Pandora: Le Tissier's speech takes a nose-dive

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The Independent Online

Like Ricky Hatton before him, the retired footballer Matt Le Tissier is discovering that sportsmen and comedy are a heady cocktail that don't quite mix. On Tuesday, "Le Tiss" was guest speaker at a "football extravaganza" at London's Grosvenor House Hotel, held in aid of the music charity Nordoff Robbins.

The former Southampton and England midfielder was to present an award to Tottenham Hotspur's manager Harry Redknapp, but not before an ill-judged wisecrack prompted collective jaw-dropping around the room. "I always enjoyed playing at White Hart Lane," said Le Tissier of his time at Spurs, the London club whose Jewish fans make up a large proportion of its support. "It was the only place where I felt I didn't have a big nose."

The gag is unlikely to endear Le Tissier to the Jewish lobby. Still, he did manage a small dig at the club's former player and manager Glenn Hoddle, who largely ignored the Guernseyman when he was England coach.

"Hoddle phoned me at home recently," said Le Tissier. "I was in the toilet. My wife said Hoddle was on the phone, but I told her I could only cope with one shit at a time."

Armani's Oscar plans go awry

Giorgio Armani's annual marketing blitz at the Oscars ceremony is under threat from the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals. The headline-prone organisation has written to this year's nominees, including Kate Winslet, urging them to boycott the designer's outfits on the red carpet because of his continued use of fur.

Peta has also taken out a full-page ad in the trade bible Variety depicting Armani as Pinocchio – in a reference to the time he agreed with Peta to use alternative materials, only to carry on using rabbit fur.

Cameras at Dawn

THe Labour MP Dawn Butler has cemented her reputation as the Government's first mistress of opportunism. Speaking to Young Labour activists on Tuesday, she held forth on the importance of celebrity endorsements. "Never go anywhere without a camera," she told the audience. "If you see anyone famous, get a photo of you with them. Shake their hands and put your serious and caring face on."

Not entirely surprising, given Butler's track record. Last month, she raised eyebrows by displaying on her website a poorly-punctuated letter, apparently from President Obama. It later transpired he had simply signed the note, which was drafted by Butler's staff.

Sir Perry bonds with Bond

Daniel Craig has struck up a curious friendship with Sir Peregrine Worsthorne. They recently met at a Notting Hill dinner party, where "Perry" mislaid his hearing aid.

"Daniel Craig, the great film star, took the lead in searching for it," he writes in New Statesman. "Having looked in all the chairs and sofas, he turned in desperation to the dustbins, not hesitating to plunge his arms into the kitchen waste. When it transpired the hearing aid was not lost but hiding in my shirt, having fallen through the open collar, Craig managed to smile rather than scowl; and it was he who went to the off-licence when the booze ran out. A good sport."

Pound passes on the pants

Tonight sees the annual Parliamentary Palace of Varieties show at the InterContinental London Hotel. This year's bash, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, features skits by Michael Ancram and Bob Marshall-Andrews. Sadly, a mooted performance by the Labour bruiser Stephen Pound in leather hotpants will not happen. "He has a constituency engagement," says his PA. "He's not doing that Cheeky Girl arrangement he did last year – we can all be glad of that."

pandora@independent.co.uk

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