Pandora: Floyd's cash row leaves Novelli facing date in court

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The Independent Online

The celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli is about to be dragged headfirst into an unseemly divorce spat between his friend Keith Floyd and his fourth wife Tess.

The French heartthrob's name is among the list of those who are due to give evidence this October at a hearing designed to thrash out a divorce settlement between the pair, who announced they were splitting towards the end of last year.

I'm reliably informed that Floyd's other half will insist on Novelli appearing, following revelations that £300-a-head cookery lessons featuring her estranged husband were being advertised on the Frenchman's official website back in May.

"Tess will be demanding that a number of people she thinks may have paid Keith for work appear in court, and that includes Novelli," explains a friend.

"At the end of the day she's entitled to a percentage of Keith's earnings and isn't going to let this go."

Floyd spent a number of weeks convalescing at Novelli's Hertfordshire home after collapsing at a friend's pub in Stoke-on-Trent in January.

The news that his services were being advertised on the website also prompted his manager Stan Green to threaten legal action since Floyd was officially on sick leave. The cookery classes were hastily shelved, with a spokesman blaming Floyd's poor health.

"I'm sure Novelli won't appreciate being dragged into this," adds the friend. "But it looks like he'll have little choice."

Ekland prefers the dog's life in Edinburgh

Time was when Britt Ekland was regularly escorted around town on the arms of some of the world's most eligible young bachelors.

Nowadays, her "walker" of choice is a pocket-sized Chihuahua called Tequila.

The Swedish actress is currently in Edinburgh, where she is appearing in her autobiographical fringe show, Britt on Britt. To the dismay of local businessmen, the former Bond girl – and former wife of Peter Sellers – insists on taking the pooch with her every time she ventures out.

"She won't leave him anywhere," I'm told. "Every bar and restaurant she's been seen in, the dog has come too.

"Some of the owners have been grumbling about it a bit, though in its fairness they all say he's been very well behaved."

Ekland and her companion have also been spotted jogging backwards around the city centre. Before you ask, she claims that going in reverse is actually better for you.

A new double-act in town?

Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson's successful stint on the Edinburgh fringe in the mid-90s helped catapult him all the way to the Hollywood Hills.

The same happy outcome could yet await his sister Lynn, who is currently in town performing in her own one-woman show, Heart And Sole.

Watching her performance on Sunday night was British film actor Brian Cox, who was spotted in the audience seated next to Trainspotting star Ewen Bremner.

"Cox absolutely loved it," says a theatre insider. "He went backstage afterwards and told Lynn he was very keen to work with her."

Ferguson's film career has so far been restricted to providing a voice-over to the Aardman Animations movie Chicken Run. The patronage of a Hollywood big-hitter like Cox should soon see to that.

Homer in 'The X Files'? D'oh!

With the lukewarm reception greeting the new X Files movie, actor David Duchovny has rolled out an old idea he had during the cult show's run on the small screen.

"The Simpsons should have come on our show," he tells Sky Movies . "I had an idea around the seventh or eighth year and thought we should try a Roger Rabbit-style episode ... where they crossed real folk and animation. We could do Homer comes to the FBI and deals with cartoon characters. I still feel it's a good idea."

At their peak, Pandora would cite both The X Files and The Simpsons as American broadcasting at its best. But could this be possibly the worst suggestion for a programme ever?

More Caring?

Could the clothing tycoon Richard Caring be about to place another pin on the map which marks London's swishest establishments?

I ask because it has recently been reported that a stake could soon become available in the Cipriani group, whose London restaurant is a favourite hangout of such stars as Madonna and Elizabeth Hurley.

One rumour currently circulating is that Caring has already expressed an interest.

There was no response from his office last night, but any bid certainly would not be out of character.

Caring's empire already boasts a number of Mayfair's crown jewels, including the restaurants Scott's and Le Caprice, as well as Annabel's nightclub.

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