Pandora: Jamie avoids Obama fever

All the gossip from the election night parties...

Jamie Oliver is in and out of Downing Street almost as much as his restaurants these days, but it appears that the race for the White House hasn't had him hooked. Waiting outside the House of Commons en route to addressing the Health Select Committee yesterday morning, he turned to one reporter and asked, "Do you know who won the American election yet?"

Ah well. Trying to get the citizens of Rotherham to eat properly is obviously all Oliver can think about at the moment. Anyway, it's Barack Obama, Jamie. Do try and remember the name.

Jonathan cashes in on good odds

David Dimbleby yesterday faced unflattering catcalls to be pensioned off, over his handling of the BBC's coverage of the US election from Washington.

The veteran broadcaster twice clashed with his guests, once with Simon Schama and with George Bush's walrus-faced former ambassador to the UN, John Bolton.

The night, I suspect, was far more enjoyable for Dimbleby's younger brother, Jonathan.

Last week, Dimbleby minor, pictured above, appeared as a guest on Andrew Marr's Sunday morning TV programme , where he let slip that he'd placed a substantial bet on Barack Obama to become the next American president.

According to the Radio 4 presenter, he had found a bookmaker willing to offer him odds of 15-1, a price so generous that he must have placed the bet well over 18 months ago.

No word yesterday as to what windfall he was expecting.

Perhaps he might like to take his brother off on holiday with the winnings.



n Always at the forefront of world affairs, George Galloway marked Obama's victory by inviting the veteran Black Panther Emory Douglas to a gathering in the House of Commons last night.

"George is very pleased with the result," says a spokesman.

"And as he puts it, sometime soon the British Prime Minister who supported the war and the American President who joined an anti-war demonstration will meet."

US sensibilities versus British hacks

Author Julian Fellowes held his own party on election night to launch his new book, Past Imperfect. New York socialite Plum Sykes popped in for five minutes, barely enough time for a glass of fizz. Maybe it was because the place was swarming with hacks. Plum usually disinvites British journalists from her book launches. According to her, they all dress badly.

Rothschilds celebrateon both sides of Atlantic

Nat Rothschild has been lying low since blowing the lid on old university chum George Osborne's chit-chat with the enigmatic "billionaire" Oleg Deripaska. But Rothschild's sister Hannah hasn't gone to ground.

She popped up at CNN'sswanky party in Marylebone in central London, where she spent the evening chatting to management consultant Lupus von Maltzahn, the tall fellow at the back of the now-infamous photograph of Ozza and Rothschild in Oxford's Bullingdon Club. Asked where her brother was, she quipped: "He's in New York with my father, speaking to Russian oligarchs."

* Also at the CNN bash was the BBC Director General Mark Thompson, and while guests were issued with either a Republican or a Democratic badge, Thompson – unlike some of his reporters over the past few weeks – chose to remain impartial. "It's all up to the American voters and that's all we can say."

Bets open on Obama pooch

No sooner had Barack Obama pledged to buy his children a puppy during his rallying victory speech, than those enterprising chaps from bookmakers Boylesports had dashed off a list of odds on a name for America's first pooch. Hot favourite at 10-1 is "Madelyn"(or "Maddie"), after Obama's recently departed grandmother, followed by "Martin Luther", "Palin", or, trailing at 200-1, "McCain".

* US ambassador to London Robert Tuttle was relatively buoyant at the embassy breakfast yesterday morning. "Well," he told guests. "As you can probably guess, I'm not so much a lame duck now as a dead duck."

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