Pandora: Heston's dealings with Little Chef freeze over

All, it would seem, is not well between Heston Blumenthal and his one-time makeover project, the Little Chef.

Earlier this year, the test tube juggling supercook undertook the not insignificant task of revamping the unloved diner's menu, following a catastrophic plunge in profits and across-the-board closures. Despite coming up against the inevitable bit of boardroom reluctance, Blumenthal eventually dreamed up a menu that seemed to satisfy both the chain's long-serving staff and their customers.

Then, last week, following several months' piloting, Little Chef CEO Ian Pegler announced that the menu would be rolled out to branches nationwide. So far, so successful.

Except for the tiny detail that the menu's architect appears to have been entirely left out of the operation. Discussing the announcement at an industry awards ceremony this week, Heston claimed to know nothing of Pegler's plans.

Although it's unclear whether the pair have had any contact since, it seems likely that relations aren't too amicable: Blumenthal and Pegler are known to have locked horns in the past.

A member of the Little Chef team, meanwhile, claimed that the blame game wasn't so simple: "It's not just a one-way situation."

Tim names Murray's odds

Pandora's hot tip for Wimbledon, courtesy of tournament regular Tim Henman. "I think Murray will definitely win it – at some stage anyway," he told us at the launch of his new training initiative for Robinsons fruit juice.

"And, to be honest, he has as good a chance this time around as he has had in any year so far."

Tim, apparently, will also be out in force for the event, challenging queuing spectators to on-the-spot volleys.

Heffer: queen of Las Vegas?

Simon Heffer's enthusiasm for elected office isn't entirely new. According to Stephen Parkinson's delightful work, Arena of Ambition: A History of the Cambridge Union, the straight-laced Telegraph columnist served as the Union's social fixer. Apparently, the ginger terror would arrange such licentious entertainments as "juvenile delinquents parties" and Las Vegas evenings – for which he "hoped that the subtle combination of vices would secure a large attendance". Good heavens. Whatever would his employers think?

Voters mourn as Lumley bows out

Tragic news. Joanna Lumley – Britain's last democratic hope, in Pandora's eyes – has decided, once and for all, that she will not be running for Parliament. The freedom fighter/actress's announcement follows a letter from her local mayor inviting her to run for the Hemsworth seat in Yorkshire at the next election.

Alas, Joanna was not to be persuaded: "She has always made it very clear that the Gurkha issue is a one-off event," explains a spokesman. "She has now returned to acting, which is where she wishes to remain."

Gordon, with regret, you're fired

What was grizzly businessmen Sir Alan Sugar doing entering 10 Downing Street yesterday morning?

Not, apparently, giving the PM the chop – though the image is enough to amuse us at least until the next election – but in fact engaging in more mundane activities: a pre-arranged meeting of the Business Council for Britain. 'Tis a shame.

pandora@independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
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: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk