Pandora: Esther wins her most important endorsement

Esther Rantzen may have the unyielding support of the 24-hour news brigade, but not everyone has been quite so easy to win over in her bid to stand as an independent MP.

Sceptic number one, apparently, is her daughter, fellow television presenter Rebecca Wilcox. "She's seen me work flat out in the past and she's seen my lifestyle now where I spend precious time with my family," explains Esther. "She's worried about that becoming much, much harder – which it will be, inevitably. My son's worried about that too."

Over the weekend, in a bid to convince her to the contrary, Rantzen took Rebecca on a tour of Luton South, the constituency where she's considering running. "It was very helpful. Rebecca knows me well. She knows what work I've done, and what I've enjoyed and what turns me on. At least now I think she understands why I might do this."

So can we expect any of her offspring to turn out on the campaign trail? Rantzen is coy. "Well that would be lovely wouldn't it? Though I wouldn't want them to not be able to live their own lives. Though I would like to say to Rebecca: 'Don't worry – I'll still be able to help plan your wedding.' I think she's a little worried about that."

Springer talks up his high notes

"They said that I could hit all the notes so I didn't need to get any singing lessons," declared a confident-as-ever Jerry Springer at the Cambridge Theatre's party to mark his first night playing Billy Flynn in Chicago. "Let's be honest: those songs don't really have difficult bits in them anyway." Brave words, indeed, from a man better known for the volatility of his talk show guests than the voluptuousness of his chorus. Still, Pandora's reserving judgement until after the first reviews come in.

Tony makes a right royal pact

Did Tony Blair make a secret pact with the Queen not to watch The Queen (the film, that is)? The film's star, Michael Sheen, certainly thinks so. "I heard through a fairly reliable source that there was an agreement she was not going to watch the film and Mr Blair wasn't going to watch the film either," he said with uncharacteristic opacity shortly after picking up an OBE for services to drama. "There were only two people in the room when that happened and one of them told me. I'm not going to say any more than that." Intriguing.

Gilliam hunts for Depp's female co-star

And... action! It is, it would seem, all systems go for Terry Gilliam when it comes to his second attempt at filming Don Quixote.

This time last year, the Monty Python star-turned-director told this column that he had started work on a script for the production's second attempt (back in 2000 Gilliam's efforts were put on hold by a series of freakish accidents). Now we hear he has found a suitable location for the project, and will be moving to Madrid to begin pre-production later this month.

Even better, it appears Johnny Depp – who had been due to star in the original production – will be joining Gilliam's second attempt. All that's needed, apparently, is an appropriately sultry female co-star: "[We'd like] Penelope Cruz 20 years younger, someone with fire in their eyes," says Gilliam.

Munn doles out more advice

Further services for MPs, now, courtesy of Meg Munn, MP for Sheffield Heeley (and wife of the Chancellor's "tax adviser"). The generous soul, we're told, is offering other members the chance to attend a meeting to discuss the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Despite recent revelations, we are assured the Foundation has, in fact, been in existence since the early Nineties; it aims to promote democracy around the world. Next stop: the United Kingdom. (Perhaps.)

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

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?