Pandora: Fagin's fans cough up for autographs
Tuesday 20 January 2009
The Theatre Royal, currently hosting the West End production of Oliver!, has hit upon the sort of penny-pinching ruse of which even old man Fagin would have been proud.
The hit musical starring Rowan Atkinson only opened last week but is already reported to have taken £15m in advance ticket sales, some of which cost £47. Despite this, a bossy ultimatum has been given to theatregoers seeking Atkinson's autograph.
For the past few days, a notice, pictured right, has been pinned to the stage door, telling autograph-hunters that "owing to high demand", priority is being given to those with Oliver! programmes and memorabilia.
Some parents who have already paid for tickets are likely to be miffed at the idea of then having fork out for a programme, although a spokesman for the theatre insists the sign is only there to deflect professional collectors.
"We get dozens of them trying to get as many signatures as possible, so Rowan feels he would rather give preferential treatment to people who have actually paid to see him perform.
"We hope to take the note down once the heat is off."
M&S will not stretch to tights
Jasmine Guinness appears to be the latest victim of Marks & Spencer's promotional cutbacks.
Last year, it was reported that the cherubic beauty had spoken to the executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose about designing her own range of tights for the high street giant.
Two months on, however, and the phone at Guinness's Notting Hill home has yet to ring.
"Not yet. Sadly, I think it was all party chat," she confessed to Pandora at Sunday's European premiere of Revolutionary Road. "There has been no follow-up, and I think most retail businesses are quite busy at the moment."
The news comes amid reports over the weekend that the department store chain is planning to abandon its policy of using posh supermodels such as Elizabeth Jagger and Erin O'Connor in its advertising campaigns in favour of less glitzy images.
Having said that, at least Ms Guinness's services would not break M&S's bank.
"Even if I only got free pants and bras, I think it would still be the best job," she added. "It would be great."
Kray twin signed up Britton
As queen of daytime television, Fern Britton gives the impression that butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, so it is surprising to uncover correspondence between her and the late East End gangster Reggie Kray.
Next week, a collection of items owned by Kray and his twin, Ronnie, will go under the hammer at a London auction. One lot is a publicity shot of Britton in her days at the regional ITV franchise TVS. It reads: "Reg, with very best wishes, Fern, x."
Kray was clearly quite the philographist. His memorabilia incude signatures from Barbra Streisand, Patsy Kensit (whose brother was Reggie's godson), the Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler and Motown crooner Jimmy Ruffin.
Armani man: Cipriani breaks cover
Danny Cipriani's pledge to cut back on public appearances so that he can "concentrate on his rugby" appears to be going swimmingly. Barely 24 hours after Wasps scraped a victory in Saturday's Heineken Cup match against Leinster, their star player was over in Milan knocking knuckles with the fashion supremo Giorgio Armani. A spokesman for Armani said Cipriani had hopped over to view the designer's autumn/winter show. As you do.
Osbourne's tirade causes a tremor
Contrary to what some people might think of us, it appears that even gossip columnists are still afforded the full protection of the law. Yesterday, it emerged that Kelly Osbourne was arrested a fortnight ago for allegedly slapping the thrusting Sunday Mirror reporter Zoe Griffin in a Soho nightclub. Osbourne has been bailed until March.
The origins of the alleged fracas? Griffin reportedly goaded Osbourne's beau, Luke Worrall, for not knowing what an earthquake was.
Morgan sets his relationship rules
Piers Morgan has laid down ground rules for his girlfriend, the Telegraph scribe Celia Walden. According to Heat magazine, she will let him sleep with Scarlett Johannson or Cindy Crawford. As for his paramour, he says: "She is only allowed to have an affair with England cricketers or Arsenal football players – if it enhances their performance."
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Eleven members of same family hospitalised after eating deadly pufferfish
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Phone-hacking: The Piers Morgan connection - Mirror admits some stories during Morgan's tenure may have been obtained by illegal means
Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...
£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...