Pandora: Hot Shot Shahid relinquishes his title - Pandora - People - The Independent

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."

pandora@independent.co.uk

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

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories