Pandora: Expenses scandal hits the Beeb's newsroom

What's this? While BBC editors work themselves into a lather over MPs' expenses, a tale of excess from within their own ranks.

Pandora hears that rumblings of discontent are echoing across the Corporation's newsrooms, after the world news editor Jon Williams, and head of news gathering, Fran Unsworth, decided to oversee cost-cutting measures in the Washington bureau – including, apparently, several redundancies – by taking the highly economical step of flying across the Atlantic, at tax payers' expense, and personally informing the guillotine-ready staff of their individual fates.

"The purpose was to manage important staff restructuring taking place," explains a spokesman. "And to do face-to-face appraisals."

Sceptical hacks at the Beeb, however, are wondering about more recreational motives. Surely the decision couldn't have anything to do with the fact that – the very same week that the pair were due to fly over – President Obama was hosting the illustrious annual White House correspondents dinner? Pandora would never be so cynical. Incidentally, though, we gather that both Williams and Unsworth felt "obliged" to attend.

O'Leary bags some swag

A lesson in credit crunch survival at Tuesday night's Glamour Awards, courtsey of one Dermot O'Leary.

No longer facing the prospect of a well-employed summer of Big Brother, the resourceful presenter was nevertheless to be seen scrabbling under the table in search of an extra goodie bag.

"It isn't ours, but we're taking it anyway!" he boasted, when his efforts were finally rewarded.

A risqué send-off for Jacqui

In characteristically flamboyant style, Ben Westwood – the photographer son of Dame Vivienne – was to be found yesterday celebrating Jacqui Smith's departure with a glass of champagne at East London's Bodhi Gallery.

Of course, Smith and Westwood are old foes: he greeted her legislation banning "extreme pornography" by sending a parade of barely-clad chain-bound models through central London. "One down, a few to go," he cheered of the Home Secretary.

Remarkably prescient, in the event.

Jaime warms up for rock 'n' roll debut

Soon to complete that enviable showbiz trio, actress-musician-model, is Jaime Winstone, star of Kidulthood and girlfriend of Alfie Allen.

The talented sprite tells us she is to make her debut with her new band at a mystery location. Also in attendance: mumbling substance-abuser Pete(r) Doherty.

Can we expect a duet? We'll have to wait and see.

"It's in a couple of weeks' time," says a bashful Winstone. "I'm really excited about it."

Cash for crisis? Ray begs for help

Desperate measures from the Labour Party's Ray Collins ahead of today's inevitably disastrous poll.

The wipe-out fearing General Secretary has sent out a last-minute appeal to members, asking them to donate to a fund for printing anti-BNP leaflets.

Pleads Collins: "We literally have hours left... Donating £15 now lets us print an extra 1,000 leaflets."

pandora@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world