Pandora: Fred the Shred jets back into limelight

Sir, the champagne! Motor racing enthusiasts were treated to the sight of a distantly familiar face aboard yesterday morning's Gulf Air flight to Bahrain, departing just in time for the start of the 2010 Grand Prix season.

The former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive (turned pantomime villain), Sir Fred Goodwin, could be seen settling into a business-class seat – though he was not, we are told, sporting his trademark tartan trews.

The flight represented a rare public outing for "Fred the Shred". Since his mauling for presiding over the biggest annual loss in British corporate history, Sir Fred has succeeded in maintaining a low profile, only recently returning to his Edinburgh home and assuming a post as an adviser to architecture firm RMJM who, conveniently, are in the middle of opening a new office in Bahrain .

Of course, before his luck turned, Sir Fred was something of a regular on the F1 circuit, cheering on the RBS-sponsored Williams team alongside "brand ambassador" and former F1 champ Sir Jackie Stewart.

At one point, he was even tipped to succeed Max Mosely at the helm of the sport's governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. Then news of his £16m pension pot broke and he was passed over in favour of Jean Todt. Funny that.

Another cause without a rebel?

"Being a rebel is boring," Grayson Perry told Pandora yesterday. It seems fellow artist Jake Chapman agrees. Jake, one half of the Chapman brothers, enfants terribles of the art world, is famed for his genitalia-faced mannequins and Nazi-themed installations. Now, however, he appears – quelle horreur – to be embracing the Establishment. He will address Berkeley Square's über-exclusive members club, Annabel's, this Sunday. Art for the people? Perhaps not.

Gambaccini flies flag for British talent

"The British are unrepresented in the winners!" complains Paul Gambaccini of this year's Oscars haul. "The Hollywood nominees are for American films, you just have to get used to that."

The "Professor of Pop" is doing the backstage interviews at this year's Olivier Awards; he hopes the same problem will not be repeated. "The only people I'll be interviewing are the winners, so therefore they'll all be happy." Fingers crossed!

Allan profiles his assistant

In an inopportune spot of recruitment, Facebook – currently under fire for the lack of security it offers its younger users – is using the House of Commons staff website to advertise for a new assistant to work alongside its European policy director, the former Liberal Democrat MP Richard Allan. Still, it's not all bad. As well as a generous starting salary of £30,000, the lucky candidate will get free meals and contributions to dry cleaning, transport and gym membership. Who could resist?

Nighy's still Blunt and to the point

*Bill Nighy's affection for Emily Blunt continues apace. The bespectacled smoothie has long admired the young actress from afar, and appears alongside her in Wild Target. "I adore her," he tells us. "I teach Rupert Grint how to be an assassin, but we can't kill Emily Blunt, she is too good looking." Blunt will be flattered, we're sure.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Recruitment Genius: HR Advisor

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our Client has been the leader ...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine