Pandora: Dave gets shirty over order to undress
Wednesday 30 April 2008
This month's edition of the men's magazine GQ carries a 22-page photoshoot by David Bailey, featuring the nation's leading political movers. The Foreign Secretary David Miliband – spotted at the weekend vainly trying to coax his three-year-old son back on to his bicycle – stares steely-eyed from the glossy pages, flecks of grey in his hair. The small print reveals that Miliband, the son of a Marxist theorist, wore a £495 Hackett suit, a £69 Hugo Boss tie – and a Marks & Spencer shirt. Truly a man of the people!
"The fashion assistant asked Miliband to change out of his easy-iron M&S shirt," says Pandora's mole with the rouge, "but he refused. He wanted to keep it on." She adds: "He was wearing black slip-ons. Fortunately, Bailey only wanted a head-and-shoulders picture but they told Miliband that in future he should wear Foreign Office brogues."
Blogger 'Guido Fawkes' is led off to the Tower
Off to the rack with him! The waspish Westminster blogger "Guido Fawkes", who is devoted to making life uncomfortable for political trough-guzzlers, joins his historical namesake in finding himself at the sharp end of the legal system.
Lobbyists, aides and parliamentarians from all sides of the Houses – particularly those with something to hide – will be delighted to learn that the famously thirsty troublemaker, real name Paul Staines, was up before the beak at Tower Bridge Magistrates Court last Thursday.
He admitted driving while under the influence and without insurance after being stopped by the Plod in the small hours of 17 April, driving his wife's Volkswagen fast and swerving across lanes in south London. He was breathalysed and found to be almost twice the legal limit. Asked by District Judge Timothy Stone whether he had an alcohol problem, Staines said: "Possibly."
Sentencing is on 15 May. It is his fourth alcohol-related offence and second drink-driving reprimand – he was banned for 12 months in 2002 – requiring the judge to consider a jail sentence.
"I had been speaking at the Adam Smith Institute," Guido explains. "They have made a lot of money so the booze is usually pretty good. I moved on with a few people to the Westminster Arms, where I bought drinks, and then to the Kennington Tandoori to show everyone the picture of Prezza on the wall. Then I was giving a few people a lift to Victoria station when the fuckers pulled me over."
Extra dryin the Bond villain bunker
If Daniel Craig appears breathless in this November's Bond movie, Quantum Of Solace, give 007 a break. A crew of 300 recently spent four days gasping in the arid heat of Chile's Atacama desert – the driest place on earth – filming stunts at the Paranal European Southern Observatory, which will double as the baddies' lair.
Surrounded by hills, the SPECTRE-esque telescope site lies at an altitude of 2,635m, not ideal for running about waving replica weapons.
Pandora's frazzle-haired fellow in the lab coat and thick spectacles explains: "As you walk into the luxury underground bunker, a mercy blast of humidity hits you. Tropical plants fill the atrium. There's a bar, a pool table and a swimming pool, although the thin air makes swimming difficult. It's weird, futuristic. That's where the Bond bits were shot."
Filming was banned after dark to allow the resident scientists to delve into the galaxy.
Some bread for Bez
Whither Bez, the recently bankrupted (for a second time) maraca shaker from the Happy Mondays? Since returning to the Insolvency Register a fortnight ago after a three-year hiatus, the 44-year-old freaky dancin' former crack smoker and walking medical miracle has proved uncontactable (he does not appear to have an agent).
Bez – or Mark Berry, whichever you prefer – please get in touch via our switchboard or the email address above. A production company would like to offer you an acting job but knows not how to reach you.
"We want him to play a drunken rock star," was the desperate request to Pandora. "It's called The Bog Father and is a bit like Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels – except filmed in Leeds. We start shooting on 20 June, so we want to speak to Bez as soon as possible."
In four weeks, we can race down to a bookshop to seize a copy of Prezza: Pulling No Punches, the former deputy PM's autobiography. It will "tell the remarkable journey of an 11-plus failure who became a union firebrand..." Anyway: what about the sex with secretary Tracey Temple? Speculation is rife that Prescott, 69, will gloss over his affair. JP has told friends "he will suggest that Temple over-egged the sex".
* BBC Breakfast was somewhat hacked off yesterday to have Harriet Harman waiting in reception and not Gordon Brown. No 10 had told reporters that the PM had a crucial business breakfast. Harman, meanwhile, explained that Gordon was caught in a meeting with ministers. But gaaargh! A quick channel flick discovered the Prime Minister on GMTV's sofa.
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