Pandora: Hot Shot Shahid relinquishes his title

Pandora has lost track of Shahid Malik's comings and goings in recent weeks, what with his resigning as a minister over expenses, only to return to the Government a week later and then become the subject of an investigation by John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

Now, word of another surprise move from the Communities minister – and hitherto title-holder in the Parliamentary Pool Championship.

We're told that Malik, who for the past three years has won the contest, traditionally held in the Westminster drinking institution Annie's Bar (now remodelled as an ultra-modern smoothie-shop), has decided, of all things, to bow out. Instead, he will leave his parliamentary colleagues to fight it out amongst themselves (and with competing lobby hacks).

Mr Malik wouldn't be drawn on why he had decided to sit this year out, though no doubt the news will come as some relief to his usual competitors – in particular the Labour MP David Wright, knocked out in last year's semi-finals, and Peter Brooksbank, Officer of the House, also a front-runner for the title. And with prize money regularly totalling well over £1,000, what's not to play for? Pandora should add, of course, that all funds won are donated straight to charity. Good luck!

Springer heads to Westminster

Was it? Wasn't it? MPs were left scratching their heads after someone who appeared to be Jerry Springer arrived for a House of Commons tour. Tragically, the great man's publicist refused to comment on his client's whereabouts, though were it a look-alike they certainly had Andrew Gwynne, Ed Balls' Parliamentary Private Secretary, fooled. "Am I seeing things or is Jerry Springer in Westminster?" he tweeted. As far as Pandora's concerned, there could be no better arbiter for parliamentary spats. Perhaps he could be the next Speaker?

David gets down with the kids

Who'd have guessed it? David Dimbleby is a man after our own hearts. Which is to say: a Desperate Housewives fan.

The usually erudite Question Time presenter confessed to his love of the frothy Channel 4 soap during a visit to Treviglas College in Cornwall, the venue of a recent QT broadcast. "A few questions were asked of the students, who in turn were grilled by Mr Dimbleby," confides one teacher. "What was striking was that such a well-known presenter could be so warm and friendly to the youngsters, sharing with them his love for Desperate Housewives." Striking indeed – though Pandora would be even more intrigued to know with which character Dimbleby feels he can most identify? Personally, we see him as a bit of a Bree: multi-talented, perfectionist.

Book launch full of slimy characters

Farah Damji celebrates the launch of her autobiography Try Me on Tuesday ("Colourful" may be an understatement, the jailbird turned memoirist is famed for her eccentric antics, from high-profile liaisons to self-documented prison escapes). Appropriately, she has enlisted the help of wacky performance artist Mark McGowan, last seen burning effigies of the Prime Minister. "He'll try to break the world record for how many snails he can have on his face at once," we're told. "Each one will represent someone in the book."

Rupert's social life in recovery

Delightful to see Rupert Grint fully recovered from his brush with swine flu. The carrot-topped actor – best known for his goldfish-like performances as Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films – was in sufficiently good health to attend the premiere of the franchise's latest instalment on Tuesday night. Still, he appears to be feeling some after-effects. "I've noticed how people tend to back away when I sneeze," he mused on the red carpet. "There were a lot of people wearing masks as well."

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

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

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...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Day In a Page

Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road