Pandora: Hacks in clash as the Rooneys go to court

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The Independent Online

Ref! The incendiary battle of the Rooneys versus their old management company, Proactive, is set to unfold over the next three weeks, with Proactive suing the Rooneys for £4.3m. What's more, it promises to pitch two of Fleet Street's most famous hacks-turned-PR gurus against one another.

Ian Monk, formerly of the Daily Express, is Wayne Rooney's spinner, while Phil Hall, the former News of the World editor, is representing Proactive.

"Is he?" says Monk when we call, declining the offer to divulge any anecdotes from their acquaintance. "I knew him as a journalist and I'm aware of his work as a PR."

Sadly, Hall didn't return our calls. No doubt he is very busy; earlier this week, he agreed to represent the besieged England captain, John Terry. Incidentally, another of Hall's clients is the highly exclusive dating agency Berkeley International, somewhere Terry may or may not find himself heading if his wife, Toni, decides she has had her fill of recent allegations regarding his private life.

Cable's appeal charms socialists

Does Vince Cable's popularity know no bounds? We only ask because the twinkle-toed Liberal Democrat economics spokesman was the subject of his very own poll in this week's Tribune magazine.

Readers were asked whether he would be their first choice as Chancellor of the Exchequer. We are told that the respondents voted a unanimous "yes".

All well and good, except that Tribune is the unofficial magazine of Labour activists and trade unionists. Don't tell Alistair Darling!

Winehouse, an artful investor

Amy Winehouse, fresh from setting up her own record label Lioness Records (currently in possession of one artist: Winehouse's goddaughter Dionne Bromfield), appears to be commencing work on her art collection.

According to a report in the latest edition of The Art Newspaper, the beehived chanteuse recently received a painting by the veteran British pop artist, Gerald Laing, as a present from her manager, Raye Cosbert. But what does the picture depict? Why, none other than Winehouse herself, vacuuming the carpet. Such modesty!

Labour embraces the spirit of Eton

Class war? What class war? Ben Bradshaw doesn't seem to be in too much of a hurry to distance himself from "Tory toffs". Asked recently what types of activity the Government suggests should be used to encourage people to exercise more, the Culture, Media and Sport Secretary's department came back with a host of fascinating ideas, including that widely accessible British sport... Eton fives. Still, at least Dave will be able to join in.

Goode, not great: Matt's nonplussed

Matthew Goode did his best to shirk his red carpet duties at the London premiere of his new film, A Single Man, attempting to steal past reporters and head straight into the cinema. Not to be deterred, Pandora managed to nab a word with the young actor just as he ducked into his seat. What, we wondered, did Goode make of the glitz that had been laid on in the film's honour? "It looks all right to me," he shrugged, "Is there a free bar? That would make it better." Charming.