Pandora: In need of Cash?

Unlike most modern tennis stars, Pat Cash still has to don his famous chequered headband and earn his crust.

The former Wimbledon champ has linked up with swanky Welsh country club Celtic Manor, which is this week advertising "The Pat Cash Holiday Package", giving members the opportunity to meet the great man.

For the cost of just £250, giddy middle-aged housewives can snap up the chance of an informal two-hour session with Cashy, which enticingly also comes with a souvenir photo and a bottle of wine.

Cash recently declared the expense of keeping up with his four children, who are based all over the world, as "bloody stupid". I certainly hope this latest gig helps with the air fares.

Tories play host to man who coined 'Axis of Evil'

The Conservative party has been noisily beating the anti-war drum this week by calling for a full-scale inquiry into the mistakes made during the Iraq war.

Interesting, then, to note that one of the conflict's most uncompromising cheerleaders has been warmly greeted by the party behind closed doors.

David Frum, the neoconservative author and speechwriter widely credited with coining the controversial "Axis of Evil" slogan while working for President Bush, arrived in the UK this week at, what American colleagues insist, was the instigation of Shadow Schools Secretary, and prominent "Cameroon", Michael Gove.

As well as promoting his latest tome Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again, and addressing the right-wing think tank Policy Exchange, I'm assured Frum was also scheduled to hold "briefings" with the Tory leader David Cameron as well as other members of the Shadow Cabinet.

It's not altogether clear at this stage what the briefings were going to entail – my enquiries to both Cameron and Gove's offices went unanswered yesterday – but it's well worth noting that that Frum has had little time for Conservative colleagues wavering over their support for the war in the past.

In 2003, he memorably denounced such politicians in the Conservative magazine National Review as "paleoconservatives" who "turned their backs on their country".

O'Brien celebrates with a new horror show

Hard to believe that Rocky Horror creator Richard O'Brien is a sexagenarian, but he still knows how to party with the best of them.

On Tuesday night, the flamboyant performer was out on the town celebrating his 66th. By all accounts, it sounded quite the beano.

O'Brien, I'm told, was spotted at several London hot spots with a sizeable entourage in tow, sporting a platinum blond wig and dressed in a thigh split dress.

Originally, they were turned away at the door of upmarket eatery St Alban, but were later spotted by another mole settling in at Soho's Groucho Club.

"There was a great din in reception when they arrived," reports one regular barfly. "Usually when there's a commotion like that it means Kate Moss has arrived, but it turned out to be Richard and his chums wearing these outrageous outfits.

"Strangely, I've got to say he had the most cracking legs."

Sir Ian's magical modesty

How touching that despite Sir Ian McKellen's lofty standing among the acting fraternity, the revered star displays no sense of entitlement.

Next year, cameras are due to start rolling on the big screen adaptation of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit, the prequel to The Lord of The Rings, in which McKellen starred as Gandalf.

Although Gandalf features heavily in the book, McKellen isn't counting his chickens . Despite the backing of producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, the film's Mexican director, Guillermo Del Toro, is yet to confirm his appearance.

"Encouragingly, Peter and Fran Walsh have told me they couldn't imagine The Hobbit without their original Gandalf," he declares on his website. "Their confidence hasn't yet been confirmed by the director, but I am keeping my diary free!"

Humble host

Nick Clegg addressed the Lib Dems' grass roots organisation Liberal Youth on Tuesday night, and what a confident bunch they are.

The group's chairman, a snotty young upstart called Mark Gettleson, took it upon himself to write Clegg's PA a detailed, bullet-pointed email prior to the event advising the Liberal Democrat leader what to say.

"Above all, [Clegg] should make the audience feel they're important – especially to him," Gettleson suggested. "Nothing flippant, much as he's fond of taking the piss out of things."

Gettleson has previously cited his political hero to be the evil Chancellor Palpatine from Star Wars. With this kind of breathtaking chutzpah, I can see that young Gettlestone is clearly one to watch.

pandora@independent.co.uk

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