't pay more to see Sean Connery than to see an unknown local author from Tollcross'."

Sir Sean will address the crowd on Monday alongside the film-maker Murray Grigor, with whom he co-wrote his memoirs.

pandora@independent.co.uk

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