Pandora: Edmonds accused of hollow talk over TV licence row

Ding Ding! Noel Edmonds' row with the BBC over his apparent refusal to pay the licence fee is shaping up into one of the most engaging stand-offs in recent years.

On Saturday, Edmonds effectively declared war on his former employers when he announced he had torn up his existing TV licence and would not be buying another one.

"Auntie's putting boxing gloves on," he said. "I'm so incensed by the idea that I'm guilty of something that I actually cancelled my licence fee a few months ago."

The plot thickened dramatically yesterday, however, when the TV Licensing authorities claimed that Edmonds did in fact still possess a licence.

"We've checked our records and can confirm we have a valid current licence on record for his address," said a spokesman.

Edmonds claimed his one-man protest was against the corporation's "we know where you are" ad campaigns against those who didn't have a TV licence, which he argued were threatening. He also said he was prepared to face prosecution for his stand against the BBC.

But if what the TV licensing authorities say is correct, Edmonds' tough talk amounts to no more than macho bluster.

Last night, Edmonds' publicist, PR guru Mark Borkowski, claimed that TV licensing had got their facts wrong.

"They have completely not issued Noel Edmonds with a TV licence," he insisted yesterday. "He has not got one."

Pete Doherty loses his bottle over interviews

Pete Doherty was reunited on stage with his former band mate, Carl Barat, at a gig in Camden's Prince of Wales pub on Wednesday night.

The occasion was a bit of landmark event for a certain generation of musicfans, since there's often speculation that the duo's old band, The Libertines, will one day reform.

So understandably, journalists at the tiny north London venue were keen to catch a word with them after the show.

"We were originally told by the evening's organisers that there would be chance to speak to both Pete and Carl once their set was finished, but suddenly all interviews got cancelled," one disgruntled hack tells me.

"Apparently some pillock from the NME went and threw a beer bottle in Doherty's dressing room.

"He got chucked out and the rest of us were told that all bets were off."

Rose faces ire for IRA comment

After Rose McGowan's ill-judged comments about the IRA, the producers of her new film on the Troubles, Fifty Dead Men Walking, are ducking for cover.

A spokesman for HandMade Films has issued a withering statement to distance the company from the actress's assertion that she "would 100 per cent have been in the IRA".

"We were surprised and disappointed by the comments made by Ms McGowan," said producer Guy Collins. "Her opinions run entirely contrary to the stated aims of the film." Ouch.

Catwalk's no cakewalk

Cilla Black took to the catwalk at Wednesday evening's Fashion For Relief charity show at the Natural History Museum.

But behind that famous Liverpudlian grin there lurked a seasoned pro who was wracked with nerves.

"Cilla was absolutely bricking it beforehand," reports my backstage mole. "While everyone else was getting changed in the dressing room, she insisted on using one of the loos."

Still, Cilla wasn't exactly in her ninth circle. Apparently, she was being comforted by American beefcake, Tyson Beckford, who kept topping up her champagne glass and murmuring in her ear: "It's just like walking down the street."

Royles' annus hilarious

In the last Christmas special of The Royle Family, the creators decided to kill off Liz Smith's endearingly dotty character, Nana.

One of the BBC1 show's writers, Phil Mealey, has promised to jollify this year's offering.

"It'll just be funny this time," he explains to Pandora. "After all, we don't want to become the Dr Shipman of comedy."

Mealey says he and his co-writers Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash are deliberately delaying filming the episode for as long as they can to keep it as current as possible.

"It'll allow us to be topical about things like the banking crash," he adds with a grin.

You can almost hear Ricky Tomlinson as Jim Royle now: "Lehman Brothers, my arse!"

Why Andy oozes sex appeal

There is another accolade for Andrew Marr to add to his collection. The cerebral string bean broadcaster has been named Most Desired Brainy Celebrity by the gay dating website Gay-Parship.com, clocking up a dominant 34 per cent of the vote.

The unlikely stud-muffin will no doubt be thrilled with the news, especially given that he fought off stiff competition from his well-coiffed alpha male BBC colleague, Jeremy Paxman.

Explaining the choice, a spokesman for the site commented: "Raw intelligence has always been attractive. Cupid's dart has forever been torn between beauteous Aphrodite and the wisdom of Athena – rarely more so, it seem, than amongst gays."

pandora@independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
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

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before