Pandora: I was nervous, says Rourke of Bafta gaffe

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The Independent Online

Mickey Rourke has offered an explanation to organisers for his expletitive-laden speech at the Baftas on Sunday.

Accepting his award for best actor, Rourke made headlines by thanking the director Darren Aronofsky for giving him a second chance when he had "spent 15 years f***ing up his career", and his co-star in The Wrestler, Marisa Tomei, "for taking her clothes off all the time".

Most viewers had expected any glitches in the night's proceedings to come courtesy of the compere Jonathan Ross.

"I was waiting for the Xanax to kick in but it didn't," Rourke tells Pandora. "And I always get really nervous in front of strangers. By nature I am kind of shy and so I was just trying to hold it together the whole time." Poor lamb.

Watson waits for Ivy League news

Best of luck today to the Harry Potter star Emma Watson, who will find out how she has scored in her SATs entrance tests for US universities.

As I reported last month, the dainty actress decided to take the American exams after being unable to decide whether to accept a place at Cambridge or head across the Atlantic for university. "They went well," Watson tells me. "Though I can't really say as I haven't been accepted anywhere yet."

Whatever happens, Watson, who will be 19 in April, will be sure to make time for her burgeoning film career.

"I will be looking at all sorts of projects outside of Harry Potter," she promises.

Currington's diplomatic incident

Stand by for fireworks at the Peruvian embassy. The Sloane Square residence plays host today to the documentary-maker Matt Currington, who will deliver a lecture about his experiences filming the indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest.

It is Currington's first high-profile outing since he was accused of introducing flu to Peru's remote Matsingenka tribe last year. At the time, the human rights organisation Survival International made the (contested) claim that Currington's film crew had unwittingly caused the death of four tribesmen. "It's obviously part of his PR offensive to overcome that," said a spokesman for the group.

Izzard goes back to basics for a night

Eddie Izzard has confirmed his reputation as the wild card of the comedy circuit with a surprise appearance at a little-known festival in Dartmouth, south Devon.

To the bemusement of the audience, the cross-dressing comedian took to the stage in the second half of The Comic Strip creator Peter Richardson's set at the Flavel Comedy Festival.

"Peter was going to open the whole thing, but then half way through Eddie just came on," one of the organisers tells me.

"No one had any idea he was even in the area, let alone on stage. It just gave the show such a buzz and he stuck around afterwards to have a drink with all the staff."

It is an unusal move for the Emmy-Award winning comic, who these days performs almost exlusively in high-capacity arenas, though it is by no means the most unexpected thing he has done of late. As well as playing a Nazi general opposite Tom Cruise in the Hollywood film Valkyrie, Izzard recently claimed to harbour ambitions of becoming an MEP.

Johnson's wise advice?

Luke Johnson, the Channel 4 chairman, wrote in yesterday's Financial Times under the headline "Fire Bosses Who Can't Cope". He argued: "During a severe recession, when all that matters is survival, [business leaders'] bullish attitude and denial of reality becomes potentially dangerous."

An interesting argument, though a less charitable soul than Pandora might think it an unwise one for Johnson to make, particularly given his channel's recent funding woes.